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Obesity epidemic puts Aussies above Americans

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Re: Obesity epidemic puts Aussies above Americans

Postby MelbGirl08 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:20 pm

electrongirl wrote:I'd love to go for a walk on my lunch break but I only get 30 minutes and no other break so I have to either go and get my lunch then eat it, or heat it up and then eat it which doesn't leave much time to go for a walk.

Also I work in retail and I dont think my boss would appreciate a sweaty sales person serving his customers!!


I completely understand where you're coming from.

I would say I'm lucky that I work in an office - I also get 30 min lunch break, but I eat at my desk and then go for a walk for about 20 min.

Sometimes its simply not possible to fit in exercise during work hours unless its incidental, eg taking the stairs, walking to the bank, etc.
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Re: Obesity epidemic puts Aussies above Americans

Postby EvilWombatQueen » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:32 pm

loveat116 wrote:I do not like it when I am critisised for my age yet I have had to deal with things that people don't deal with in a lifetime.


Sorry you felt criticised, Ella. I think any hostility to your comment comes from the fact us oldies feel a bit criticised when we're told it's easy to get up an hour earlier to fit in that extra exercise. I really do think you have some good points to make. Just because you're young doesn't mean you have unlimited time for exercise. It still takes effort and you should be commended for doing it. And youth doesn't make you incapable of understanding what older people go through. However, you also have a lot more energy when you're younger, and I say that as a 34 year old who can remember how very different my body felt at 22 :lol: ! When you add long working hours to family responsibilities and couple that with a natural tendency to be less active it becomes a bit more difficult as you age to fit that exercise in.

I think you're rigth that there are ways to fit more exercise in, and many people (though not all) could fit an extra hour of dedicated exercise into their day as you suggested. Perhaps the problem is just that most of us aren't that organised! Honestly I could fit in all my uni work, my paid work, cooking three healthy balanced meals, an hour exercise AND all the housework into my day provided I wrote up an iron-clad schedule for every waking hour and allowed no time for relaxation. I'm just not that organised in all aspects of my life and I know very few people who are! I'd probably go bonkers if I tried it. Maybe we first need to teach people time management skills then start lecturing them about exercise. :lol:
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Re: Obesity epidemic puts Aussies above Americans

Postby loveat116 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:29 pm

EvilWombatQueen wrote:
loveat116 wrote:I do not like it when I am critisised for my age yet I have had to deal with things that people don't deal with in a lifetime.


Sorry you felt criticised, Ella. I think any hostility to your comment comes from the fact us oldies feel a bit criticised when we're told it's easy to get up an hour earlier to fit in that extra exercise. I really do think you have some good points to make. Just because you're young doesn't mean you have unlimited time for exercise. It still takes effort and you should be commended for doing it. And youth doesn't make you incapable of understanding what older people go through. However, you also have a lot more energy when you're younger, and I say that as a 34 year old who can remember how very different my body felt at 22 :lol: ! When you add long working hours to family responsibilities and couple that with a natural tendency to be less active it becomes a bit more difficult as you age to fit that exercise in.

I think you're rigth that there are ways to fit more exercise in, and many people (though not all) could fit an extra hour of dedicated exercise into their day as you suggested. Perhaps the problem is just that most of us aren't that organised! Honestly I could fit in all my uni work, my paid work, cooking three healthy balanced meals, an hour exercise AND all the housework into my day provided I wrote up an iron-clad schedule for every waking hour and allowed no time for relaxation. I'm just not that organised in all aspects of my life and I know very few people who are! I'd probably go bonkers if I tried it. Maybe we first need to teach people time management skills then start lecturing them about exercise. :lol:


I completly understand that some people can't get up an hour earlier and do exercise!
But some people CAN, thats what my post meant. And just say you can't do it before work, im sure there is 30 minutes you could squeeze in another part of the day.
A lot of people don't have time, I understand that, but you don't have to exercise every day, 3-5 days a week is plenty! So people could do it on the weekends. Or you can take up a sport at night like hockey or tennis.
If you feel like your neighbourhood is not safe in the mornings you could get a walking group together or a running group, or take a fierce pooch with you!

I dunno... I always think creativly I guess, and im always thinking positivly. A lot of the time I don't have the time to exercise but incidental exercise is great too. Every 15 minutes I get up and do something, i purposly print to the printer furthurst away, I go talk to people in the office instead of calling them.

censored! That's great exercise.

My point was there is SO MUCH stuff you can do to get moving, it doesn't HAVE to be a run in the morning, just as long as its something that gets you active.
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Re: Obesity epidemic puts Aussies above Americans

Postby electrongirl » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:43 pm

I'm not trying to be a censored here but you are very young and I am sure you don't have to worry about things such as increasing rent/mortgages, bills, debt, costs of raising children, increasing food costs, increasing petrol etc. So I am sure you don't have to worry about working overtime or a second job to avoid having your car or house taken away from you.

Young people are the ones who are going to lose with rising house prices, rising petrol prices etc.
I am going to have to face those costs eventually! and when I do it will be 3 times as hard as it was for my parents, even though I am not dealing with it now I will be.

