Tuesday, September 05, 2006


A conference on obesity in Australia has produced a rising torrent of curious, strange and downright bizarre headlines, including the one above. Here's part of the More Fat People Than Starving claim :

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) there are about 1 billion overweight people in the world of whom 300 million are obese; if this an accurate figure it equates to a world epidemic. There are 800 million underweight people worldwide.

Obesity Now Recognised As A Global Epidemic :
"Obesity is now recognised by the World Health Organisation as an insidious killer and the major contributing cause of preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease."

Psychiatrist Claims Drinking Coca-Cola Can Actually Good For You
Dr Foreyt says soft drinks have copped too much criticism in the war on fat.

"I think the answer to really looking at a healthy lifestyle is balance and variety and moderation, and any time you pick out a single culprit you're going to really be in trouble, because, you know, obesity and health risks are all associated with multiple factors."
You probably won't be surprised to learn that Dr Foreyt was paid by Coca-Cola to attend the obesity conference.

One wag described this move by Coca-Cola as being the equivalent of sending cigarette manufacturer reps to a conference on lung cancer.

Australian Health Minister Refuses To Install Any Bans Regarding Junk Food Ads Targetting Children

There's nothing wrong with the odd treat every now and then, according to Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott, so junk food ads will stay on Australian televisions and in magazines.

Mr Abbott today described obesity as potentially the greatest health problem of our time, but said bans on junk food ads would not fix the growing crisis which claims 7000 Australian lives a year.

“There's a big difference between food and tobacco,” Mr Abbott said after opening the 10th International Congress on Obesity in Sydney tonight.

“Every single cigarette does you harm, but even so called junk food in small quantities occasionally is OK, there's nothing wrong with the odd treat.

“To try to treat certain foods as you would cigarettes, it's not an equivalent comparison.”

Abbot likes to badger and ear bash suburban Australians about the need to exercise regularly and eat healthy, fresh foods.

He's so utterly removed from the reality of the lives of most suburban Australians that he doesn't seem to realise that millions of Australian mums and dads spend hours every day sitting in traffic jams or commuting on trains and buses (facing regular delays).

Also, fresh fruit and vegetables are not only more expensive in the outer suburbs of Australian cities, they have also found to be far older, less fresh, than the fruit and vegetables available in major city centres. The older the fruit and veg, the less nutritious it usually is.

Australians are working longer hours than any Australians since the convict era. Less time at home means less time to prepare healthy meals, forcing a reliance on fast foods and highly processed "instant dinner" meals.

7000 Australian untimely deaths per year blamed on obesity but no major attempt from the Health Minister to do anything serious about those numbers.

Absolutely stunning.

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