‘Pumped’-natty vs juice reflection & proposition

Supporting the Youth – Building a physique the right way

Hulse. E, 2012 ‘How to use steroids’ Viewed 20 September 2016  available at <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHOm89QUchk&gt;

Post 10: Mitchell Soames

Last week we were given an opportunity to work closely in pairs to reflect and discuss my proposition. Working closely with my partner I established that my direction was a little too broad and needed to be narrowed down. Targeting fitness organisations and athletes was not my main concern and my partner helped me realize this through exchanging ideas and brainstorms focussing on the outcome I was trying to achieve. We both agreed that I was specifically focusing on younger males, so I had to take into account what they are most susceptible/ exposed to. That is more than likely social media, so a website made sense in this regard. To make the solution more personable and effective I had to think more critically collating my research to solidify a solution.

Acknowledging the increase in the fitness industry in Australia, lead to me finding quite a sizable amount of the population (specifically) younger males ranging from 16 to their late 20’s putting themselves through vigorous training and diets in a competitive manner, ultimately comparing themselves to one another never satisfied clouds one’s self from their achievements and motivations.

The more pressing concern is the popularity of performance-enhancing drugs to speed up or feel included amongst fellow fitness enthusiast. Using certain drugs is not always as bad as the news or almost any reference makes out but without correct guidance, testimonials or help, substances can lead to serious harm specifically in younger men who haven’t given their body’s time to fully mature.

I propose a project called ‘Pumped’-natty vs juice which will include 3 different mediums to promote and advertise. The first is a series of videos found on YouTube linking to the second space (website). These videos aim at educating by conducting a social experiment on two physically active subjects (one natural and one un-natural) over the course of a 17-week time frame (as per cycle period). This experiment will monitor the mental and physical results through the progression of weeks producing an overall video summarizing each participant with a data visualization to support both actors.

This video will also indorse the exhibition that I think is most important. With young teens feeling a sense of marginalization at times with their fitness aspirations, there is a great sense of inclusion and acceptance formed from this event educating the attendees by showing there are other people experiencing the same feeling. The expo will encourage a ‘tell all’ theme that includes a main fitness ambassador (possibly a social media icon in the industry Elliot Hulse) speaking on the day, accompanied by ex-bodybuilders and some athletes currently in the business today.

A website will include both these elements and also facts with easy to read information for those with short attention spans with the option to view a more in-depth info for people wanting to know more. Testimonials are available along with a help line devoted to assisting people through emails or over the phone contact.



Nutting out the problem–Body image

Visual documentation of the brainstorming session


Post 9: Mitchell Soames

By partaking in a series of brainstorming activities independently as well as with my group members I was able to identify my main concern developed through asking a series of questions which included;

What is the problem?

Lack of support and education available to people who seek knowledge or understanding of performance enhancing drugs.

Who Does the problem affect?

  • Young teens
  • Government
  • Uneducated people
  • Athletes
    My main focus is on adolescents, being so easily influenced and fairly uneducated, the probability of succumbing to peer pressure, battling self-confidence issues are a serious concern.

What are the boundaries of the problem?

Organisations (eg. Protein labels, supplement, some extreme active-wear companies) are responsible for their relentless pressure/ requirements of their athletes and/or public figures. With no transparency through social media  and advertising marketing’s the truth is often hidden or misconceived by its intended audience.

When does the problem occur? When does it need to be fixed?

  • When uneducated (somewhat naive) consumers are exposed to the ‘results’ of using specific products, yet aren’t being told the whole truth (performance enhancing substances are often used to achieve the intended outcome).
  • Quicker results are sought out and without any guidance, side effects can be confusing and heavily impact a person in ways they did not intend (eg psychological problems possibly leading to depression).

Where does it occur?

Social media platforms; mostly Facebook, Instagram, Youtube promoting all the positives but little or no negatives.

Why does it occur?

A blind eye is shown toward the use of performance enhancing drugs because the subject has definitely become more acceptable. Yet there is a missing awareness/ support system provided to experimental persons.


After identifying the What, Where, Who, When, I collaborated with my team members to get some feedback and suggestions to fixing the problem. One I found interesting  was seminars aimed at supporting a ‘Tell all’ setting, sharing the experiences of ex-users or athletes that have seen the effects of performance enhancing drugs first hand.
Also another interesting direction would be a relationship campaign involving side effects of products which are perceived to be unhealthy. For example cigarettes would have a clear connection to heart disease, similar to the result of abusing performance-enhancing drugs eg. Steroids both leading to the failure to pump blood to circulate the body.


