The Sugar Tax

The Sugar Tax

Health
What is it? The idea of the sugar tax has been thrown around a lot over the past few years. It is a tax only applying to sugar sweetened beverages. Australia is proposing 20%, which would apply to all the classic sugar laden soft drink giants. For example, Coke, Sprite and Fanta. It would also apply to a few of the less obvious culprits such as mineral waters, energy drinks and flavoured milks. The tax aims to reduce the consumption of these drinks through an increase in their price, making them less desirable to the consumer. Hence, having positive effect on the health of our society, decreasing the prevalence of overweight, obesity, diabetes, dental caries and other chronic diseases. Many people think the sugar tax is a good idea. Many…
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Lana Hirth Q&A

Lana Hirth Q&A

Other
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? My name is Lana Hirth. I’m a dietitian and nutritionist from Campbelltown (South West Sydney). I’ve lived in the South West all my life and there are some unique challenges living in this low-socioeconomic status (SES) area when it comes to nutrition. I work in a private practice clinic in the Campbelltown area and most people I see are referred from by their doctors under Medicare plans. What are some of the nutritional challenges faced by people living in low SES communities? There are many. High number of fast food outlets, long work hours, substance abuse and lower education levels are all factors that influence nutrition. One is summed up well by the ‘Red Rooster Line’ – the significant difference in…
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Fighting Obesity with Food

Fighting Obesity with Food

Health
Too much food makes us fat. By this logic, it makes sense to combat obesity with less food. While this simplistic energy in, energy out algorithm has driven weight loss diets for many years, perhaps there are more sophisticated ways to address weight loss. It’s not just the amount of food we eat, but the type. Research suggests some foods assist in weight loss, more so than others. Brown Adipose Tissue Thermogenesis refers to the energy our bodies expend, due to the food we eat. It can be broken down into two main categories; adaptive and obligatory. Obligatory energy losses are those used for gut movement, nutrient absorption and other activities necessary to digestion. These energy losses cannot be modified to any great extent. Adaptive energy losses are of more…
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The Obesity Crisis: A Blame Game

The Obesity Crisis: A Blame Game

Health
Obesity and overweight prevalence is higher than ever. With this, an alarming increase in chronic diseases has been observed. While the obesity crisis is common knowledge, what is less obvious are the underlying factors. A popular belief about obesity is that the individual is solely responsible for their disease. It’s their own fault they’re fat. This belief stems from what public health professionals are calling weight stigma/bias; the social phenomenon where overweight and obese individuals are perceived as disgusting, gluttonous and with a dire lack of self control. No one forced them to eat that McValue meal, or to choose white bread over wholemeal at the supermarket. They’ve got no one to blame but themselves, right? Well, no. Not exactly. The obesogenic environment is emerging as a new model that…
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