Two-thirds of the adult Australian population are overweight or obese. Weight loss is a topic that covers two areas of health that are equally important. Firstly the obvious, physical health. “Obesity is a major contributor to many chronic diseases and symptoms – around four out of five people who reported conditions such as diabetes, pre-diabetes and sleep apnoea were classified as obese,” Dr Hendrie said. Secondly, mental health. There are currently lots of young people who have unhealthy ideas about what it means to be healthy due to the influence of social media. And often they have a fitness routine that they are so strict with that it is severely affecting their mental health.
CSIRO scientist Dr Grenfell says “discussing the physical and psychological struggles associated with weight loss can be a sensitive, but important conversation for health professionals to have with their patients”. A new report by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, suggests that when it comes to weight loss, people are more motivated by improving their health than their appearance, with two out of three people motivated to start a diet because of ‘health concerns’. This is a really promising piece of information as it’s indicating that people are realising that it is their health they should be worried about, not their physical appearance.
Even beyond talking in a doctor-patient environment about weight concerns, it is equally (if not more) important to discuss these concerns within a family dynamic. As a family, you can often have the most profound influence on each other. And with the detrimental effects of obesity well known, the conversation just needs to happen.
The report goes on to show that the people who lost the highest amount of body fat, experience the greatest improvements in pre-existing health conditions, with one-third of these respondents also reported improvements in all their diagnosed health conditions. The CSIRO already have over 50, 000 members in their ‘Total Wellbeing Diet Online’. The programme includes both areas of health mentioned above, physical and mental. The results of this ‘diet’ seem to be showing a great improvement in both these areas.
More than half of those who reported having prediabetes (59%), Type 2 diabetes (55%), and high cholesterol (51%) reported some improvement (a little or a lot) in their condition since starting on the Total Wellbeing Diet Online. 48% of respondents with high blood pressure and 46% of respondents with mental illness also reported some improvement in their condition since starting the Total Wellbeing Diet Online
51% of those taking medication for mental health illness reported having reduced or stopped their medication since starting the Total Wellbeing Diet Online, saving them, on average, $15 dollars per month. However, few attributed this reduction to the Total Wellbeing Diet Online.
Health comes first
At the end of the day, your health is the most important thing. The conversation needs to be amplified globally and further actions need to be taken on an individual level. The report is the tip of the iceberg, showing us that we are all heading in the right direction.