Hidden Truths–Bodybuilding

Brainstorming possibilities for a design response
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Post 8: Mitchell Soames

Working collaboratively with my team members has really influenced my interests and aided my understanding of different factors which contribute to obesity and what we perceive as a healthy living.

In order to pinpoint my focus, I sought to reflect on my research thus far in relation to physical activity.

Design response possibilities discovered;

  • Teens/ adolescences are most at risk to take performance enhancing drugs due to the exposure of social media and their ability to be influenced quite easily.
  • Lack of education/ awareness of the effects of performance enhancing drugs.
  • Information on side effects and dangers only exist on blogs or low funded websites.
  • Athletes, Supplement/ Fitness companies are not transparent with their products/ promotional material.
  • A blind eye is shown to all behind the scenes (emotional psychological, aftermath)

Problem Statement

“How to improve transparency by educating ‘vulnerable’ people about the reality of most role model athletes”

Having an interest in fitness and following some athletes on social media I am always left with questions, often second guessing most of the elite ‘Natural’ body builders in the game at the moment. Transparency does tend to discourage me in many of my favourite athletes. With that being said I can’t blame or criticise the likes of Simeon Panda or Steve Cook (bodybuilders) for pledging themselves as natural when I know full well that there is more to the story.

Contracts with several companies require an athlete to cheat themselves risking their name, reputation and fan base to advertise/ promote a particular product. The issue is at the largest it’s ever been and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Draft Proposal

I propose a platform that will educate and influence aspiring physically active people about the risks of using performance enhancing drugs. Instead of forums or blogs (which contain an overload of reading and unstimulating jibber jabber), I am leaning towards a campaign involving videos and talks encouraging interaction and feedback from participants to further engage. Using ex-athletes, educated trainers and possibly a series of testimonials may be an effective way to communicate the message clearer. It would be interesting to not only concentrate of the physical but the psychological effects as well as the obvious dangers.

Strong is sexy

Natural vs Artificial

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 8.47.32 pm.png

Post 7: Mitchell Soames

With the rise of the fitness industry people have become more aware of their bodies physical appearance. Its only natural for people to long for qualities they don’t have and strive to acquire them anyway possible.

I have been doing a considerable amount of research into physical activity so I knew it wasn’t going to be long until I investigate performance and ways of enhancing ones capabilities.

My group was asked to conduct a collaborative ‘issue’ mapping exercise. We chose to take a look at natural vs artificial with so much controversy stemming from social media with opinions and shame circling around the issue.


In our first map we really looked into the nitty-gritty contributors such as Environment, Expectations, Substance, Profession, Emotions, Item objects, and Persons. We established the real reasoning (in most cases) that commonly people who use substances are athletes or bodybuilders usually influenced or feel compelled to use substances to enhance their performance due to the incredible amount of expectations from persons such as trainers, coaches, society and media.

We decided to narrow our scope and dig deeper, choosing steroids as our topic of interest as it is a well known illicit drug that finds it way into many elite level sports. We formed 6 categories which included; Issues and challenges, Capacities, Associates, Politics, Value alignments and Hierarchies. From this we could see that values alignments really outweigh most, things like increased motivation, self-esteem, dedication and seeing results are key factors that justify one’s self to use steroids.

14192028_1586948731600569_5136552330196248348_n.jpgSomething must be done to educate particularly vulnerable aged adolescents as puberty sets in and the body start’s changing so quickly, the stress of body image becomes quite overwhelming. I propose a system to aid the handling of this situation, using advertising campaigns that would identify something considered to be unhealthy so people could relate with that subject to better explain the side effects.

For example alcohol abuse may seem more dangerous to your health than steroids but in fact with the wrong dosage and/or use steroids can be deadly, exhausting your internal organs (similarly connected to excessive alcohol consumption) and can trigger things like liver failure and heart disease .

