Dealing with obesity

Australians are fatter than ever before.

In fact, the past 20 years have seen obesity rates more than doubled. In the year 2000 figures showed that 67 per cent of men and 52 per cent of women were overweight, and 18 per cent of men and 22 per cent of women were obese.

It has been predicted that by the year 2020 about 75 per cent of the total population will be overweight, if current trends continue!

The standard tool for measuring people’s weight is called the Body Mass Index (BMI). This is a chart that judges healthy and unhealthy weight ranges based on height and sex. You can find copies of the BMI chart online if you wish to check your own rating.

It is important to recognise that being overweight or obese does not just lead to self image problems, it can have serious health consequences too.

Some of the health issues associated with obesity include:

– high blood pressure
– cardiovascular disease
– stroke
– Type 2 diabetes
– Gout
– Sleep apnoea

Unfortunately, we are not all born with an equal chance of growing into a healthy weight range. Genetics has quite a bit to do with body weight.

That said, there is plenty you can do to try to impact your body shape. With appropriate eating and exercise, you can make serious gains.

The first thing to do is make sure you are not consuming more energy than you put out. Energy is measured in kilojoules. Speak to a dietician about planning intake and output of kilojoules.

You also need to have a healthy exercise plan. You could sign up to a gym, or organize regular exercise with a friend.

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