Weighing in on obesity crisis

Written by Josh Hoodless

How healthy are residents on the Fraser Coast? Statistics show that we are not healthy at all.

In fact, the vast majority are fat and lazy! If you’re reading this thinking, ‘Wow that’s harsh!’ ‘Did he just say that?’ Sorry folks, there’s no sugar-coating (pardon the pun) the following figures:

A national health survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of statistics in 2013 found us to be a big pack of sloths.

56% of Australian adults are either inactive or have low levels of physical activity – that is more than
9.5 million adults and it’s getting worse.

Does inactivity lead to getting fat?

Only if you’re eating excessive calories regularly. Guess what? Most people are!

On the Fraser coast in 2018, the government found approximately 70.1% of us are overweight or obese. I know we are in the middle of a global pandemic but I don’t want us to ignore the unhealthy obesity epidemic right here on our doorstep. This problem was a massive $11.8 billion dollar financial burden on Australian tax payers in 2019.

John Dixon, GP and obesity researcher at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institution said the statistics tell part of the story, but the situation is far more shocking than the figures suggest.

He said being overweight and obesity is a driver for 22 diseases including diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, asthma, dementia and various cancers.
I’m not here to ‘fat shame’, quite the opposite.

I care about my fellow Fraser Coast peeps, I want to see our area fit and healthy, but, most people are afraid to talk about the elephant in the room. Will someone’s feelings get hurt if I mention
they are overweight and need to eat less/exercise more and can I help them?

Or will that person get motivated or inspired to get healthy? It’s the risk I want to take. We have numerous teenagers walking into our fitness centre at well over 110kg needing help.

I’m not going to even begin to draw conclusions or speculate on the increased availability of high calorie fast food and record hours spent in front of screens or consoles. I won’t even mention that we have access to more money and resources than ever before, while at the same time have record
cases of anxiety and depression.

’ll let you guys discuss why the Fraser Coast and our entire nation is so unhealthy.

How do we start to get healthy?

Let’s look at what exercise we should be doing. These are the Health Department’s guidelines on exercise:

  • Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
  • Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
  • Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.
  • Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.

There it is! Basically 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate to rigorous activity per week across just about every day PLUS at least 2 days of strength training!

No! Walking Fifi every day along the beach is not counted unless you find walking a moderate to rigorous activity people! AND lift weights! The government said this. Way to go Government!

What about food? How many calories? How much protein etc? That will depend per person and on each person’s goal. The government’s healthy eating guidelines (backed by science) is available in a 226 page PDF on the http://www.eatforhealth.gov.au website.

The main food groups we should be consuming are:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Whole grains
  • Lean meat, poultry, eggs, nuts and seeds
  • Milk, cheese, yoghurt and/or their alternatives.
  • Lots of water.

I think we all know what we should be eating but somehow we are too lazy or don’t care about ourselves enough to create nutritious low calorie meals. It’s all about balance and eating for your
goals. Want to loose weight. Get into a calorie deficit!

It’s not that hard in theory – eat natural sources of food, move your body more, get strong. In practice it seems to be hard based on the above figures.

If anyone is struggling to get healthy, come down to see the team at LIFT now located at 2/172 Boat Harbour Drive (behind Repco).

Some people don’t know where to start or what is healthy? Some people eat healthy food but eat way too much.

Join up with an experienced personal trainer and dietitian to give you the facts and start the journey to a healthier you.