Data Scraping – ‘Obesity’

What can we find out about social media and people’s perspective on obesity

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 9.34.21 pm.pngPost 6 : Mitchell Soames

The accessibility of social media platforms has become a fundamental obsession in today’s society. Newspapers and magazines have become a thing of the past, giving rise to companies such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I have chosen to conduct a data scrape across all of these platforms to observe and summarise what I have learned from the majority of content found from specific hashtags based on my topic of interest ‘Obesity’. My starting point utilised an advanced Twitter search which triggered over 8000 tweets. Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 9.24.59 pm.png

I then took a look at tags relative to my subject which included; #obese #obesity #health #physicallyactive #fat #fatty #overweight and many more.
My first observation  was the connection between obesity as a cause of cancer, diabetes and other diseases raising awareness of the internal problems associated in gaining an excess of body fat.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 9.35.07 pm.pngScreen Shot 2016-09-05 at 12.13.07 pm.png

It was interesting to note that all 3 platforms chose to deal with the concerning issue with humorous annotations. I found myself flicking through several tweets and photos, which were mainly promoting bad health choices with a funny somewhat relatable text and/or image.

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It was also quite concerning to see so many people falsely using the derogatory term ‘fat’ as a way of showing of their physical appearance. I might be a little out of line saying this but I believe if you sure enough about yourself and your figure, you should not upload a photo that your clearly looking for attention saying that your fat if your not battling with weight gain. It will simply further the issue for those who are actually in real trouble.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 11.06.17 am.png

My 5 insights

  1. In some instances obesity has been properly distinguished as a progressive terminal killer with its effects on cardiovascular related diseases.
  2. Help and care as well as facts are available on social media, companies and people are willing to share information and help people in need.
  3. Humour resonates with many people, it helps some to relate with others reminding those who struggle, they aren’t alone in the battle with weight gain.
  4. People can often be very shallow and hurtful with their lack of sensitivity to a serious issue just for a laugh.
  5. Many people are posers/ use the struggle of weight gain for attention to show off their physical appearance.


Contributing factors to Obesity

Assumptions and hazy perspectives

Post 5 : Mitchell Soames

Aim:To gain more insight of how others perceive obesity and/or an active living, what do they see as contributing factors?

1. What do you think are the 3 main causes of obesity?

I was surprised by the response to my first question as my partner acknowledge that the living environment/ location were the highest contributing causes to obesity. Followed by eating habits which can be impacted heavily by your living situation  (eg. With friends as apposed to with family)

2. Why do you think Location/ environment is the most important?

I directed my second question based on the response to the first, my partner raised an interesting reasoning for her choice stating that your environment can condone or prevent you from certain choices (for example living in an area which has a number of fast food chains, one is more inclined to choose unhealthy options)

3. What’s your perspective on obesity? Positive or negative?

My next question I wanted to hear her perspective on Obesity as a subject/ issue. She expressed that the topic is taking a positive turn, mentioning that there has been a large level of awareness rising about healthier options and ways to maintain a healthy living (specifically on social media and TV shows)

4. What does a healthy living mean to you?

This was a tricky question which raised some alarming opinions, my partner first stated that your body shape/ condition directly relates to your mental state.
She went on to say that Physical health are connected if the person is balanced and health condition in appearance they are healthy.

5. Physical activity is considered to be of grave importance to combating obesity. Do you agree? is there negative things you can think of?

I wanted to focus on the negative aspects of physical activity because from most of the research I have read, the majority of sources are expressing how positive the impact of an active lifestyle has. My partner pointed out that its hard for people with weight issues to overcome barriers and get fit/ healthy specifically referring to patience, encouragement and comfort zones as restricting components.

5 point summary (based on interviewee)

  • Environment/ location in terms of a persons surroundings can have the biggest impact on one becoming obese.
  • A healthy looking physical appearance directly relates to a healthy psychological status.
  • Awareness and interest is currently being shown on the topic of obesity (through social media and TV).
  • There a mental barriers and external factors that stops/ prevents a person from getting physically active.
  • Too many assumptions are made for the reasons behind someone having a weight issue.

I conducted a probe task for my partner  which involved her documenting her feelings pre and post physical activity, and explain her dietary choices in her day. She admitted to feeling unmotivated of a morning to get out and go for a run, but draws on previous experiences to trigger her to get up and get going. The interesting nutritional choice was cereal which she describes as healthy. Its funny that we have come accustomed to believing certain cereal brands are ‘healthy’ because they are advertised in that manner, yet most are loaded with sugars and/or fat and are digested very quickly making it not a  very great choice.

