Obesity rates soaring in Australia

global obesity report a shock to NZ healthy “kiwi” image

Emily Bourke reported this story on Thursday, May 29, 2014 08:25:00

CHRIS UHLMANN: It’s a trans-Tasman contest that we should be happy to lose. A global study of almost 200 countries has found that over the last 30 years New Zealand has just edged out Australia to post the largest absolute increase in adult obesity.

But together the rates of obesity in our region are climbing faster than anywhere else in the world and almost a quarter of Australia’s children and 63 per cent of its adult population now tips the scales as overweight or obese.

Health authorities say the report should prompt the Federal Government to commit to a national anti-obesity strategy.

Emily Bourke reports.

EMILY BOURKE: It’s the first global survey to comprehensively track trends in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in 188 countries in all 21 regions of the world from 1980 to 2013. And it’s found more than half of the world’s 670 million obese individuals live in just 10 countries – and they include the United States, China, India, Russia, Mexico, Egypt and Indonesia. But over the past three decades, Australasia has outpaced other regions of the world with the largest absolute increase in adult obesity.

Professor Alan Lopez was among the international researchers working on the global burden of disease analysis.

ALAN LOPEZ: We are at the levels of overweight and obesity as the United States is. Three decades ago obesity levels in Australia were a half to a third of what they are now.

We need to understand that overweight and obesity is not just something at an individual aesthetic level. It has serious health consequences that ought to be taken much more seriously by the public health community of Australia.

EMILY BOURKE: The data published in the Lancet shows that the situation is slightly worse in New Zealand, but that’s of little comfort to Australia.

ROB MOODY: We’ve put weight on collectively and we’ll have to take weight off collectively, I am sure.

EMILY BOURKE: Rob Moody is Professor of Public Health at Melbourne University.

ROB MOODY: It’s no longer just a problem of the rich or wealthier countries like Australia; it’s a problem now in many parts of the developing world, particularly in the Pacific and the Caribbean, but also in China and India.

So that’s the first thing, it’s a major global problem driven by global forces such as processed food and otherwise called junk food and junk drink industries.

It’s also driven by a change in the way that we live. These major rises have occurred over a pretty short period of time and there hasn’t been a sudden change in our genes; nor has there been a huge failure of personal responsibility or of will.

And we know in some countries where they’re not doing nearly as badly, you know, Japan, Spain, France, parts of northern Europe, you know, they seem to have sort of healthier food environments than we do in Australia. Ours is much more like the US with saturation advertising.

And we unfortunately in Australia suffer from the fact that the kings of Australian sport, whether they’re in AFL or cricket or NRL, they are basically ambassadors of junk food and junk drinks.

EMILY BOURKE: Health experts are calling for a return to the waistlines of 1980 to prevent unsustainable health consequences.

Jane Martin from the Obesity Policy Coalition says the report is further evidence that Australia needs a national anti-obesity strategy.

JANE MARTIN : It’s the same sort of approach that we used very, very successful in tobacco control and Australia’s a real leader.

And what that’s about is looking at how do you increase the price of unhealthy foods; reduce the price of healthy foods – that’s why we are so concerned about the potential for a GST to go across healthy foods; keep looking at advertising and marketing of foods and in particular protecting children.

It’s around looking at policies around food that is supplied by institutions that are funded by government. It’s looking at encouraging smaller serving sizes; having social marketing campaigns that give education to people and help put it on, you know, the individual’s agenda in an environment where it pushes people to make healthier choices and be more active. You know, there’s a lot of things that can be done.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Jane Martin from the Obesity Policy Coalition. Emily Bourke with that report.

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US Obesity Continues To Grow As A National Epidemic

Obesity is more than an aesthetic problem or an issue of a few extra pounds here or there. Obesity is an American epidemic that shows no signs of fading away; in fact, the situation continues to worsen. Soon, obesity will pass tobacco as the leading cause of preventable deaths in this country.

“Overweight and obesity may soon cause as much preventable disease and death as cigarette smoking,” said David Satcher, the U.S. Surgeon General. “People tend to think of overweight and obesity as strictly a personal matter, but there is much that communities can and should do to address these problems.”

Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) level of greater than 30. (For more information on BMI and how to calculate yours, refer to the U.S. Surgeon General’s web site cited below.) Incredibly, an estimated 300,000 U.S. deaths each year are associated in some way with obesity and overweight. Cost-wise, the price is steep as well: the total direct and indirect costs attributed to overweight and obesity were $117 billion last year (2000).

There is no shortage of good reasons that overweight and obesity are referred to in medical circles as epidemics. In all reality, if these serious health issues are not addressed as such, they “could wipe out some of the gains we’ve made in areas such as heart disease, several forms of cancer, and other chronic health problems,” said Surgeon General Satcher.

Going forward, there are a number of initiatives and calls to action that the government, the medical establishment and scores of fitness, wellness and good-health proponents are suggesting and promoting. One is the changing of the perception that obesity is about body image and personal appearance. Obesity is about health, and can be, in its most serious form, a matter of life and death. It’s much more than looking good in a bathing suit or in your favorite pair of jeans. Another widespread notion that needs to be revised is the idea that losing weight, getting in shape and changing habits is an “all or nothing proposition.”

There are also a number of movements that aim to nip the epidemic in the bud at the early childhood and adolescent levels. It’s well known that obese children grow up to be obese adults (about 70% of them). It is never too early to encourage physical activity and good eating habits to the younger generation. Playing outside on the playground is preferable to sitting on the couch in front of the TV any day.

The message out there is clear: Any effort is better than none at all, and it is not difficult to see results from even a minor positive change in routine or habit. Weight loss can result in lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, better cholesterol levels and lessened joint and back pain.

And as the US Surgeon General himself put it, “Every pound counts.”

Some more facts at a glance :

•  Since 1980, obesity among adults has doubled. Among adolescents the number has tripled.

•  Less than one-third of Americans meet the standards (set by the federal government) for exercising at least 30 minutes per day for five days per week.

•  Even being 10 to 20 pounds overweight increases the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and even premature death.

•  Skipping one 12-ounce soft drink or briskly walking 30 minutes most of the days of the week can, in a year’s time, help an individual lose 10 pounds.

(Sources: msnbc.com, http://www.surgeongeneral.gov)

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US obesity epidemic propels fitness as career

September 10, 2012

The US obesity epidemic is pushing more Americans to pay attention to their health and leading a healthier lifestyle. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Sept 10 — As the American waistline continues its spread, fitness is shaping up as one of the hottest careers of this tepid economic recovery.Employment of fitness trainers and instructors is expected to grow by a brisk 24 per cent in the decade to 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, as businesses, health professionals and insurance companies take sharper aim at the sedentary lifestyle.

“The obesity epidemic has produced a lot of noise and talk and chatter,” said Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise (ACE), which has certified more than 50,000 fitness professionals.

“Helping individuals be more active is important and fitness professionals can be at the centre of that,” he said.

Obesity rates have skyrocketed in the last 20 years. More than one third of adults in the United States are obese, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bryant said the health crisis is strongly linked to the lifestyle choices that fitness professionals, such as personal trainers and group fitness instructors, address.

Despite the shaky economy, health club membership is up more than 10 per cent over the past three years, according to IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association.

Exercise physiologist and ACE spokesperson Jessica Matthews said workplace wellness campaigns also increase demand for fitness professionals.

Bryan said the average salary for a certified personal trainer is about US$53,000 (RM164,000) and rising. A high school diploma is sufficient to begin a career in fitness, he added, although more than two-thirds of professionals have college degrees.

Matthews said the industry attracts career changers driven by the downturn to reinvent their working selves.

“In the last few years people have been coming from all different industries,” said Matthews, who has worked in fitness for 12 years.

While you don’t need college to enter the field, she said, continuing education is a must to remain in it.

“It’s accessible, but it involves a great commitment,” she explained. “There’s the preparation and study for the exam, and then the requirement of continuing education to stay current.”

Bryant said the individual must re-certify every two years.

Matthews, who is qualified in group fitness, personal training and yoga, said the most successful trainers are the constant learners.

The obesity epidemic is the United States is also a contributing factor.

“There’s a huge push from the weight standpoint,” she said. “Most people come to fitness professionals with weight goals.”

Bryant said the profession is about more than aesthetics: it’s about making a connection with the client.

