THE Loddon-Mallee-Murray community is the most obese in Australia.
A National Health Performance Authority report released today shows 41 per cent of people living in the region are classed as obese.
Loddon-Mallee-Murray takes in Bendigo, Echuca and Swan Hill.
Country South Australia was the next region on the list with 40 per cent of residents classes as obese, followed by central Queensland on 39 per cent, Townsville-Mackay, West Moreton-Oxley and Perth south coastal all on 38 per cent.
Sydney's north shore and northern beaches boast the nation's smallest obesity rate at 14 per cent.
The NHPA report has broken down figures to a local level across Australia for the first time.
The report found 10.8 million adults were classed either overweight or obese in 2011-12 with 4.7 million in the obese category.
''This report shows that the percentage of adults who were obese varied three-fold across local levels, from 14 per cent in Sydney North Shore and beaches to 41 per cent in Loddon-Mallee-Murray,'' the report stated.
''In three quarters or more of communities for which we have comparable data, one in four adults were obese in 2011-12.
''The percentage of adults who were overweight or obese increased with geographic remoteness and lower socioeconomic status. Yet still half of adults, 54 per cent, in the wealthiest urban areas were overweight or obese, and two in 10, 19 per cent, were obese.
''Overweight and obesity rates are increasing rapidly across Australia. In 1989, 44 per cent of adults were overweight or obese, rising to 63 per cent in 2011-12.
The report found health problems related to excess body weight imposed a major cost on the health care system.
''Obesity imposed an estimated $2 billion in direct costs on Australia's health system in 2008. People who are obese face health care costs that are 30 per cent higher than those with more healthy body weights.''
More to come...