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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Do you think that obesity rates will increase over the next 50 years?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • I am the Senior Dietitian and Director of Menuconcepts.  We  provide personalised, one on one consultations and develop individual weight loss and health programs.  We have clinics … View Profile

    In 2007–08, one-quarter of all Australian children, or around 600,000 children aged 5–17 years, were overweight or obese, up four percentage points from 1995 (21%).

    The obesity rate for children increased from 5% in 1995 to 8% in 2007–08 with the proportion overweight remaining around 17% over this time period. This shows a shift towards the higher and heavier end of the body mass index.

    A future prevalence study conducted by the department of human service in Victoria calculated that 37% of males and 33% of female children, ages 5 to 19 years, will be overweight and/or obese by 2025, and that by 2025 83% of males and 75% of females 20 years plus will be overweight and/or obese.  T

    So my answer is, yes, if health professionals, goverments, schools, families and the food industry do not start working together and coming up with some long term solutions.

  • Jane O'Shea

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am an Accredited Nutritionist and Accredited Practising Dietitian. I am also a licensee for the “Am I Hungry?” Mindful Eating Program, “Am I Hungry” … View Profile

    There has been some encouraging evidence to suggest that interventions to stop the increase in childhood obesity are having an effect and that perhaps the rates of obesity are slowing.  This will no doubt have a small positive flow on effect years down the track as we know that obese children are more likely to be obese adults.  These people also will find it more difficult to lose weight and maintain that weight loss so targeting childhood obesity is a key factor in beating the problem.
     
    However, whilst it is good news about the slowing rate of obesity in children, people need to start to recognise that they need to take their own individual responsibility for their nutritional health and also that of their children.  There is plenty of community support available.  I think that obesity rates are likely to increase but we have to remain positive and don't give up the quest for a healthier future.

  • Joanna Sochan

    Naturopath, Nutritionist, Western Herbal Medicine Practitioner

    Joanna is a Natural Medicine Practitioner (Naturopath, Herbalist and Nutritionist) who offers an integrative and holistic approach to health and wellbeing. She applies a number … View Profile

    I’m an optimist and think that the current obesity trend could be reversed; however, this would require a monumental change across many levels – business, government, community support and of course individuals. One thing’s for sure - there are no magic bullets come to the rescue here! Our bodies are made of nutrients present in our foods and they need and thrive on ‘real’ and good quality foods.

    Education and information campaigns would be of great importance to empower people to make changes. The science of epigenetics also gives us hope as well as important clues where the potential solutions may be found. It has been confirmed beyond any doubt that nutrients, especially from fresh foods, have the ability to switch our genes on or off just like a light switch. These switches triggered by environmental factors such as quality of nutrition, pollution levels, stress, exercise and many others, can actually control the way our genes behave / are expressed. In fact, the on or off status can affect everything - how much we eat, our emotional wellbeing and the diseases we develop (particularly chronic diseases). This means that by eating a good diet the ‘good’ switches are on and the ‘bad’ ones are off.  Poor choices trigger the opposite. This is an example of a powerful message that needs to be widealy spread and explained, starting at year 1 at school.

    Decreasing current obesity rates is doable and the change needs to start with us - each person needs to take appropriate actions to optimise their own health, then the health of our families and friends. Hopefully over time this will influence our work colleagues and the wider community. If we fail in this endeavour the consequences will be disastrous.

  • Lynda is an accredited practising dietitian, with specialities in chronic disease management ( weight management / diabetes / high cholesterol / high blood pressure) View Profile

    According to recently published results (2012) by the Australian Bureau of Statistics the number of people classified as overweight or obese continues to rise. Compared to four years ago the proportion of overweight adults has risen by two percent to 63%. This means that almost two thirds of the adult population are now obese or overweight.

    Clearly the message is not getting across and so collectively as a society through government, industry, schools and individually we need to continue to work towards finding a real long term solution that works.