I get paid 50% less than everyone else because I am 19, even though I do the same amount of work as my older counterparts, I get paid LESS because of my age. Because of this I DO have to work a second job, so I can pay for my ever increasing medical bills, my crazy rent (hobart is one of the highest in the country), petrol.
But I make do with what I have.
Im not going to let that affect my health and wellbeing.

I do not like it when I am critisised for my age yet I have had to deal with things that people don't deal with in a lifetime.


I'm sorry if you felt like I was critising you for your age, however I felt like I was being critised by your post saying that you found it hard to believe that Australians are over worked.You really can't speak for everyone in these situations.

Also I don't earn a whole heap either, I work in retail so am on pretty low wages and I am 32. So not just young people like yourself get paid low wages.
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Re: Obesity epidemic puts Aussies above Americans

Postby loveat116 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:31 pm

electrongirl wrote:
I'm not trying to be a censored here but you are very young and I am sure you don't have to worry about things such as increasing rent/mortgages, bills, debt, costs of raising children, increasing food costs, increasing petrol etc. So I am sure you don't have to worry about working overtime or a second job to avoid having your car or house taken away from you.

Young people are the ones who are going to lose with rising house prices, rising petrol prices etc.
I am going to have to face those costs eventually! and when I do it will be 3 times as hard as it was for my parents, even though I am not dealing with it now I will be.

I get paid 50% less than everyone else because I am 19, even though I do the same amount of work as my older counterparts, I get paid LESS because of my age. Because of this I DO have to work a second job, so I can pay for my ever increasing medical bills, my crazy rent (hobart is one of the highest in the country), petrol.
But I make do with what I have.
Im not going to let that affect my health and wellbeing.

I do not like it when I am critisised for my age yet I have had to deal with things that people don't deal with in a lifetime.


I'm sorry if you felt like I was critising you for your age, however I felt like I was being critised by your post saying that you found it hard to believe that Australians are over worked.You really can't speak for everyone in these situations.

Also I don't earn a whole heap either, I work in retail so am on pretty low wages and I am 32. So not just young people like yourself get paid low wages.


I just found it hard to believe! I wasn't criticising you at all. I know I read somewhere that the travel market in Australia was booming, and that Australians take the most holidays in the entire world. - Thats why I thought it was weird that we don't take our annual leave.

Also, I was drawing from my personal experiences I guess. I've had a friend who has come from London, and he can't believe that no one here stays back later after work and don't have to work on weekends - im talking about office environments. Maybe its different in other places in Australia? The only places i can really speak for are kinda laid back places in Australia such as Hobart, Gold Coast, Brisbane. When I was in Manly on work experience at a financial planning firm everyone knocked off at 5pm on a friday and went and had beers at the pub!

Sorry if I attacked you, everyone just picks on young people saying they don't have the hardships that older adults do, and I just don't think thats fair.
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Re: Obesity epidemic puts Aussies above Americans

Postby electrongirl » Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:39 pm

I'm sorry if it sounded like I was attacking you! I just kind of go on the defensive when it comes to money & working cause we are doing it so tough right now!!

I was actually saying to my hubby the other day about house prices that I don't know how the younger generation are going to cope with it, lets just hope the house market crashes soon!! In the USA homes are worth less than alot of the mortgages owing on them (ours included sadly)

I find too in the offices I have worked in not many people tend to work back, but where I work now and where my hubby works there is always overtime. I wish I wasn't on damn salary so I actually got paid for it!!
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Re: Obesity epidemic puts Aussies above Americans

Postby electrongirl » Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:47 pm

Just another thing I just thought of aswell to do with the travelling. I find from friends & workmates etc that most aussies tend to travel when they are younger. I think older people with kids etc don't tend to travel as much. But this is just from the people around me and work etc.
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Re: Obesity epidemic puts Aussies above Americans

Postby milkyway » Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:04 pm

Warning: rant ahead :twisted: and it's not aimed at anyone in particular on this forum - it's more of a general observation and it's not my intention to upset anyone. But...

I am sooo over hearing people blame the government for everything! When will people start taking responsibility for their own choices in life? Be it the effect of interest rate and petrol prices or the rising obesity rates.

Yes, there is increasing obesity in Australia, but it's not the government putting the wrong foods or wrong amount of food in people's mouths or stopping them from exercising. Not one person has ever joined this forum and said "Hi, I'm new here and I'm overweight because the government made me this way" yet when a limited report such as this (14000 people surveyed) is realised, people are all over it and only too quick to point the blame at the government. And we all know what a crock BMI is for a measurement!

I like EWQs thinking in terms of taxing fast/junk food and feeding that income back into the healthcare system. Imagine if we could obesity clinics funded by the government that provide proper counselling, education and other support services that aim to tackle the root of the problem and not the symptoms. Subsidised gym memberships - now that's a laughable suggestion. We already have local funded gyms - It's called a YMCA!!!

There's no doubt the government have to do something because in the long term because the medical side-effects of obesity is going to cripple our health care system, just the same as how smoking and alcohol and other drug abuse causes such a drain on the healthcare system. And rather than punishing people for being overweight, what about rewarding those that aren't? For example, higher private health care rebate, lower Medicare levy, that kind of thing.

