Australia is one of the World’s Fattest Nation
New data from the OECD reveals Australia is the fifth fattest nation in the developed world.
Nearly two thirds if Australian adults are overweight or obese and a quarter of Australian children and adolescents are overweight and obese.
This means that there is approximately 11.2 million adults and 1.2 million children that are overweight or obese in Australia.
The likelihood of developing chronic conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, back pain and problems, chronic kidney disease, dementia, diabetes, gallbladder disease, gout and osteoarthritis are all increased when an adult or a child is overweight or obese.
A grim picture is painted of expanding waistlines fuelled by a boom in fast food and a decline in physical activity, turning us into a nation of sedentary couch potatoes.
A report published in 2008 by Melbourne’s Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute titled “Australia’s Future ‘Fat Bomb'”, stated that those most at risk of premature death are the middle-aged, with 70% of men and 60% of women aged 45 to 64 now classed as obese.
The report’s lead author, Simon Stewart, said that the best case scenario was that 3.6 million adults were battling obesity. “We could fill the MCG 40 times over with the number of obese Australians now, then you can double that if you look at the people who are also overweight – those are amazing figures,” Professor Stewart said.
“And in terms of a public health crisis, there is nothing to rival this. If we ran a fat Olympics we’d be gold medal winners as the fattest people on earth at the moment,” he said.
“We’ve heard of AIDS orphans in Africa, we’re looking at this time bomb going off where parents have to think about this carefully,” Professor Steward said. “They’re having children at an older age, if you’re obese and you have a child do you really want to miss out on their wedding? Do you want to miss out on the key events in their life? Yes you will if you don’t do something about your weight now.”
The obesity inquiry in Melbourne will be told that a national strategy encouraging overweight Australians to lose five kilograms in five months could reduce heart-related hospital admissions by 27% and cut deaths by 34% over the next 20 years.
With the fastest growing rate of childhood obesity in the world, Australia must make radical changes to the way unhealthy food is promoted if the rate is to be reduced.
Dr. Hooper’s Comment
About 11.2 million adult Australians are obese. Based on available evidence, this means that those who fall into the overweight or obese category are now at a high risk of a heart attack or stroke in the longer term.
So, before you eat that other donut, or swing past KFC on your way home to grab dinner for the family… do you want to be part of those statistics?
Simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can keep you out of the overweight and obese category.
Don’t promise yourself to start walking next week, or to do the ‘Lemon Detox’ Diet the week after. Take action now.
Start exercising and eating right today, not tomorrow or next week. Make a plan. And stick with it.
Remember; no plan is a plan to fail.
The theory is simple – energy in and energy out. Don’t put in your mouth what you can’t burn off during your run later.
Need to know why the chips and coke aren’t good for you? Read about The Five Worst Foods You Can Eat. Our article on the Diabesity epidemic is sure to shock you into getting more active and eating properly.
If you like this article be sure to visit the Spinal Centre website at www.thespinalcentre.com.au and view more content by Dr. Hooper and the Spinal Rehabilitation Team.
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