Obesity in Australia

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Should Australian Government Take Actions On Reducing Obesity? By: Shane Gotama

Obesity is one of the largest health issues that are often discussed in Australia. Australia has claimed the third spot for the country with the highest obesity rates in the world. This is proven by the drastic increase of obesity rates for both adult and children in the past few years. Health researchers found that the average BMI of Australian men rose from 24.9 in 1980 to 27.6 in 2008, while for women the numbers rose from 23.6 to 26.9. Further research reported by the Herald Sun stated that approximately 61 percent of Australian adults and 25 percent of children and teenagers are obese. Obesity is caused mainly by a person’s lifestyle. Diet is one of the most influential factors in obesity such as eating a lot of fatty or junk foods and drinking soft drinks. Another factor is lack of exercise. The Australian Government has started to take some actions to reduce the number of obese people. This includes urging people to eat more vegetables and fruits and banning school canteens from selling unhealthy foods such as sausage rolls, hot dogs, meat pies and jam doughnuts. The Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council suggested providing red labels on food with high fats and sugars. Other approaches such as imposing a junk food tax and providing a special school to treat obese people are still being contemplated by the government. I strongly agree with these approaches as they bring many benefits and lead to a healthier society.

There are many reasons as to why people suffering from obesity should be handled promptly. The most important reason is that obesity can lead to numerous severe diseases. Obese people have high risks of contracting diseases such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and even cancer. Researchers have also found that obesity can shorten a person’s life expectancy by approximately ten years which is even greater...
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