Never the less she also stated “Physical activity does make me feel more aware about my body condition, lift up my mood and as a result I become more considerate about my food choices.” although acknowledged that exercise can encourage her to splurge out more on unhealthy options as a ‘reward’ for her commitment to training.


Mapping the participants/ Image archive

Stakeholders and Relationships


Post 3: Mitchell Soames

When attempting to map out the stakeholders for Obesity and healthy living one starts to comprehend just how many people or tangible/ intangible contributors impact the issue holistically.

Through working in a small group we were able to identify an array of different influences. One key insight was our realisation that challenged our initial thoughts admitting to thinking that social media was the biggest influence of obesity and healthy living, yet it scaled quite low when compared to somewhat uncontrollable circumstances such as economic position, (this may cause you to think we really don’t know what we are talking about) but humour me for a second.

If you were not in the position to get access to a good sources of fresh produce one has no choice but to gravitate towards cheaper options, foods with low nutritional substance or fast food. Also depending on the area you are living in a local supermarket might not be as accessible.

A week later we were asked to produce another map, this time we included any word that could be related or influential to the topic. We received feedback from our tutors and peers and began to break down our 5 key contributor based on our own personal believes, these included (in order) Role models, Support, Expectations, Education, Social.


What  was interesting is that most of these contributors are relative to one another; for example expectations would go hand in hand with support and when you think of role models I think your family specifically your parents, not having these three aspects working together can really create a struggle in your judgement and motivation to prevent or combat obesity and/or live a healthy

10 Research Images


Food Design 2012 ‘You are what you eat’

This image was found on tumblr with little information or research behind it. I was particularly drawn to it because of its clever use of composition to represent a person by combining a selection of fast food sources with heavy carbohydrate foods. It is a common trend to target the ‘human image’ for example this character is clearly over-weight and emotively unhappy portraying a pessimistic view to the effects of unhealthy choices both physical and psychologically.


Lesage, D. 2014 ‘Obesity starts from childhood’ 

This  image was made by a Graphic designer named Karen Hurley and Art director David Lesage for a advertising campaign for French Ministry of Health to promote awareness of childhood obesity. Again this image targets body image using an indulging image of an ice-cream which is easily relatable for both children and adults.


Parker, J. ND ‘Global threat waiting area’

I found that comics illustrations are quite powerful in their ability to use comedy to represent a serious issues such as obesity. For example in this image our understanding of all three issues (Obesity, bird flu and global warming) are heavily impacting factors on humanity. Yet the most concerning problem in this image is obesity cleverly represented by a weight distribution and the emotions shown on each characters face.
This image shows the reality of obesity (far more concerning) than any alarming virus or environmental fear in relation to mortality.


Raeside, 2016 ‘Obesity and health care system’

This comic is by Raeside which do alot of illustrtions targeting Healthcare systems and the Government. I chose this one because it struck me instantly. labelling the scale as our Healthcare system represents the lack of support or attention to a major problem which is Obesity. With the character shown still holding a soft drink and a shirt titled ‘Obesity’ tells me that he himself is completely oblivious to the problem.
This image differs from the rest because it is the first time that the issue is not specific to an individual but targets a support system that is not doing its part in helping people in need.


Personal trainingSF 2012 ‘One of the best ways to lose stomach fat’

Finding this artwork on a 42 ways to lose fat page didn’t give me a lot of insight to this image so I decided to dig deeper. I found that it is actually an advertising campaign for Companhia Athletica, ran by São Paulo whom collaborated with Brazilian advertising agency DM9 DDB on a set of captivating ads to motivate obese people to lose weight. There is a series of the same style silhouette characters with fit and athletic bodies imprisoned inside.
This is the first image that I can see the two (over-weight and fit) subjects used in contrast expressing the intrinsic belief that wants change as a physical element.


Katie Couric 2014 ‘Fed Up’

This image was incredibly educational using a simple comparison to effectivvely communicate the ‘hidden’ sugars in different  products.  The purpose is to open people’s eyes to products which may seem harmless because of its use, yet by contrasting them with a product that one could assume is loaded with sugar/ unhealthy can lead to somone having a changed perspective with their food section


Ahfon, 2008 ‘Anti-obestiy campaign’

I found this image to be the first one that represented an obesity treatment with a negative connotation suggesting that children have no choice but to be shaped into something that is more ‘perfect’ in appearance. Also the language is very in-formal using slang such as ‘fatty’ to single out the children, which are shown in a distressing manner.