“It’s called personal training for a reason,” Matthews explained. “You’re an educator, a motivator, someone who holds them (clients) accountable. You coach individuals. At the end of the day it’s customer service.”

Husband-and-wife team Phil and Michelle Dozoirs opened their mom-and-pop gym, BreakthruFitness, in Pasadena, California, just as the economy was tipping into free fall.

“We opened in 2009, pretty much when the economy fell apart, said Phil Dozoirs. “We had both been working in gyms for 15 years, me as trainer, my wife as group exercise instructor.”

The Dozoirs envisioned and created a club where people buy only what they need.

Dozoirs said his programs range from eight-week weight loss to total conditioning.

“People will pay more money for it if there’s a start-finish,” he said. “For us it’s been really successful financially.”

When he hires a new fitness professional, Dozoirs said he looks for a person with a pleasing personality who is open to learning.

“They don’t have to be fit, as long as they’re on the path to fitness. I believe they should walk the walk,” he said. — Reuters

Source: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/features/article/us-obesity-epidemic-propels-fitness-as-career

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Lose Weight by Having Sex

548696_316948965081213_50077868_nSex is a great green way to lose weight. In fact, the average sex session burns 150 to 250 calories per half hour—depending on how athletic your sex tends to be. Dr. Laura Berman, PhD, LCSW, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics-gynecology and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University in Chicago, and director of the Berman Center has said that sex is definitely a good workout—even if you aren’t extremely acrobatic, as sex naturally gets your heart rate up, which in turn improves circulation and burns calories and fat. By practicing positions other than just missionary, you are also engaging different muscle groups, so it can be both a cardio and toning exercise. The best thing about it (well maybe not the best, but?) is that it’s green. There is absolutely no energy or equipment necessary—except your own.

Source: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/weight-loss/green-ways-lose-weight1.htm

See also: http://www.inspire.com/denismccarthy/

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US obesity epidemic propels fitness as career

September 10, 2012

The US obesity epidemic is pushing more Americans to pay attention to their health and leading a healthier lifestyle. — Reuters pic
NEW YORK, Sept 10 — As the American waistline continues its spread, fitness is shaping up as one of the hottest careers of this tepid economic recovery.

Employment of fitness trainers and instructors is expected to grow by a brisk 24 per cent in the decade to 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, as businesses, health professionals and insurance companies take sharper aim at the sedentary lifestyle.

“The obesity epidemic has produced a lot of noise and talk and chatter,” said Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise (ACE), which has certified more than 50,000 fitness professionals.

“Helping individuals be more active is important and fitness professionals can be at the centre of that,” he said.

Obesity rates have skyrocketed in the last 20 years. More than one third of adults in the United States are obese, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bryant said the health crisis is strongly linked to the lifestyle choices that fitness professionals, such as personal trainers and group fitness instructors, address.

Despite the shaky economy, health club membership is up more than 10 per cent over the past three years, according to IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association.

Exercise physiologist and ACE spokesperson Jessica Matthews said workplace wellness campaigns also increase demand for fitness professionals.

Bryan said the average salary for a certified personal trainer is about US$53,000 (RM164,000) and rising. A high school diploma is sufficient to begin a career in fitness, he added, although more than two-thirds of professionals have college degrees.

Matthews said the industry attracts career changers driven by the downturn to reinvent their working selves.

“In the last few years people have been coming from all different industries,” said Matthews, who has worked in fitness for 12 years.

While you don’t need college to enter the field, she said, continuing education is a must to remain in it.

“It’s accessible, but it involves a great commitment,” she explained. “There’s the preparation and study for the exam, and then the requirement of continuing education to stay current.”

Bryant said the individual must re-certify every two years.

Matthews, who is qualified in group fitness, personal training and yoga, said the most successful trainers are the constant learners.

The obesity epidemic is the United States is also a contributing factor.

“There’s a huge push from the weight standpoint,” she said. “Most people come to fitness professionals with weight goals.”

Bryant said the profession is about more than aesthetics: it’s about making a connection with the client.

“It’s called personal training for a reason,” Matthews explained. “You’re an educator, a motivator, someone who holds them (clients) accountable. You coach individuals. At the end of the day it’s customer service.”

