Though Not Indulging in Alcohol or Cigarettes, Australians Are Getting Fatter

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By Sarah Thomas | July 9, 2014 6:30 PM EST

Compared to the rest of the world, Australians smoke eight million fewer cigarettes a day, and consume lesser amount of alcohol. A commendable job indeed, Aussies have set an example to the world, but this hasn't done any good in reducing the obesity which is rising at the rate of 200 grammes per year.

According to a "state of the nation" report by Roy Morgan Research that analysed Australia's stand in the 7 key health areas: smoking, alcohol consumption, nutrition, activity levels, illnesses, Body Mass Index (BMI) and psychological wellbeing. While the result was extremely good in some, they were astonishingly bad in the others.

The percentages of smokers and drinkers have drastically reduced, the ratio of people who exercise have also increased since 2008. There have been improvements in five of the seven health areas. There is a fewer consumption of sweets and fast foods, one of the main causes of obesity. Though all of this indicate an increase in healthy citizens, the results have been quite shocking as there has been an increase in obesity.

Roy Morgan's chief executive, Michele Levine, in an interview with Rachael Brown from ABC news, in reaction to the results of the poll, said, "It's interesting because we've actually become a nation of weight watchers. We worry about our weight. We think about our weight. We say that we're monitoring the calories we eat, and yet our weight continues to increase."

He also specified that obesity was a problem the older people mostly faced. Talking about the other major issue that is haunting the nation, he says that the most worrying aspect of the survey is the mental decline of the nation. The survey showed an increase in the number of people suffering anxiety, from 9 per cent in 2007 to 15.5 per cent in 2014.

Levinine stated, "It was increasing gently but it really starts to pick up around 2012. And that's the time also that unemployment and underemployment really started to kick up. When you put the two trend lines on a chart, they correlate quite strongly." Elaborating on it, he stated that the correlation cannot be termed certain, but they did find that an underemployed person goes through more anxiety than an unemployed one. This is because the pressure to get more work is more among the under employed.

These two aspects must be looked into immediately because an obese nation with mentally stressed out people can lead to a decline in all other aspects of health and well being.

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