Australia’s obesity getting worse

Australian adults and children are growing ever-more obese.

Australian adults and children are growing ever-more obese, an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) national health survey has found.

A triennial report sampling 20,000 people shows that almost two-thirds of the adult population can be classified as overweight or obese. This figure is getting worse rather than better.

The research found that seven in 10 Australian men are overweight or obese, while for women this figure is as high as one in two.

According to the report, Australian children are also growing in girth. One in four Aussie kids (27.4 per cent) are overweight or obese, compared with just over 15 per cent in 2011.

The consequences of this growing problem? Despite falling rates of smoking and excessive drinking, Australian health is worsening, with the prevalence of chronic health conditions also growing.

Director of the Healthy Ageing Project at the University of Melbourne, Cassandra Szoeke said the anti-smoking and binge-drinking messages received by Australians are more effective than healthy eating or exercise advice, which varies more person-to-person.

Associate Professor Szoeke explained that, “The top three causes of death in Australia are heart disease, conditions that affect circulation and dementia, and a lot of research has shown that you can halve the rates of these diseases by addressing these risk factors.”

The rates of arthritis, asthma, hayfever, heart disease and osteoporosis have risen or stayed the same since 2001. But it is the rise in the rate of diabetes that’s proving most concerning.

At the start of the millennium one in 30 Australians had diabetes. In 2014, this figure had grown to one in 20. However, more than 200,000 Australians have been diagnosed with the condition in just the last three years.

The ABS report revealed that when it comes to healthy eating, many Australians were falling short of the government’s dietary and exercise recommendations.

Obesity Policy Coalition executive manager Jane Martin said Aussies were not receiving enough in the way of proper dietary education. “There’s still a lot more work that needs to be done promoting the dietary guidelines,” she said.

According to the report, only one in 20 Australians eats enough fruit and vegetables, while just one in three takes enough exercise.

The Australian government’s health guidelines suggest eating 375 grams of vegetables and 300 grams of fruit per day, and taking at least 2.5 hours of exercise each week.

Read more at smh.com.au.

Were you surprised by how many Australians are overweight or obese? Is there enough education about healthy eating in Australia? Do you try to stick to the government’s healthy diet and exercise recommendations? 





    COMMENTS

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    sidney70
    9th Dec 2015
    9:59am
    I am a senior Citizen and have a Big tummy. I am slightly overweight. I eat healthy foods and exercise infrequently. I do not smoke or drink. I cannot get rid of my belly. Can anyone help. I have read all the literature on how to do it but nothing works
    Jen
    9th Dec 2015
    10:45am
    I know someone in the same boat sidney70. He's done all kinds of exercises over the last 2 years and walks daily. He's not overweight anywhere except his belly. Nothing budges it.

    If anybody has a proven solution, I'll pass it on to him.
    Bones
    9th Dec 2015
    10:54am
    Sidney70 firstly you HAVE to want to get rid of it, then you have to keep at it. I am 62 and I did it last year, I lost 15kilos and felt great.
    How did I do it, easy actually, my doctor recommended 'the south Beach diet' a book by Dr Arthur Agatston, a cariologist. It is all about the heart and healthy eating, not exactly a diet per se.
    If you stick with the phase one for two to for weeks and WALK a bit, I did twice a day you will lose it. You also eat 5 times a day.
    The book can be got from 'Awesome Books' in UK for a few dollars delivered.
    I hope this helps you.
    rina1213
    9th Dec 2015
    11:38am
    Hi walking is great, but to get rid of the tummy my husband ( 60 ) did sit ups. You have to start gently and and with knees slightly bent. It will work if you persist and as usual it takes time. This is only if your Dr has OKed it and you have no problems with your back. Also your posture must be correct and hold your tummy in when ever you can. walking should be a combination of slow, fast, up hill, down hill and finish off with the slowish cool down. Always check with professionals and Good Luck.
    Swimming is also great as you have to use those muscles and the water supports you.
    Happy cyclist
    9th Dec 2015
    11:48am
    Walking and other exercise is great but you must cut down drastically on the sugar if you want to lose weight. I suggest you read That Sugar Book. It demonstrates in a very readable way how pervasive sugar is in our food, hiding in places you don't expect. Bottled sauces, for example, are just rivers of sugar. Two years ago I made a huge effort to cut out all sugar and 7 kgs just dropped off my already small person. Until you cut out most of the sugar, I don't think you'll lose the gut.
    KSS
    9th Dec 2015
    4:24pm
    Sorry people, you cannot lose your 'tummy' by doing sit ups. You just cannot spot reduce. Fat comes off all over your body not just in one place unfortunately. You must look at what you are eating - as they say "abs are made in the kitchen".