  • Allison Roberts

    Diabetes Educator, Dietitian

    Allison Roberts is a Newcastle based Accredited Practising Dietitian, who specialises in weight loss and associated co-morbidities, Diabetes, Cholesterol, Digestive Health and General Nutrition. View Profile

    I too believe the rates of obesity will continue to rise in Australia over the next 50 years. As previous Nutrition experts have mentioned above, researched has shown a steady rise in the rates of obesity over the last 50 years. This trend is set to continue.

    I do believe however that this rise will slow, with ongoing education and interventions proving a positive effect on the weight of Australians. The time frame of which we will see the rise drop is unknown.



  • Amanda Clark

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Amanda Clark (Adv APD) is a senior dietitian at Great Ideas in Nutrition on the Gold Coast. She is the creator of Portion Perfection, a … View Profile

    Currently one-third of our children are overweight or obese. It has been estimated by Monash Obesity and Diabetes Institute that this could actually be about one in three by 2020. The OECD projections also suggest the overall figures for Australia will be around 65% by 2020, and at that same point the U.S. will be at about 75%.

    I think that we've really lost perspective about how much is the right amount for us to eat and that the weight gain that results from overeating on a daily basis causes metabolic changes that are making us gain weight even more easily. This is increasing our risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.

  • Lisa Renn

    Dietitian

    Lisa is an APD with 12 years experience, specialising in helping people identify and change habits that impact negatively on their health. Inspiring change, Lisa … View Profile

    Sadly, I think obesity rates will increase over the next 50 years. Certain statistics I have heard recently talk about the generation of children growing up now having a lower life expectancy than their parents which is a first. That's quite a startling statistic. I think that these parents teach their kids their eating habits and then those kids teach their kids their eating and so it goes on.

    We see emotional eating ingrained into these family structures. We have a lack of physical activity ingrained also. We have the high use of takeaway food because people are working more. So I think that unfortunately unless something happens quite significantly, people will continue to get bigger.

    There is a perception that healthy eating costs more. I don't believe that to be true, which is again where an accredited practicing dietician can come in to show families how to make changes that fit into their budget and fit into their time constraints.

    Other things that could be useful is the government creating taxes on unhealthier foods and making healthier foods like lean cuts of meat and fruit and vegetables more accessible to everybody so the perception that healthy eating costs is actually no longer a concern.

  • Anthony is an experienced Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Sports Dietitian. Anthony practices out of Wakefield Sports Clinic and consults to a number of elite … View Profile

    I think if we continue to go at the same direction, or the same way that we're going at the moment, then absolutely I think obesity rates are going to continue to increase. I am very worried about that because I already see all the endpoints of people who are obese, morbidly obese, at a clinical level and it's a major problem.

  • With a PhD (Nutritional Food Science); BAppSci (Food Sci and Nutrition) (Honours); Cert 3 & 4 - Group Fitness and Personal Training, I am passionate … View Profile

    Yes. I was actually having a look at the results that were released at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2 weeks ago. Based on the census that we just did last year, it is showing that even though expenditure rates on gym memberships, personal training, and diet has all increased, and we have got even more new, wonderful super foods available to us that will suppress our appetite we’ve had something like a 3% to 4% increase in body weight since 2005, that is for both males and females. We are still increasing in weight, even though we have this plethora of information available to us.

    A lot of it boils down to time constraint. A lot of people are just filling up our lives with a lot of stuff to do but going for that 30 minutes of recommended walking per day and that quality physical activity does not seem to be high up on the agenda. With processed foods, quick-fix-type meals you often don’t realise how much you are eating because you are not sitting down and seeing your food on a plate. Having quick packet mixes here there and everywhere tends to encourage consumers to eat more than they actually should be eating. I think the way that we’re going; we are still going to be increasing in weight, unfortunately.

  • Cambridge Weight Plan

    HealthShare Member

    This topic is debatable. Each choices supports ifs and then, if we think about it. Tho a lot of supports (like gyms, personal trainings, nutrition knowledge) are increasing over the years, the numbers of food chains, restaurant promos, and all other temptations are also increasing.

    Unfortunately, as the years pass, people have been more enganged in the easy-way-out kind of lifestyle. simple home exercises with chores are now replaced with appliances that will make life easier, and so there goes the exercise to waste.

    I hope we can provide more awareness to such things.

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