Is this the real problem with Australia’s economy or just another excuse? 84



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A shocking report has pointed the finger at Australians saying they are a major threat to the economy. But is this the real problem with Australia’s economy or just another excuse?

The report, by Price Waterhouse Coopers has revealed that obesity is costing the nation $8.3 billion a year. In fact, one in three Australians will be obese by 2025 and the economic impact of their condition will cost the economy $87.7 billion over the next decade.

According to The Courier Mail, the report said says tackling obesity could deliver up to $840 million in net economic benefits by 2025.

News Limited suggests that the treasurer’s most effective economic weapon could be to put the nation on a low calorie diet.

Putting us on a low-calorie diet is not only good for us, but will save valuable dollars from treating obesity-related problems. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?

Some suggestions include interventions like publicly funded lap band surgery, weight loss programs and higher taxes on unhealthy foods.

Maybe, but there is a downside. Declaring war on obesity is also pointing the finger directly at those of us who are a little on the plump side, even if the extra weight we are carrying is beyond our control for one reason or another.

It also comes at a time when new studies are showing that losing weight is not as simple as calories in, calories out and other environmental factors can play a part – factors we don’t even fully understand yet.

And  if we tackle obese people, what comes next? What about alcohol? Should it be illegal to have more than a couple of glasses of wine a day? After all, we know it’s bad for us.

What do you think? Is declaring war on obesity a good idea, or will it just be putting unfair pressure on those of us who are slightly overweight, and let’s face it, you don’t have to be very overweight to be technically obese?

Starts at 60 Writers

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

  1. They are correct, some people put a burden on the economy. The difference is, I call them politicians. Just turn on the news and you will hear plenty about their spending habits. Let me quote Groucho Marx: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies”.

  2. Oh for god sake over eating is not the only reason for people being over weight, I use to be very fit and healthy like a lot of people however after being diagnosed for a particular problem I was put on medication and I was warned that I could put on a little weight, however I put on a lot of weight and when I asked my doctor to take me off the medication I was told I couldn’t go off it. Don’t be so judge mental because that doesn’t help anyone in fact it just adds to their problems.

  3. Just like Christine (one of our funniest writers), there are lots of things that ‘piss me off’ too. This article is just another instance where the ‘almighty dollar’ is paramount and another ‘finger is pointed’. It seems it doesn’t matter what I do, I’m ‘costing the economy’. Whether it’s smoking or drinking or eating OR living longer, I’m a drain on society!! Stick your studies right where the ‘sun doesn’t shine’!

    6 REPLY
    • I agree with you Sue, it’s no longer a bloody joke and I for one am taking offence at their disgraceful attitude.

    • Be nice. It’s not appropriate to blame the victim but there can’t be 75% of us who are victims. However, the debate is really about our own responsibility to maintain our own health. And the evidence is that most is us can practice better diet and move more than we do!

    • Here’s an idea, what about the government stops wasting money on ridiculous surveys and reports on how to improve our lives. Totally agree with Sue. Pretty soon, the government will regulate our farts because that will cause too much carbon emission, perhaps they could have public funded corks!

      1 REPLY
  4. Oh just give us poor old buggers the green dream and get it over and done with , we are told to eat well , bend them stretch them , keep moving , ect . now we are living to long and costing to much to our precious gov. drug addicts dont cost this country millions in treatment , ambulances ,hosp , police time, All cost millions as well. people that have never lifted a finger to go work for their dole. i could go on and on , but just pick on elderly folk again , you who do the complaining will also get old one day , we all get a turn if not dead before hand. leave us die in peace when our number is called from above. there had my say , now you can growl at me.

    4 REPLY
    • Hang on haven’t those “old” people paid taxes their whole lives to the almighty Governments??? They are entitled to be looked after.. this is so demeaning to the aging population of this country ffs!!!

    • Yes & 12,000 more are coming , we don’t hear how much they are costing our Country ….

    • Problem is if we are considered grossly obese we are harder to look after in hospital or nursing home or home.
      Lifters cost a fortune.
      People break their backs lifting you out of a chair or helping to walk.
      If you need a stomach expander belt in an airplane then you need to pay for 2 seats or go business.
      The definition of obese is so old it should be reviewed.
      is based on waist hip ratio /height, but some who are only size 16 are considered mildly obese.
      We should try to tone up and lose a few kgs not just say ‘bugger the govnt. I paid my taxes so look after me.’

  5. Mike here-hard to comment on this as doctor says I am obese, he tells me that at 66 I should be 86 kgs, even at my fittest as an instructor in the Army I weighed more than that.

  6. It clearly the under 18 year olds who are the problem they just use up medical services etc that the older Australians have paid for with their taxes, clearly we should not let them in until they get a job, and promise to only consume stuff we think is OK and…

  7. We need to move past this idea that overweight/obese people got that way from overeating and underexercising. Certainly some may have,, but there are a lot of reasons why people gain weight and/or cannot lose it. I’ve battled my weight my entire life. I eat a very healthy diet, and I walk daily. I would love to shed some kilos. I have tried everything. My only consolation is that I enjoy good health, and for that I am truly grateful

    2 REPLY
    • I watched Catalyst on the ABC the other night talking about diet and the bodies Famine Response. If you try to lose weight your body actively tries to stop you. If you do lose weight and put it back on you will often put back more for this reason. I’ve never been able to shed weight but have given up caring and now concern myself with fitness. If I shed weight in the process great.

    • Roseanne you said everything I wanted to say! Sick of people thinking that because you are overweight you are stuffing yourself and sitting around doing nothing. I have been battling with my weight for years, yet have been told I am fitter than some people years younger. There’s no easy answer to this problem.

  8. Yes it does cost the nation money. So do road accidents caused by skinny people, smoking by skinny people, heart attacks of skinny people, drug and alcoholism of skinny people, sports accidents of skinny people………. And on and on.

    1 REPLY
    • The point is that obesity is costing the nation expenditure which is unnecessary. We have succeded in reducing expenditure on some forms of cancer, for example, through anti-smoking and screening programs but we need to get people to take responsibility for weight control at all ages.

  9. This is a complex problem. How do we measure obesity? At the moment it seems to be by the holy grail of BMI. However the BMI is fundamentally flawed. Because muscle weights more than fat very fit and muscular people can be classed as obese when they are not. I am lucky I have a realistic doctor who does not take a lot of notice of the BMI. My husband is extremely fit and carries a lot of muscle weight because of all the training he does. According to the BMI he is obese!!!!!!. His doctor has a good laugh. Obviously there are some people who need to lose weight for the good of their health. All that can be done for them is to make weigh loss programmes and support affordable. Discounting these programmes and treatments would be cheaper in the long run than treating the health problems they may encounter in the future. I feel very sad for the people who have weight gain because of medical problems. I feel the biggest problem facing us is childhood obesity. This is the enormous challenge of the future. How do we educate people to eat healthy and feed their children healthy food in the right portions? I don’t know. I think it is good that we are talking about the issue.

    2 REPLY
    • Found a brilliant explanation for the BMI. It means — Bloody Meaningless Information.
      Quote from ‘Love your Shape’ by a friend of Janine Mison.

  10. Wouldn’t have anything to do with mismanagement by the Government? oh no.

    1 REPLY
    • You have got to be kidding (just kidding ) it makes me so mad when they throw money around ,sculptures ,paintings ,doing their offices up ,retiring & still have their own offices that the tax payer foots the bill for ,but that’s our fault also.

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