More New Zealanders dying of obesity – study
Sat, 15 Dec 2012 6:17p.m.
By Susie Nordqvist
Restaurant portion sizes should be cut and adverts promoting unhealthy food banned from New Zealand television to curb Kiwis ballooning waistlines – the advice comes as new figures reveal that we're living longer, but are sicker than ever before.
This year more New Zealanders will die from obesity-related illnesses than will be killed in car crashes.
But obesity is now so common that many of us fail to recognise that it's an issue at all.
“More than 60 percent of adult population are either overweight or obese, that in a sense it seems to be normal,” says medical director of the Heart Foundation, Dr Norman Sharpe. “And so I think that leads to a degree of denial and inaction.”
Latest research from the Global Burden of Disease study reveals obesity is now killing three times as many people worldwide as malnutrition.
And in New Zealand a high body-mass index is now the leading cause of years lost in lifetimes thanks to poor health.
It's alarmed health experts who say it's time more drastic measures were introduced.
Dr Sharpe recommends “such things as regulating or monitoring portion sizes in restaurants”.
Others are more extreme, calling for a ban on fast food.
“After the invention of smoking that was brought from the US, I think McDonald’s is the second most harmful element of civilisation,” says Valery Feigin of AUT University.
Dr Sharpe says adverts promoting unhealthy food should be taken off air.
“It requires a whole of government and a whole of community approach and a long-term approach.”
So while the research shows people are living longer, they are also sicker than before, and the bill for obesity in New Zealand is up to $849 million a year for healthcare and lost productivity.
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19/03/2013 2:38:42 p.m.
26/12/2012 9:12:23 a.m.
How long before employers start testing and rejecting employees based on weight? It's probably already happening and there is a certain merit to it. An overweight employee is more likely to have type 2 diabetes. That could lead to a blood sugar level problem which could cause them to have an accident as this can cause similar symptoms to being drunk. Being drunk on the job is not acceptable and in many workplaces is dangerous. Having a diabetic crisis at work is a very similar threat to workplace safety.
17/12/2012 4:51:30 p.m.
It is time that obese people are subjected to the same criticisims as smokers, like smoking obesity is a choice, if you choose to be obese then you are choosing the health that comes with it, just like if you choose to smoke you are choosing the slow painfull death that comes with it. It is realy simple to eat healthy and exersize, if your too lazy to get off your ass then stop whining about being fat and unhealthy
16/12/2012 12:49:08 p.m.
The media and even many nutritionists often get "healthy" food confused. High calorie food does not necessarily mean it's bad food. People who say otherwise seem to have forgotten the whole point of food - it's main purpose is fuel. High calorie food is in fact good (efficient) food. Of course there are other aspects that can be bad but those frequently have little to do basic weight gain. The problem is simple SOME people eat more calories than they burn. So either eat less or burn more - it really is that simple. But don't penalise those who manage it correctly.
16/12/2012 6:35:04 a.m.
We have been hit by a dirge of so-called studies lately . . . what we should eat . . . what we shouldn't eat . . . all leading to more nanny state regulations. Most New Zealanders over 21 years could be classified as adults. But according to the government and it's all too convenient studies we should all still be in the pram with "Mommy State" regulating us from birth to grave. Now it's unhealthy foods. I wonder how they will classify unhealthy foods. Bread, if eaten by gluten intolerant or wheat allergies, could be unhealthy. Nuts can be deadly to some. Milk can cause obesity as can potatoes. And if one is immature enough to cut their carrots too long can choke and die. But the worst offender causing death is cotton wool. Yes, if the government packs us in too much cotton wool we can suffocate from the regulations. I would like to know the author of these studies and their qualifications. Do they hold doctorates in food nutrition? Are they writting by 'experts' who qualify because they have read every Gordon Ramsay cook book twice? Or are they high school students doing a paper for NCEA? Sarcasm aside, any food can be hazardous to someone. My own digestive system says 'no' to carbs, but as long as I stick to high protein (and, yes, fat) I stay healthy. . . low cholesterol, normal glucose with no hint of diabetes, and a healthy weight. If I eat grain products or carbs my blood sugar shoots through the roof, my doctor is screaming diabetes, and my cholesterol goes extrreme. So healthy for me and many others is low carb, high protein/fat diet. So if these foods are taxed will I have to pay to remain healthy? Or maybe the powers that be should let adults make their own choices and live with the consequences. Just remember the last election saw National bemoaning the Labour Nanny State. Now it seems our National Government and John Key is turning into the biggest 'mother' (oops) I mean Nanny of them all.
16/12/2012 2:59:09 a.m.
Many years ago, I would only read stories that discussed how US citizens were putting on the pounds. Now, articles like this are appearing all over world, not just the US. One common issue, not just in the US, but all over the globe is the advancements in technology. More people are sitting throughout the day since they are so tuned into their technology. My legs are tight right now just from making this post, and I have only been sitting for 10 minutes. Some people are literally static in their chairs for hours at a time. Then, hunger sets in, and we start to consume a snack, then get right back to the computer.
15/12/2012 9:55:03 p.m.
First it was tobacco,now food.
But none of these so-called experts,have got the balls to attack the alcohol industries,which causes this nation untold grief and misery. Oh how stupid of me I forgot the Government makes hundreds of millions from the sale of alcohol.Hypocrites!
15/12/2012 9:22:20 p.m.
WILLARD MUBVUMBI wrote:
Kiwis should emulate pple in Africa. Most pple in Africa dont use cars when walking short to middle distances. They eat traditional foods free from GMOs.
15/12/2012 9:16:17 p.m.
Our diets certainly have changed, but what is going into food has also changed, look at transfats, and a lot of other things, this is a big part of the problem of weight gain. Up until the 80s, people were slim all over the world, there was hardly any big people.
Yes our life styles have changed, the good old home cooking is kind of in the past, and yes people eat far to much fast food, and its to be honest crap, with hormones and transfats added to food, its turned into a no win situation, these people do not want to be obese, my heart breaks for them- they dont know how to cook or to exercise, and its sad.
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