The president of the Australian Medical Association Queensland has apologised for cracking a joke at the expense of tuckshop ladies. Dr Shaun Rudd wanted to make a point about obesity in school, but instead insulted tuckshop ladies with an offhand remark.

On Thursday, Rudd said the Sunshine State is fighting the “war of the wobble” with its 2.5 million facing obesity. AMAQ is lobbying a ban on fast food outlets opening within 1 km of new schools, ban of fast food meals at schools, as well as subsidies for fruit and vegetables in high-risk communities.

“The school tuckshops are supposed to be healthy places, but the reality is, they aren’t. We’ve all seen tuckshop ladies and there’s a reason why they’ve got tuckshop arms,” Rudd said.

The AMAQ president then released a statement on Friday, apologising for the remark. However, he did not back down from his earlier comments about obesity.

“I would like to apologise for any offence I have caused with an off the cuff remark, using an inappropriate colloquialism. Of course, tuckshop volunteers do a terrific job supporting their schools,” Rudd said.

“However, this shouldn’t distract from the dire situation most Queenslanders are in. We are too fat and our children will be the first generation not to live as long as the previous one,” he continued, adding that “sensitivity and political correctness” should not hinder the actions people must take to defeat obesity.

“I’ve offered to meet the Queensland Association of School Tuckshops so that we can work together on tackling this deadly epidemic and not allow the obesity issue to be overlooked during the election campaign,” Rudd ended his statement.

AMAQ also targeted Queenslanders’ drinking habit, saying the people drink alcohol too much. It lobbies for a ban on serving energy drinks with alcohol in nightclubs after 10 pm, ban alcoholic sponsorship for sport, youth music and junior sporting events, and for diversionary programs for minor alcohol-related offences.