Ultimately - we make our own choices and set our own priorities but people are too quick to look elsewhere to lay the blame/find a reason to do (or not do) something. I'm thinking along the same line as Ella - people need to get creative and think a bit outside the square when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle.
Just keep moving! And don't be lazy...
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Re: Obesity epidemic puts Aussies above Americans

Postby EvilWombatQueen » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:49 pm

LOL. Warning: big long counter-rant ahead! :lol:

True, but in the immortal words of Dr Phil people only know what they know. If you've been raised on huge food portions and you gradually start gaining weight in your 30s how are you going to know that it's the portions of food that are letting you down when they never gave you a problem before? The media has this stereotype that all overweight people are happily shovelling fast food down their gobs while glued in front of the telly. Most overweight people I know do not fit that stereotype (hell I was a friggin' vegan who walked everywhere!). In many cases it's a combination of small mistakes that have added up over the years that have contributed to their weight problem and, yes, many of those small mistakes are supported and endorsed by society.

Food portions have grown so much over the years that most people would be amazed at how small a recommended serving of meat or potatoes really is. No-one is going to psychically know how much rice they should eat with each meal before gaining weight. After all we're raised to think that it's only fast food and lollies that will make you fat. No-one looks up portion sizes until someone else tells them that portion sizes - even of healthy food - contribute to weight gain. Expecting people to take responsibility when they don't know what they're doing is wrong is really a case of blaming the victim. We've all managed to gain weight on this forum and most of us didn't realise what was causing it until we were better educated. In that way I think it's correct to blame society. As you said, San, there needs to be more education out there. And who is going to do the educating if not the government? If people aren't being told how to lose weight, if they're being subjected to advertising that portrays unhealthy food as being healthy (children's cereals or maccas salads anyone?), then it's rather unfair to put the bulk of the blame on the shoulders of people who honestly didn't know better.

We live further from our workplaces than ever before, which is why people choose to drive instead of walk. We have less time to cook, so people choose take-away over cooking their own food. It's easier to get crap food than healthy food. Society has been changed over the last fifty years to support obesity and make it as difficult as possible to get extra exercise or healthy food. Should we just blame the individual for that, or should we also blame society?

Should people take some responsibility for their weight? Hell yes! But we also need to accept that there is something very wrong with our society when in the course of 20 years the obesity rate has jumped so dramatically. It's not like an entire generation suddenly took leave of its senses, or is genetically more stupid than generations gone by, after all. There's a reason why so many people got so fat all at once and it's largely because our society is designed in a way that encourages obesity.

'Blaming' society for what's going on isn't about taking responsibility away from the individual. It's about looking to the causes of this epidemic and trying to find a solution. If the way we're running our community is contributing towards obesity then it's for the good of society that we should look at fixing those issues to prevent this problem from getting worse.

San, you're right that in the end people make the choice as to what to do. But we need to equip people with the knowledge and the tools to actually do something about it. And that takes a village, not just an individual. Currently our society is sorely letting people down. As well as government funded weight clinics, as you suggested, why not go further and follow the Japanese model of daily exercise classes for all company employees? If it's structured as a part of the working day, people were being paid to do it and it was a way to get out of work I'd reckon people would be very keen about a half hour of aerobics every day funded by the company dollar! :lol:
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Re: Obesity epidemic puts Aussies above Americans

Postby EvilWombatQueen » Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:09 am

I just re-read my rant and it comes over as more harsh and judgemental than just ranty. Sorry about that!

To summarise: I think individuals need to take some reponsibility, but I think society needs to take reponsibility for making those individuals the way they are. We need to fix both lots at once otherwise the problem will perpetuate itself.

There you go. Now no-one has to read that enormous manifesto I wrote in the previous post. Sometimes engineering things for convenience is a good thing! :lol:
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Re: Obesity epidemic puts Aussies above Americans

Postby electrongirl » Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:22 am

I hope I didn't come across as blaming my situation on the "Government" because I don't at all.

I do blame my financial situation on them a little bit though. The fact that I can hardly afford my rent and my ex doesn't pay the correct amount of child support etc. Also the huge cost of my husband to immigrate here etc etc.

I however do not blame anyone other than myself for my weight gain. Though having severe depression I sometimes don't have alot of control over my mind so I can't even blame myself some of the time.

I was merely stating that some people are in situations that make it very hard to exercise or afford healthy food etc.
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Re: Obesity epidemic puts Aussies above Americans

Postby Strawberry » Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:31 am

EvilWombatQueen wrote: why not go further and follow the Japanese model of daily exercise classes for all company employees? If it's structured as a part of the working day, people were being paid to do it and it was a way to get out of work I'd reckon people would be very keen about a half hour of aerobics every day funded by the company dollar! :lol:


LOL like in the Simpsons, in one episode Mr Burns gets his employees to exercise and Homer tries everything to avoid it, he's solution gain more weight.

EvilWombatQueen and Milkyway have raised good points. It does come down to ourselves to monitor how much we eat, I'm also one of those people who eat healthily 98% of the time and my problem has been portion sizing. Yesterday I found out the correct portion size and surprise surprise I was overeating.
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