    Also you need to reappraise your diet. What you think is healthy food may not be so. Happy cyclist has already pointed out the insidious use of sugar in everything. This means that even so called healthy foods like yoghurt, may actually be worse than soft drink in terms of sugar.

    We also need to look at portion distortion. Even just a few years ago individual servings were a lot smaller than they are now, yet we still eat the packet of chips or that muffin that is twice the size they used to be.

    Go heavy on the veges (not so much on the potatoes - unless they are cold which increases the resistant starch which is a good thing) and palm sized portion of protein as the basis of meals. Use herbs and spices for flavour rather than sauces out of a bottle. Even make your own salad dressings it takes about 30 secs and so much better than store bought.

    And you do have to exercise. Walking is great but you have to really walk so you are a bit puffed, not a slow amble round the shops window shopping - and you have to more than 30 mins a day.
    Kt
    9th Dec 2015
    9:51pm
    sydney70 If you are thinking of the South Beach Diet please be fully informed , check with your doctor and read this article

    -
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/06/09/south-beach-part-one.aspx
    buby
    13th Dec 2015
    10:04pm
    yes easier said than done bones!
    I used to lose weight easier once, but now i live in the land of pollution, which upsets my gut, and i have to eat lots of yoghurt, which really helps me put on weight, then its just so hard to get it off. Cause i can't walk. My air is polluted with progress, and i have a hard time breathing even though i take my puffer. When i get a good day, and air is breathable i'm out there walking.
    I used to walk regularly every single day.
    Now i can't and its really showing.......
    So everybody's problem is a tad different?
    Strummer
    9th Dec 2015
    10:28am
    Obesity is the new normal and in the vast majority of cases it's a self-inflicted ailment. Don't blame the fast-food industry, nobody forces you to go into McDonalds or to have fries with that. Don't blame computer games, nobody forces you to sit and exercise your thumbs for hours every day. Don't blame your arthritic knee, exercise is actually good for it.
    A lack of self-restraint and will-power are the causes of obesity and until we overcome that the problem is only going to get worse
    Bones
    9th Dec 2015
    11:06am
    Strummer, sounds like you like to suit around too eh? Lol well you are quite wrong in half of what you say. Exercise is a must for ALL people to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
    However? By eating a lot of fast foods, and certain other super market foods you are not always eating what may be good for you. There are MANY additives in foods nowadays and many of these will attribute to weight gain etc. FAT is one of these along with sugar, so we must be careful what we eat, especially as we get older.
    We are now learning that all the antibiotics in food are causing great concern as we humans are now becoming immune to prescribed antibiotics when we are ill.
    IMHO two thirds of this population are not obese because they are lazy or do not exercise, that is a bit short sighted I'm afraid.
    sidney70
    9th Dec 2015
    11:07am
    Thank you Bones. I do want to get rid of my tummy 5 kilos would do it. I will try and get the book.
    sidney70
    9th Dec 2015
    11:34am
    I have just purchased the book from UK. I do hope it works.
    MICK
    9th Dec 2015
    2:47pm
    Go skiing. Guaranteed to lose 5 kg in a month.
    Nan Norma
    9th Dec 2015
    11:36am
    Don't forget tummy muscles weaken as we get older.
    MICK
    9th Dec 2015
    2:48pm
    They all do but exercise keeps things going.
    KSS
    9th Dec 2015
    4:26pm
    And weight training for all is a must especially as we get older. We need to preserve as much muscle as we can. And Yes Ladies, that means you too. Muscle burns fat!
    Nan Norma
    9th Dec 2015
    11:38am
    The worse ones I see are the young women in their twenties and thirties. If they are obese now what will they be in their forties plus.
    MICK
    9th Dec 2015
    2:48pm
    It is rather sad. I know what you mean.
    casper dude
    9th Dec 2015
    11:54am
    Exercises to tone up your tummy Sidney, just 10 minutes every day should help over time and you will feel better too. Ask a keep fit instructor what suits you and may be join a gym. Lots of senior citizens do. Good luck and just keep trying.
    KSS
    9th Dec 2015
    4:28pm
    Toning the muscles is one thing, it will NOT strip the fat there alone though. I agree though get some help from a qualified Person Trainer who can show you appropriate exercises taking account of all your personal abilities and any ailments etc.
    casper dude
    9th Dec 2015
    12:06pm
    Australia has the best climate and conditions to keep fit. A lot of people have jobs now where they are sat in front of a computer and gazing at a screen most of the day, week in and week out. Bad for the eyes, posture, weight and general fitness. Individuals should take more responsibility for their part in keeping fit and well, especially as one gets older. I have exercised all my life in one way or another and am a female senior citizen now, age 71. I continue to take very regular exercise in the form of water aerobics and/or stretching every day. Everyone has the choice to do this and it is amazing how good you can feel. The computer age has caused a lot of the obesity problem, and with children too having far too much screen time. Take advantage of this wonderful country and climate and enjoy being fit and well.
    MICK
    9th Dec 2015
    2:50pm
    It gets tough as you get older but NECESSARY.
    Charlie
    9th Dec 2015
    12:39pm
    I have lost about 10kg since I retired but I must attribute some of that to moving from New South Wales to North Queensland. There is no winter here to load on the calories just to keep warm, in fact meals in the tropics make one hot and uncomfortable all through the summer.

