Dave talks with Dr Mei Ling Doery about obesity as its is revealed In Australia, 63% of adults and 27% of children are above a healthy weight. Globally, one in five deaths is associated with poor diet. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of serious health problems such as 13 cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Why obesity isn’t just a matter of personal responsibility 
  • Messages from governments and the food industry target obesity as a matter of personal responsibility – just eat less and eat good food
  • However SugarByHalf believes that it’s not just a matter of responsibility when the cheapest, most accessible and most convenient food choices are ones high in sugar
    • Four in five items in groceries stores contain hidden sugars
    • We have greater access to fast food than to healthy food with the rising number of food deserts around Australia
    • The food industry spends millions each year pushing foods that are unhealthy via advertising
  • Childhood obesity is a serious and growing issue – we need to address this for the sake of our children
 
Why it’s time to stand up against unethical junk food advertisers
  • In one year, the average Australian child sees 35 hours of food advertising on television – over half is for unhealthy foods
  • This doesn’t include junk food exposure at check outs, outdoor advertising, sport sponsorships, offers at petrol stations and local school and sport canteens
  • All of this exposure influences our children, who are becoming increasingly overweight
  • People most likely to exceed the WHO recommendation of 6 teaspoons of sugar a day are children and young people aged 9-18 years old. Australian teen boys on average consume 22 teaspoons of sugar a day
  • Regulation of junk food marketing in Australia is voluntary and this has to change
Am I really obese? 
  • Two thirds of Aussies are currently obese or overweight – is this changing our frame of reference of what a healthy body looks like? It’s hard to think that you’re overweight when the majority of people are
  • What exactly is obese? How is obesity measured and have standards changed over the years?
  • How does constant advertising and marketing from sugar-heavy brands affect our food choices, especially when we’re stressed or stuck for time? How does it affect our frame of reference when it comes to a balanced and healthy diet?
What do 12.2 million overweight and obese Australians look like?
  • Obesity is quickly becoming one of the greatest health challenges facing Australia
  • There are currently 12.2 million Australians who are overweight or obese – imagine what that looks like
  • By 2025, it’s estimated that one third of Australian children will be overweight or obese
  • Consuming too much sugar is making the nation fatter, bringing with it the growing burden of chronic diseases such as type 2 dibaetes, cardiovascular, liver and kidney disease
  • The cost of obesity to the nation is project to be in excess of $87.5 billion over the next ten years if no action is taken
Myths about “healthy” food
  • With World Obesity Day approaching, it’s a good time to review our eating habits
  • Many of us believe that we’re eating a balanced and healthy diet however lots of the food we’re eating contains hidden sugars and aren’t healthy at all
  • Flavoured yoghurt, muesli, fruit juices, marinades and sauces are all high in sugar
  • What can you eat instead? What are some tasty and easy swaps?
 
What does the WHO recommendation of 6 teaspoons of sugar a day look like?
  • What would your daily meal plan look like if you followed the WHO recommendation of just six teaspoons of sugar a day?
  • How do you compare? And how easy is it to cut down your sugar consumption?

To find out more check out SugarByHalf. As the name suggests, ther goal is to halve the amount of added sugars that Australian consume.

Sugar by half  are one of the groups working with Deakin University’s Global Obesity Centre and the Obesity Policy Coalition on the Tipping The Scales action plan.