Obesity & ‘Healthy living’

Impact of the environment and/or an individuals surroundings

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.59.06 pmFitnessFirstAUS,  #HowFitFeels – First check in, 2016

Post 1 : Mitchell Soames

Researching the trending topic of obesity I found an eclectic range of different opinions and point of views from numerous sources. One that I found most interesting was the impact of ones environment. The majority of the time ones surroundings cannot be change due to circumstances such as social/ economical ect.

I also found exercise as an interesting focal point helping not only obesity but benefitting an individual’s health in relation to physical, social and emotional strength. I see first hand the perception of what it mean to ‘exercise’, hours in the gym, running for long durations of time at interval speeds, the list goes on. As it turns out exercise has been misinterpreted by so many, exercise is explored in some of these sources sharing how it isn’t such a daunting task.

1. The Surprising Benefits of exercise on the brain – Fitness First

The article is written by Mahsa Fratantoni (a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist) highlighting her research relating to connections between the brain and body sharing the benefits of exercise.

Fratantoni’s article is reinforced by Professor Anthony Hannan (head of the Neural Plasticity Laboratory at the Institute Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne). He states,

“Physical activity has the ability to strengthen the connection between neurons, which helps transmit messages around the body.” – Mahsa Fratantoni

Although some of the article ties in several ‘studies’ that can’t be fully considered legitimate because they are not referenced, Professor Hannan is featured throughout to support most statements and research.

This article was quite intriguing to me, I have seen first hand how physical activity impacts a person. When comparing my grandparents from different side of my family, my Grandmother is in her mid 80s always living an active lifestyle, never been limited or restricted from doing anything. Compared to my grandfather who does not live an active lifestyle is now on the verge of a wheelchair with bad blood circulation and muscular decay in his legs.

2. Why you should exercise (no, not to lose weight)

Written by Aaron E. Carroll, professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine I acknowledge that the article is creditable.

Carroll takes a different approach after understanding the requirements of exercise according to research. He expresses the ease and necessity of light exercise in day to day life stating,

“Walking briskly, at 3 to 4 mph or so, qualifies. So does bicycling slower than 10 mph. Anything that gets your heart rate somewhere between 110 and 140 beats per minute is enough.” – Aaron E. Carroll

It is my understanding that not all people have the time or will to exercise regularly but after review of this article I can see that encouraging the idea of swamping small tasks such as walking to the local shops (mentioned in the article) or even vacuuming, mowing the lawn or actively walking your dog might qualify. Healthy exercise can be achieved with minimal effort.

3. Australia is one of the most obese nations in the world, a report has found – Daily Telegraph

No Author was published to this article found on the Daily Telegraph which immediately made me question its authenticity. Yet most of the statistical information is referenced from Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC) at Victoria University.

There was a statement made later on in the article saying, “Australians on average are smoking less, and are more proactive with regular health check-ups for bowel and breast cancer.” This made me curious to see if that is true or an assumption because no reference or support was provided.

A report is also mentioned stating 50 public health organisations are signatories setting an individual target for each listed health factor by 2025. This involves a 5 per cent reduction in the overall mortality rate from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and common cancers; at least 10 per cent relative reduction in the harmful use of alcohol; and to cut the increasing rate of obesity in half.

But again there is no concrete evidence or references. I have noticed that more is being done to raise awareness and with the improvements in technology and lifestyle I do agree that some of these objectives could be achieved but I can’t say I completely believe all are genuine.

4. Diets and drugs are not enough to tackle obesity – ABC

Anna Salleh is the author of this article. She has a PhD on the role of the media in debates over the risk of new technologies and is a research associate with the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at the University of Technology Sydney.

It appears as though her motivation for this article is to expose the cause of obesity referencing Professor Stephen Simpson head of Obesity Australia to justify her argument that

“Obesity is a direct reflection of the environment we live in.” – Anna Salleh

Salleh targets the availability of processed food with low nutritional value and political system that encourage unhealthy food supply systems.

I do agree with Salleh, advertisements and Supermarkets, always promote the ‘easy choice’ as cheaper and feasible (for example the frozen food options which are always going to have less nutritional value than fresh produce.)

5. Fathers can pass obesity onto children before birth – ABC

This article was posted by Will Ockenden, a reporter with radio current affairs, and is based in the Sydney newsroom. The facts have been investigated by Sydney’s Victor Chang Institute and Garvan Institute of Medical Research together finding obesity in fathers can be passed down to not only their children, but also future generations.

Lead author of the study Dr Jennifer Cropley, said “The findings could help explain the rise in diabetes, heart disease and obesity in humans.” Using mice as test to discover that genes were passed from father to son I still don’t fully support the statement justifying the rise in diabetes, heart disease and obesity in humans. With the awareness and support of health systems people are more educated of the effects and causes of these issues. I believe it is still an individuals choice to become obese, weight can be controlled with will power and discipline.


FitnessFirstAUS, 2016 ‘#HowFitFeels – First check in’ Youtube, Viewed August 10 2016 < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H2GRTGGdTU>


Fratantoni, M. 2016, ‘The suprising benefits of exercise on the brain’ Viewed 1 August 2016

Carroll E, A. 21 June 2016 ‘Why you should exercise (no, not to lose weight)’ Viewed 1 August 2016 <http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/why-you-should-exercise-no-not-to-lose-weight-20160620-gpnv9t.html>

NA, July 5, 2016 ‘Australia is one of the most obese nations in the world (…) Viewed 1 August 2016 <http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/australia-is-one-of-the-most-obese-nations-in-the-world-a-report-has-found/news-story/c4ee55c6b4fe4ec7d2cc41ba86598d63>

Salleh, A. 2015 ‘Diets and drugs are not enough to tackle obesity’ ABC article, 8 June, viewed 28 July 2016, <http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/06/08/4248825.htm>

Ockenden, W. 19 July 2016 ‘Fathers can pass obesity onto children before birth’ Viewed on 1 August 2016 <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-19/fathers-can-pass-obesity-onto-children-before-birth-study-finds/7642856>


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