    The other thing is, no work stress because I retired from permanent employment, so I no longer drink 6 cappachinoes a day to keep the mind awake. I'm sure a lot of this work stress was due to the introduction of computers and they also brought about more time in the office sitting down. The mind cant cope with the information overload so there is always the need for a quick fix like something sweet to eat.

    Now in retirement, every morning I have a coffee and an exercise walk at 6am before it gets too hot and I thoroughly recommend it, not only for keeping the weight down but for keeping the muscles flexible if things like arthritis, fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rhumatica, are creeping in. If I don't do it, my body starts to seize up. There are certain situations, if something hurts, doctors will recommend exercising it, in preference to resting it. I once said to the doctor that I do enough housework to exercise my body and he said that's not the right kind of exercise, I should get out and walk more, so I didn't argue with him.
    MICK
    9th Dec 2015
    2:52pm
    Congratulations. A balanced lifestyle. Well done.
    Oars
    9th Dec 2015
    1:10pm
    Taking into account the fast food junk that the 5 year olds and upwards stuff into themselves, and the lack of real energy from that junk food, no wonder they keep stuffing themselves. junk food is designed toi make you eat more junk food. I have rarely gone near the stuff, and I have quite a few drinks on occassion. I have myself to blame for my tummy, but boy it;s really fun gettin it.!!! I'll go and eat another carrot, so I can allow myself another schooner. Yep- get fat and get happy.
    MICK
    9th Dec 2015
    2:45pm
    Eat well and not to excess and exercise regularly. There would not be an obesity epidemic if Australians followed this advice.

    9th Dec 2015
    6:27pm
    Stomach banding.
    ranga
    12th Dec 2015
    11:02am
    DITCH ANYTHING EVERYTHING MADE FROM WHEAT....to start
    Charlie
    12th Dec 2015
    12:39pm
    Yes that will definitely cause weight loss but Asian man can also get fat.


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