DRL: Heart 2010 ‘Don’t treat Diabetes to your heart.’

This advertisement was quite similar to my second image again targeting sweets and associating ice-cream with something that is loaded with sugar. Where it differs is the directed cause/ impact showing the heart as a heavily effected organ.
Unlike my other images this one uses text to resonate with its audience “People with diabetes are 2 to 4 times likely to get heart disease” further reassuring the issue.


Granlund, G. 2012 ‘World wide obesity’

This image is unique as it targets a broad scale, combining the world with a human which seems to be ignoring the obvious weight problem. The text prompts a reaction with an alarming 30% increase of obesity it seems this image is communicating a lack of acknowledgement of a serious issue world wide.


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Piraro, D. 2014 Then, sometime after the invention of home computers, things began (…)

I feel that this image was the first to suggest technology as a major problem in relation to weight-gain. Relying on humour in both the text and using the  human evolution ending in an obese figure proposes a projection of our future if we as humans let technology take control of our livelihood.



Food Design 2012 ‘You are what you eat’  viewed 25 August 2016 <http://artpixie.tumblr.com/post/26297901007&gt;

Lesage, D. 2014 ‘Obesity starts from childhood’ 2014– knowing your portions’ viewed 25 August 2016 <http://www.davegranlund.com/catoons/2012/07/24/world-obesity/&gt;

Parker, J. ND ‘Global threat waiting area’ viewed 26 August 2016  <https://collaborationnation.wikispaces.com/file/view/parker.gif/33093359/parker.gif&gt;

Raeside, 2016 ‘Obesity and health care system’ viewed 26 August 2016  <http://raesidecartoon.com/vault/obesity-health-care-system/&gt;

Personal trainingSF 2012 ‘One of the best ways to lose stomach fat’– knowing your portions’ viewed 26 August 2016 <http://personaltrainingsf.com/top-42-ways-to-lose-belly-fat-fast&gt;

Katie Couric 2014 ‘Fed Up’viewed 28 August 2016 <http://blogs.babycenter.com/products_and_prizes/the-film-the-food-industry-doesnt-want-you-to-see/&gt;

Ahfon, 2008 ‘Anti-obestiy campaign’ viewed 28 August 2016 <http://blog.omy.sg/ahfon/archives/52&gt;

DRL: Heart 2010 ‘Don’t treat Diabetes to your heart.’viewed 28 August 2016 <http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/drl_heart&gt;

Granlund, G. 2012‘World wide obesity’ viewed 28 August 2016 <http://www.davegranlund.com/catoons/2012/07/24/world-obesity/&gt;

Piraro, D. 2014 Then, sometime after the invention of home computers, things began (…) viewed 28 August 2016 <http://www.thecomicstrips.com/subject/The-Obese+Weight+Loss-Comic-Strips-by-Bizarro.php&gt;

Fitness Experiment #Howfitfeels

Exercise Experiment on both active and inactive participants

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FitnessFirst AUS ‘How Fit Feels’ 2016 

Post 4 : Mitchell Soames

#Howfitfeels is a project ran by fitness first Australia targeting two separate types of participants. Three people who live and breathe fitness, and three inactive people.

This experiment runs over the duration of 12 weeks with monthly updates via video recordings summarising each persons feelings and emotions sharing the effects of the program on their lives.

Sleep patterns are tracked and participants will provide a daily mood rating to see if adding or removing fitness can change how they feel.

The website is very engaging displaying portraits of the participants with their name, age, biological age (predicted through a scientific formula based on one’s lifestyle), quote summing up their main thoughts and an option to read a short bio (as shown below).

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 Fitness First AUS ‘How Fit Feels’ 2016 

The site also encourages the general public interaction for those following these stories, a invitation to post pictures of yourself exercising with the hash tag #Howfitfeels provides the opportunity to have your picture chosen to be displayed on the website. There are quick links sharing information about healthy alternatives to nutrition, lifestyle changes and exercise solutions.

