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Obesity epidemic

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Newly arrived refugees face many obstacles to making healthy food choices. Lucian/Flickr

Resettled refugees adopt Australia’s bad food habits

Refugees settling in Australia constantly face new challenges. They have to re-adjust to new income levels, cultural practices and language. They also face a new food environment, where many traditional…
Takes time and effort. maradonna 8888

Why losing weight is hard – but not impossible

Seeing pictures of preened celebrities, or even slimmer friends, makes many wish that their arms were that little bit thinner or abs more tightly toned. Most of us have an existing desire to be a normal…
Australia tops the world for physical activity-friendly built environments but ranks second last for levels of children’s activity. drpavlof/Flickr

Australia vying to be world champion of inactivity

If we could go back 100 years in a time machine, what would kids be like? They’d be shorter, leaner, probably dirtier and less well-fed — but would they be fitter? It turns out we actually have a beautiful…
Big Food in Australia is not the same as the industry in the United States, where much of the popular media has come from. Steven Caddy/Flickr

Big Food with a regional flavour: how Australia’s food lobby works

Criticism of the food industry has itself become a niche industry. But the tendency to embrace a US-centric conception of how the industry works risks masking local variants and inhibiting a targeted response…
Most Australians already fail to meet the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables. Strikkelise/Flickr

Adding GST to fresh food is a recipe for poor health

Recent calls by Australian government ministers and senior officials to broaden the goods and services tax (GST) base to include fresh fruit and vegetables would make the population’s diet go from bad…
A small proportion of overweight and obese people are metabolically healthy but that doesn’t mean we should become complacent about aiming for a healthy weight. Isaac Brown/Stocky Bodies

Fat and fit? There’s no such thing for most people

The idea that people can be healthy at any weight has gained credence in recent years, despite widespread evidence that obesity creates health risks. While the idea is attractive, it’s also dangerous because…
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…
Overweight pets have become collateral casualties in the ongoing war against human obesity. MrTGT/Flickr

It’s a dog’s life when man’s best friend becomes his fattest

A study published this morning in Nature offers further insight into how dogs became domesticated. The comparative analysis of human, canine and wolf genomes suggests that humans and dogs have evolved…
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…

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