Obesity – The Silent Epidemic

Reading time: 7 minutes

Let’s have a look at the stats.

Based on the last Australian Bureau of Statistics Health Survey in 2011-12 [1], the numbers below were recorded:

  • 63% of Autralian adults are obese or overweight (35% overweight, 28% obese).
  • Ranked 4th fattest country on the planet.
  • 25% of children aged 2-17 are obese or overweight (18% overweight, 7% obese).

Just have a quick think about those stats. To me, they are frightening and I am not afraid to admit that during my younger years I was not on the healthy side. Let’s go through the numbers and implications of obesity first before I go through a personal anecdote. The stats are pretty scary aren’t they? 2 in 3 people are overweight or obese, take a look around you, maybe its a friend, maybe its a family member, but I guarantee you as you walk through the streets almost everyone you see is overweight. It’s become a social norm to be overweight and thats an extremely scary thought.

Is sedentary behaviour and fast foods really taking over our lives? Are you allowing your health and your future to be controlled by big corporates and poor lifestyle choices? More and more kids are staying inside playing computer games. I don’t solely blame the parents for letting them stay inside and play games or eat junk food, I also blame our education system. I’m not that old, but just 10-15 years ago, we would go out and play in nature. I loved picking up sticks and stones and building forts, throwing mud at each other. It was great!! When I look at kids now, I really do feel ashamed. I work with kids between the ages of 8-12 and all they talk about is the new iphone or minecraft and already I can see some trends with the kids I work with. If they aren’t overweight, they’re malnourished. For all the parents out there, please please please I beg you to limit you child’s time with electronics. Take them outdoors if you have the chance and have them pick up a hobby. Here are some of my personal recommendations: sport, fishing, camping, scouts, kayaking, swimming, even track and field. Test the waters and see which one they like and have them dedicate some time into it! Trust me, they will thank you down the track (no pun intended).

Finally I know we as Aussies are proud. We love being number 1. But do we really want to claim the top spot as the fattest country on this beautiful planet? No thank you.

Oofft that was a fat chunk of text, take a quick break and look out the window, stare at some greenery for a couple of seconds and let’s continue onto the implications of being overweight and obese.

BMI. Do you know what that is? It stands for body mass index. It’s a tool that we commonly use to know if we are overweight or not. It puts our weight to the test to see if we fall in the healthy range. Now this isn’t the most accurate tool, but hey, it’s free!! And probably one of the most important tools I use to show clients their weight issues, with no sugar coating.

How do you calculate BMI? Use this formula or plug your height and weight into here:

BMI (1)

*Please note that your ethnicity changes your accepted BMI.

Now that you’ve calculated your BMI, write it down and set yourself a goal BMI. If you are in the overweight or above range and you are looking for a solution. Please send me a message through the contact form below and I will be more than happy to coach you and help you recover through my proven Metabolic Reset and Healthy Eating Plan.

So what are the implications of obesity?

People who are overweight or obese have higher rates of [2]:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes Type II
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • High cholesterol
  • Psychological problems
  • Reproductive problems

This is just a basic list of risks. Please follow a healthy lifestyle change and get your health back on track now! (I don’t like using the word diet, because honestly diets don’t work. Only lifestyle changes do). If you have a story to tell more or you are concerned for your own weight, please please please send me a message. Together, let’s stop the spread of obesity in its tracks and help Australia get back into a healthy weight range.

Wooow… that’s pretty scary isn’t it? All those stats, and all those diseases. If it’s honestly time to change, then you must muster the strength to do it. Sometimes you just have to say “Stuff it, it doesn’t matter what other people think. It’s all about me and what I must do to get back on track.” Now that you’ve read all the important bits, here’s my story.

At a young age, I loved sports and I loved being outdoors. Having grown up with hard working parents who owned 3 retail stores and went to two different markets over the weekend was tough. At the stores, I would go out and explore the streets and play in the park, in the markets, I would wonder the aisles and make friends with all the other market kids. This was great! I loved the interaction with people and I had so much fun being outside, mostly it was to escape doing homework… But as I got older, say the latter years of primary school, I was watching an episode of the Simpsons and I tried something that Homer did. Homer was squeezing his stomach and making a donut with the fat that was there… needless to say the next time I sat down I tried it and I had come to the sudden realisation that I looked like Homer. Never a moment before that did I think I was fat. From there I tried harder to lose weight, I played sport during recesses and lunches but nothing much had changed. As time flew past, it was suddenly time for highschool. Between the years of 7-10 I was bullied quite a fair bit for being bigger than the other kids, at one stage I was labelled as one of the top 5 fattest kids in school. I was being called names like “fatass”, “fatsh_t”, “fatty”, and the list goes on. I’m a pretty strong person mentally so those names really didn’t mean anything. I laughed it off on the outside but deep down inside something began to change. Slowly and slowly I began to not care about the people who called me names, I realised that ultimately it was me who controlled this image. In the final term of year 10, I picked up the gym and I picked up sprints training. I was probably the only kid that showed up to every single session of the year without fail -rain, hail or shine. I saw the weight fall off and I was growing taller, I think puberty had finally started to kick in. Start of year 11, we had an athletics carnival. I came out of no where and claimed golds and silvers in shotput, javelin, 100m sprint, 200m sprint and was even selected for the 4x100m relay. Suddenly I was alleviated from the nasty nicknames and people started asking me who I was and how I got to where I am. It felt awesome!! I continued to train hard, eventually making the state teams and winning regionals. I loved it. It drove me more, to a point that I trained 11 times a week.. That’s almost twice a day everyday. I had started off being around 160cm and 80kg+ to 178cm and 76kg 12% bodyfat in just around 2 years time. I loved it. It was this time that my passion really grew and fostered into the desire I have today to help other’s come to the realisation that they themselves are the key to change and that they do have the power to change it all. Till this day I continue to train hard, working towards my first powerlifting meet and ofcourse a sixpack! Let me tell you this, regardless of your genetics, you have a potential to change! I’ll show you a photo of me and my parents one day so you know what I mean 🙂 .

Thank you for reading such a long article and I truly hope that you will re-evaluate your weight and health. Take action and I guarantee results will come!!

AF

References:

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2013. Australian Health Survey: updated results, 2011–2012. ABS cat. no. 4364.0.55.003. Canberra: ABS.
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2012. Risk factor trends: age patterns in key health risk factors over time. Cat. no. PHE 166. Canberra: AIHW.
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