Articles on Obesity epidemic

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Our changing food environment has undermined our capacity to be responsible in the first place. Shutterstock

Fat nation: why so many Australians are obese and how to fix it

In 1980 just 10% of Australian adults were obese; by 2012 this figure had risen to 25%, among the highest in the world. The food industry lobby and their friends in government would have us believe this…
Trans fats are used in highly-processed foods such as biscuits, pastries, and fast food. Flickr/crimfants

US set to restrict trans fats, but should Australia follow?

The increased supply and marketing of processed food high in fat, sugar and salt are recognised as the major drivers of obesity and diet-related diseases globally. As part of efforts to improve the healthiness…
Prioritising physical activity and healthy eating is having a positive impact on childhood obesity in the United States. Korean Resource Center/Flickr

Lessons for Australia from US reversal of childhood obesity

Childhood obesity prevalence is alarmingly high in many developed countries; in Australia, one in four children is overweight or obese, while in the United States, it’s one in three. But recent American…
There’s no need to temper our efforts to address the obesity epidemic just yet. Image from shutterstock.com

Monday’s medical myth: overweight people live longer

We’ve long known that too much excess weight increases your likelihood of dying prematurely. Or does it? A large review of the evidence published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA…
There’s support for a causal role of carbohydrate-rich diets in the obesity epidemic but such diets also tend to be rich in calories. Felix Cohen

Have we got the science on why we’re getting fatter wrong?

An article published recently in the BMJ argues that we have been pursuing the wrong hypothesis on the causes of obesity. Along with substandard science, this wrongheadedness has apparently exacerbated…
Media stories tend to use the image of a headless fatty as a stand-in for all fat people. Stocky Bodies

Media’s faceless fatties fuel society’s growing sizeism

Stories on street harassment are popping up across the fat-o-sphere. Popular bloggers such as the Fat Heffalump are sharing their stories; and Adipositivity Project founder Substantia Jones has created…
Many proposed measures for curbing obesity around the work are aimed at restricting the intake sugar from soft drinks. Robert Huffstutter

Another day, another anti-obesity campaign, but will this one work?

Merely two months into the new year and we have already seen a plethora of local and international efforts aimed at curbing what appears to be the inexorable rise of obesity. Some of these initiatives…
Christmas is a time of plenty - but to ensure we keep eating well in the future, it’s time to rethink the way we buy and produce food. Barbeque image from www.shutterstock.com

Eat, think, and be merry

As we gather to share a meal with friends and family this festive season, it is the ideal time to reflect on our relationship with food, including our dependence on those who grow it for us. Australians…
We are surrounded by energy-dense foods that result in a positive energy balance. lordwikket/Flickr

The obesity epidemic – too much food for thought?

The policies and public health strategies that we have implemented are proving inadequate for controlling the global epidemic of obesity. An effective approach may be for governments to implement radical…
The move to end the tax appears to be a political one. Sam Howzit

Denmark scraps fat tax in another Big Food victory

Denmark has scrapped the world’s first “fat tax”, which was charged on foods high in saturated fats, after just one year. Plans to introduce a tax on sugar have also been abandoned. In making the announcement…
Sugary drinks are one culprit leading to children consuming too much sugar. Graham Reznick

Study reveals Australian children overdosing on sugar

More than half of young Australians are consuming too much sugar, according to a new study from researchers at the University…
Teaching children the importance of healthy eating has never been more important. AAP

Health risks for obese children may be worse than anticipated

A growing body of evidence suggests being obese as a child or adolescent may have a larger effect on future health than previously…
Political responses to obesity have been more about creating a spectacle of “doing something” than solving the problem. Bruce A Stockwell

Why we’re losing the battle of the bulge: the politics of obesity prevention

There’s no doubt that obesity has received considerable political attention over the past decade. But data recently released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows Australians are losing…
New York City’s health board is cracking down on sugary soft drinks, but Australian health experts say more is required to address the obesity epidemic. AAP

Plain packaging for junk food? Health experts call for govt intervention

Australia should consider a healthy food rebate, tax on sugary drinks, and regulated portion sizes argue health experts…
The combination of more access and busier lifestyles has likely contributed to increasing consumption of fast food. Ben Weston

Fast food v councils: the battle for hearts, minds and bellies

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has just finished hearing submissions in a case against McDonald’s opening an outlet in the town of Tecoma. The case is part of a growing trend of…
The main sources of fructose in the typical western diet are processed foods and beverages. Boris/Flickr

What role does fructose have in weight gain?

Sucrose or sugar has two components – glucose and fructose. Glucose is present in virtually all naturally-occurring sweet foods and also exists as starch (although in a different chemical form, so it doesn’t…

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