Research tells us the following:
- 63% of Australians are overweight or obese. For adult males the rate is over 70%.
- Australian teenagers are now being diagnosed with heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
(Yes, teenagers with dementia symptoms).
- Only 5% of people who start a diet are successful in losing weight, meaning 95% fail.
- 66% of dieters put on more weight than when they started the diet. Almost all of the extra weight is belly fat.
- Only 4% of Australian adults include the recommended serves of vegetables in their diets (i.e. 6 for men, 5 for women).
- The average Australian adult gets over 30% of their daily energy requirements from Discretionary foods. Discretionary foods are energy dense, contain little or no nutritional value or micronutrients and have no fibre. Think alcohol, junk food, take away, snack food, chocolates, cakes etc.
Maintaining or losing weight is not simply calories in versus calories expended. It is a complex relationship that includes the amount and types of food ingested, hormone levels, sleep, and exercise.
Obesity is threatening the lifestyle and lives of too many Australians. Statistics show the Hunter as having higher levels of obesity than the national averages. The research also tells us the best way to combating obesity is to have a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle. Eat well, exercise regularly (children every day, adults most days), sleep well (adults 7-9 hrs per night), avoid stress, stimulate the brain and socialize regularly.
For tips on how best to eat, check out the Australian Dietary Guidelines at www.eatforhealth.gov.au. Play with the nutrition
calculators to discover how much energy you need in a day and the amounts of the different food groups you should be eating.