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Latest health snapshot: smoking down, immunisation up

Smoking rates have dropped

Smoking rates have dropped seven percentage points over the past 12 months according to the latest district health snapshot.

Life expectancy and immunisation rates are up and smoking rates are down.

More than 70 per cent of us rate our own health as good or excellent.

That’s the good news from the latest Health Snapshot produced by South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD).

The bad news is that fewer of us are eating enough vegetables and more adults are experiencing high levels of psychological distress.

They are just some of the findings of the SWSLHD snapshot, which reports on the health status and lifestyle behaviours of the people who call the south west Sydney region home.

SWSLHD director of epidemiology, Professor Bin Jalaludin, says the Health Snapshot helped to identify areas where progress had been made and areas where there was still some work to be done.

“We’ve made great strides in some areas, for example 14 per cent of adults smoke compared with 21 per cent last year,” Professor Jalaludin said.

Although this seven percent improvement in the smoking rate is welcome, Professor Jalaludin said we should be cautious how we interpret this result.

“But of course we are hopeful that rates will continue to drop,” he said.

There is still progress to be made in some areas, with 66 per cent of people not getting adequate exercise and only 1 in 25 people eating the recommended quality of vegetables.

“Identifying these health risks within south western Sydney’s population allows SWSLHD to target areas of concern, and prioritise programs which can address the problems,” Prof Jalaludin said.

SWSLHD offers access to a number of free programs which aim to create a healthier community, some of which include the Get Healthy telephone coaching service, Go4Fun, Quit for new life, the Healthy Children Initiative programs which focus on addressing childhood obesity, such as Live Life Well @ School.

• For more information on the programs, visit the website here.

• To read the latest snapshot click here.


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