Husband-and-wife team Phil and Michelle Dozoirs opened their mom-and-pop gym, BreakthruFitness, in Pasadena, California, just as the economy was tipping into free fall.

“We opened in 2009, pretty much when the economy fell apart, said Phil Dozoirs. “We had both been working in gyms for 15 years, me as trainer, my wife as group exercise instructor.”

The Dozoirs envisioned and created a club where people buy only what they need.

Dozoirs said his programs range from eight-week weight loss to total conditioning.

“People will pay more money for it if there’s a start-finish,” he said. “For us it’s been really successful financially.”

When he hires a new fitness professional, Dozoirs said he looks for a person with a pleasing personality who is open to learning.

“They don’t have to be fit, as long as they’re on the path to fitness. I believe they should walk the walk,” he said. — Reuters

Source: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/features/article/us-obesity-epidemic-propels-fitness-as-career

Posted in 1 Canada, Fat Loss, Fitness Industry, Obesity, Obesity Prevalence, Overweight Adults, Overwieight Children & Teens, Personal Trainer, Personal Training, Weight Loss, Weight Management | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Obesity Reduces Cognition

22 March 2012 Last updated at 00:58 GMT
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17465404

Obesity harms ‘later brain skill’

Overweight man

Being overweight in later life puts you at higher risk of brain decline, Korean research suggests.

A study of 250 people aged between 60 and 70 found those with a high body mass index (BMI) and big waists scored more poorly in cognitive tests.

The Alzheimer’s Society said the research, in the journal Age and Ageing, added to evidence that excess body fat can affect brain function.

Lifestyle changes can help make a difference, it said.

The study looked at the relationship between fat levels and cognitive performance in adults aged 60 or over.

The participants underwent BMI – a calculation based on a ratio of weight to height – and waist circumference measurements, a scan of fat stored in the abdomen and a mental test.

Both a high BMI and high levels of abdominal fat were linked with poor cognitive performance in adults aged between 60 and 70.

In individuals aged 70 and older, high BMI, waist circumference and abdominal body fat were not associated with low cognitive performance.

The lead author of the study, Dae Hyun Yoon, said: “Our findings have important public health implications. The prevention of obesity, particularly central obesity, might be important for the prevention of cognitive decline or dementia.”

A spokesperson from the UK Alzheimer’s Society said: “We have all heard how a high BMI is bad for our heart but this research suggests it could also be bad for the head.

“Although we don’t know whether the people in this study went on to develop dementia, these findings add to the evidence that excess body fat could impact on brain function.

“One in three people over 65 will die with dementia but there are things people can do to reduce their risk.

“Eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and getting your blood pressure and cholesterol checked can all make a difference.”

Posted in 44 United Kingdom, Cognition, Cognitive Dietary Restraint, Cognitive Psychology, Health Consequences, Obese Adults, Obesity, Social Cost | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seven Tips to Getting in Shape

Posted: December 30, 2010 in Mountainside Fitness
http://mountainsidefitness.wordpress.com/
Tags: exercise, mountainside fitness

Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that we all learn through trial and error. Here are a few to share of those lesser known tips.

1)  Exercise Daily

What’s easier, exercising three times a week or seven? It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, start by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off or a month off. If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four days to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a habit you don’t do every day.
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2)  Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

Exercise for periods longer than sixty to ninety minutes can change the chemical state in the body which destroys muscle and causes fat content to rise.

3)  You Have a Set Point, Acknowledge It

Drugged up by no-limits, self-help philosophy, many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where there body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle. Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results. When you expect a plateau you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality you can avoid dietary crashes.

4)  Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether your getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice seems to be:

Eat unprocessed
Eat more veggies
Use meat as a side dish, not a main course

5)  Watch Out for Travel

Don’t let a four day holiday interfere with your attempts to get in shape. This doesn’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first thirty to sixty days, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

6)  Starting Slow is Better than Fast

Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on. Take your time, you have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

If you are starting running, run less than you can to start. Lifting weights? Work with less weight than you could use. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when you are familiar with regular exercise.

7)  People Can Lift OR Anchor

Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can be great motivational boosts and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals. My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improvements. In this case it is important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

Most often guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. You will find that you will be able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

With the new year just around the corner, there is no better time than now to get a jump start on that resolution.

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