Are you in denial? 133



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Nearly 90 per cent of obese people in our society are able to identify that they have this serious health issue – they’re in denial.

In a survey that examined 2,000 adults and their perception of obesity, those with the condition wrote it off as being overweight. Fewer than 10 per cent could admit that they had a problem.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a quarter of Australia’s children and 63 per cent of the adult population are seriously overweight…that’s 12 million people.

Our obesity levels are on par with America’s, and that’s not something to be proud of.

While there are medical conditions that can cause huge weight gain, there are a large proportion of Australians who are eating too much and exercising too little.

Experts are beginning to fear that this survey highlights a trend that obese people are not seeing their life-threatening condition because it has become normalised in our society. Also, the term ‘obese’ has negative connotations so people reject it despite being a medical term, and when survey respondents were asked if they were ‘very overweight’, they denied it as well, which is even more alarming.

Excess weight is known to increase the risk of several types of cancer including cancers of the breast in post-menopausal women, bowel, womb, oesophagus, pancreas, kidney and gallbladder.

It is clear we need our government to address this serious health problem, and it is on their radar…they’ve identified it as one of the 9 National Health Areas and have recently provided grants worth $12 million.

The 18 grants each take a unique approach to tackling obesity, from transforming ‘bad’ fat into ‘good’ fat associated with leanness and weight loss, to exploring the interaction between genetics, dietary habits and weight gain, says the Nation Health and Medical Research Council.

Do you know someone who suffers from obesity? Do they know they have a problem? What are they doing to get help? Tell us below.

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The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. “According to the ABC”. Hmm.

    1 REPLY
    • I can’t find ‘according to the ABC’ in the article.

      1 REPLY
      • It doesn’t say according to the ABC. It says according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. And it’s a link. Maybe they fixed it, I’e only just read it!

  2. I have battled my weight my entire life, and have never been heavier than I am now despite following a very healthy diet and exercising regularly. For obese people sometimes it is not as simple as “diet and exercise”. If it was, we would not have this problem which is getting worse across the western world. My aim is to eat right, in moderation, and exercise daily. If I can’t get my weight under control I can at least try to be as healthy as I can be. Unfortunately I have high cortisol levels at the moment. This is making weight loss difficult. I will continue to fight the battle, but please do not assume that everyone who is obese is not trying.

  3. This is a massive world wide problem with 60% of the population obese type 2 diabetes is rampant and most people of all ages are in denial. They are now calling dementia type 3 diabetes. The scariest part is that when people speak up about it and give sane advice on social media they are abused and bullied

  4. it’s become the norm & acceptable. just look at overweight kids & then look at their parents. Education is the key but it doesn’t get to the root of the problem.

  5. I have never seen so many fat people in my life as you see now. Why do they wear such tight clothing to highlight the bulges? It’s so bad for their health & sad to see what they are eating at restaurants, particularly at Mc Donalds. Must be a reason.

  6. If you want to lose weight , have normal blood pressure &avoid diabetes . Follow the advice of Dr. Michael Moseley . It can be found on internet or buy the book. “EAT ,FAST & LIVE LONGER ” . I have lost 17kgs in 18months . .

  7. Obesity is not just about food. It is about self worth as well. Many years ago I read a book called “Fat is a feminist issue” which is still relevant today. I have struggled with obesity most of my life. I am nearly 63, bought myself a Vivofit wrist band and have embarked on a walking program. We eat healthy food as my husband is an insulin dependent diabetic but very fit and lean) – I am up to 9,000 steps a day, not bad in Alice Springs where it has been 41 degrees most days

  8. Yes, it is a huge problem (sorry about the pun haha!) but I honestly thought that the photo was showing a nail infection!

  9. My husband and I eat twice a day now instead of three times. Our weight has been the same for years. That’s not to say that we are thin! Because our metabolism has slowed as we age, we don’t need to eat as we did when we were younger and holding down jobs. This may not be the solution for everyone, but it works for us. It is easier to keep the weight off than it is to take it off.

    4 REPLY
    • I agree three meals a day is def not essentialmas you age and meals are def smaller in portions. Shopping very wisely helps as money is a little tight

    • Unfortunately I am the opposite. I find I can lose the weight but then I can’t keep it off.
      My brain keeps telling me that another bite won’t hurt me and within a short period of time I am back up there on the obese scale again.
      For me it’s a never ending yo yo roundabout.

    • I’m on that roundabout with you Ruth :(. Sucks to have to constantly beat myself up about my choices.

    • I’ve always been on that roundabout Not ant more I’m over it. Everyone is talking the 5/2 diet not for everyone but l love being on it. Lost 11kg in 11 weeks, and walk 6km a day never done it before I’m staying on it, still got 11kg to go but I don’t care how long it takes I’m over being obese couldn’t even tie my shoelaces without having to stop to breath. Good luck anyway, if l know one thing u have to be in the right head space

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