18 July 2010

Obesity vs. Tobacco -- The Biggest Killer Is ...


However, recent research and the expert opinions of some medical practitioners suggest that this might not be the case for too much longer. It seems that obesity is set to take over as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia. In a completely anecdotal sense this is pretty easy to accept. Just take a walk around the streets of Sydney on any day of the week and, if you are so inclined, you will notice that Australia is certainly becoming a much heavier nation.

Personally, I could just look in the mirror to see the proof of an enlarged Australia in comparison to my parents generation. I am guessing this is not what Kevin Rudd had in mind when he was talking about a big Australia. I am also guessing that Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott are not referring to obesity when they state that they are not aiming for a big Australia!

This has led for calls for the government to go after obesity in the same aggressive manner it has done with tobacco. In the big scheme of things it makes sense to spend a little bit more now to avoid the big health spending costs down the track. Although, the government will probably argue that weight, and specifically weight control, is an individual matter. However, a small policy change with a little amended legislation could up the ante on rebates and the like for those who join gyms and other health-related organisations.

It is thought that spending on weight-related health care has already ballooned to in excess of AUD 60 billion a year. This figure leaves the spending on tobacco-related problems for dead (no pun intended).

Now, the really scary part in this article are the numbers. It is stated that more than 60% of the adult population is overweight or obese. Simply, when you stand around with 4 of your mates, 3 of you, at least statistically, are considered to be what is affectionately known as porkers! Or if you are with me and my mates, then just 'fat bastards'.

Ho hum...

No apologies for the lack of political correctness. If you are offended by terms like 'fat bastards' or 'porkers' then get over it. This is a serious problem and sometimes the direct and blunt approach might be more effective in the long run.

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