Only a month after the start of the program, every previously inactive person has come back with unbelievably convincing results psychologically. Most common was the feeling of energy and confidence,

Feeling really great after my training sessions I’m starting to get more energised and not as sore – Alisha (inactive participant)

While simultaneously stripping fitness out of an active persons schedule has really taken a negative impact on their mental well-being,

 Clarity of thought is getting foggy, I can’t articulate what I want to say very well. My creativity has dropped right off – Nardia (Active participant)

These stories directly reinforce my previous research into the ‘Impacts of physical activity on obesity’. Not only are these people changing their physical condition, but by exercising an extreme shift in overall psychological behaviour shows just how positive the effects of physical activity are.

I am aware that this may not seem like an emerging practise context but I disagree. The #Howfitfeels promotes one of the most personal and transparent investigations I have ever seen in any advertising context. Monitoring active people after taking fitness out of their lives is such an interesting concept as these individuals start to understand the terrible psychological repercussions instantly.

Furthermore introducing exercise into an inactive (over-weight) participant can not only improve their BMI/ physical state, but change their life from nutrition to better choices, and mental strengthening a whole new level of understanding to a healthy living can be achieved .


FitnessFirstAUS, 2016 ‘#HowFitFeels Viewed 20 August 2016  http://www.howfitfeels.fitnessfirst.com.au/#/?_k=5yrs4w

The Importance Of Physical Activity

A look at adolescence and the trends that transition into adulthood

bildeChildhood Obesity Varvel, G. 2006

Post 2 : Mitchell Soames

Being an advocate for health and fitness I chose to research further into exercise and its effects on the physical and psychological, sharing the therapeutic impacts on ones livelihood.

Particularly interested in our youth, I saw to identify the patterns of laziness and lack of physical activity in early years compared to adulthood to reveal the relationship it has to health. This brought me to my first article written by a number of experts in health and nutrition ‘Physical activity and obesity in children’ published in 2011.

This article shares that,

“Physical activity and a healthy diet are the cornerstones of obesity prevention and management.” – Andrew P. Hills

Early lifestyle choices have the tendency to be maintained through to adulthood forming a strong link between physical, mental and social aspects of growth and development, helping to set a pattern of participation in physical activity across a lifetime. I acknowledge the link as I personally lived an active lifestyle and have friends that did during our adolescent years, have managed to continue heading into our adult life (for the majority).

Understanding that our younger years are quite crucial, I turned my interest into the educational systems (specifically elementary and secondary) I found a current article including Professor Andrew P Hills (who contributed to the first article) and other experts ‘Supporting Public Health Priorities: Recommendations for Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion in Schools’, 2015.

This was a very informative source, which included the Comprehensive school physical activity program recommendations (CSPAPR) as shown.

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It is discouraging to see many of these recommendations aren’t followed or included in schools (speaking from past experience). A survey is referenced ‘Barriers to providing physical education and physical activity in Victorian state secondary schools’ 2010 which included 115 Australian secondary school PE teachers.

The crowded school curriculum and lack of facilities are the two most commonly cited barriers to student participation in Physical Education and Physical activity.

I found this to be so true from my experience, attending secondary school and studying PE, I remember the curriculum was so extensive that our PA classes were often cut short or left out due to time restraints. It always amazed me that there was so little time allocated to PA given the benefits far more important than most of the things taught at school.

For instance PA promotes cardiometabolic wellness, improves cognitive performance, and effectively aids in the prevention and treatment of a variety of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other disorders of metabolism, neurological diseases, sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and cancer (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008,Bouchard et al., 1990, Garber et al., 2011, Pate et al., 1995 and Stranahan and Mattson, 2012). I believe it is key to develop PA interests and skills from a young age to ensure a better chance at a richer healthier life both physically and mentally.


Varvel, G. 2006,  ‘Childhood Obesity’ Viewed 14 August 2016 <https://www.indystar.com/article/20130416/OPINION09/304160010/>


Hills A.P., Andersen, L.B., Byrne N.M. 2011 ‘Physical activity and obesity in children’ Vol. 45 no. 11 pp. 866-870.

Hillsa, A.P., Dengelb, D.R., Lubansd, D.R. 2015 ‘Supporting Public Health Priorities: Recommendations for Physical Education and Physical (…)’ Vol. 57, no. 4 pp. 368–374.

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>