The Obesity epidemic: does Australia have a role to play?

The obesity epidemic is huge at the moment with lots of fast food chain stores opening. Obesity puts a strain on our healthcare system as people turn to the gastric bypass or the lap band. Both of these procedures are expensive and are not covered by Medicare. Healthdirect says that the cost of obesity is around $637 million each year and that covers the costs of absenteeism and procedures.

two persons holding drinking glasses filled with beer

Here’s one reason why Australians are obese and that’s beer. Photo by Tembela Bohle on Pexels.com

It partly is the Government’s fault and it’s partly ours. The government should put a junk food tax and give discounts for healthier foods.

The government should increase the number of free fitness programs for people on welfare. People on welfare can afford the council’s free fitness programs but usually can’t afford the gym.

The government doesn’t provide a lot of funding for those that have a disability to get support in the gym. In my gym I see quite a fair few people with a disability trying really hard.

bread food restaurant dinner

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There’s also junk food advertising in the peak hours of 7am-9am and from 6pm-9pm at night. This is the time that families are home for dinner and home in the morning for breakfast. Mcdonalds has all their cheap deals and promotions going on at this time.

But its also ours in the fact that we are sedentary for most of the time. We don’t do much in terms of physical activity and we also eat too much junk food as its affordable. We work 12-14 hours a day and usually sit at our desk for lunch.

What if we didn’t need all that? What then?

Australia should reduce the number of McDonald’s on every street. They should also reduce the number of KFC and Nene Chicken outlets as well as Subway. The government should look at banning junk food ads at this time and instead put ads about healthy food up there. The ads about Marley Spoon and Hellofresh is great as it encourages people to cook.

The major supermarket chains should move the chips and the lollies to the back aisles and showcase fresh produce and canned food. At the supermarket, I often have to go through the lollies and chips just to get to the canned food aisle and other health food aisles.

Every week the lollies and chips are advertised as a special. And people buy them. I have seen huge parties in Maribynong park on Saturday where people bring lollies and stuff.

But at the same time, we should be with the HAES approach- Health at every size. These people have tried everything, yet they fail to lose weight. And some people are happy the way they are.

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