Cairns exercise plan to prevent tide of obesity
AUSTRALIANS are being urged to exercise for an hour a day and measure their waist every three months under a new set of dietary guidelines that aim to prevent nearly every Australian becoming overweight within a decade.
In the past, Australians have been told 30 minutes' moderate exercise a day was enough but the nation's peak medical body says the growing consumption of energy dense foods and the fact we sit for longer each day means activity rates need to double so we can burn off the extra calories.
The exercise rules are contained in updated Australian dietary guidelines issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council which finds 41 per cent of the average child's and 36 per cent of the average adult's food intake comes from junk foods.
Men have been ordered to eat less meat and all Australians warned to cut back on white bread, high fat milk and soft drinks, salty foods, fried foods, hot chips, many take-away foods, cakes and biscuits, chocolate and confectionery and crisps.
Cairns dietician Mitchell Smith said he is not surprised at yesterday's findings.
But the Cairns Health Management co-director and dietician to the Northern Pride and Cairns Taipans said increased exercise to combat a poor diet is not realistic for most people.
"These findings are indicative of what we require to maintain good health, however may be unachievable for many Australians who work full-time and have many other commitments," Mr Smith said.
Additional reporting Sue Dunlevy
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Flab fighter: Dietician to the Taipans and Northern Pride, Mitch Smith, says eating fruit and vegetables helps to maintain a healthy diet. Picture: MARC MCCORMACK