A nation of stressed-out fatties

ScreenHunter_23 May. 30 09.38

By Leith van Onselen

Roy Morgan Research (RMR) has released its latest State of the Nation report, which reveals that Aussies are fatter and more anxious than ever, despite solid improvements in some areas, such as in reduced incidence and consumption of smoking cigarettes.

The results are highlighted in the next chart, which tracks how Australians are faring across seven key health areas: smoking, alcohol consumption, nutrition, activity levels, illnesses, Body Mass Index (BMI) and psychological wellbeing.

ScreenHunter_3211 Jul. 09 14.43

According to RMR chief executive, Michele Levine, the reduction in smoking and alcohol consumption is due to:

“…the fact there’s been a very strong anti-smoking campaign and anti-smoking lobby with increased taxes and a focus on plain labels…[and]…a fairly strong anti-drink-driving campaign. And there’s been enough information to get people to curb their drinking”.

And yet, the increase in obesity comes despite Australia becoming “a nation of weight watchers”, possibly necessitating further research:

“We worry about our weight. We think about our weight. We say that we’re monitoring the calories we eat and yet our weight continues to increase…

“Some of the clues in all of this data I suppose remain to be uncovered, but things like being overweight, it’s largely an older person’s issue.”

Meanwhile, younger Aussies have experienced the most anxiety in the past year – perhaps not surprising given their increasingly precarious employment situation and the lack of affordable housing options:

“The really big increase there has been around anxiety. About 20 per cent of young people have actually expressed feeling anxiety in the last 12 months, but other people, it’s increased from something like 7 or 8 per cent seven years ago to about 15 or 16 per cent today.

“It was increasing gently but it really starts to pick up around 2012, and that’s the time also that unemployment and underemployment really started to kick up.

Again, how exactly is the Abbott Government’s tightened eligibility requirements for under-30s seeking welfare, as well as the proposed dramatic lift in university fees, supposed to improve anxiety levels amongst the nation’s youth?

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Comments

  1. casewithscience

    Again, how exactly is the Abbott Government’s tightened eligibility requirements for under-30s seeking welfare, as well as the proposed dramatic lift in university fees, supposed to improve anxiety levels amongst the nation’s youth?

    It won’t solve the anxiety problems, but they are likely to lose the extra pounds. So at least one problem is out of the way.

    • ” likely to lose the extra pounds. ”

      Because they wont be able to afford food ?

      • I like the idea, 75‰ of income to rent, 14‰ to student debt and 1‰ for 2min noodles! We’ll all be size zero in a decade!

  2. Perhaps the best thing for fiscal sustainability would be for the government to encourage smoking. People who smoke usually don’t die until they’ve done their working life and paid insane amounts of tax, but usually before they hang around into their 90s with dementia.

    Just a random thought.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Not so much Palmer has his own meal ticket.

        I imagine there are a lot more sous chefs at parliament house now though

      • General Disarray

        @saintmatthew

        Being built like Santa makes Clive’s policy positions more understandable. Give him the desert and take his shaving kit!

    • Hmm,

      Can’t leave that to chance – modelling repeated a number of times since the sixties shows the reduction in life expectancy to be more or less linear with average daily cigarettes smoked…government should prescribe 10-15 cigarettes to ensure correct result.

      • Good idea, why not introduce a ‘ciggie voucher’ system to be absolutely 100% sure!

  3. migtronixMEMBER

    Again, how exactly is the Abbott Government’s tightened eligibility requirements for under-30s seeking welfare, as well as the proposed dramatic lift in university fees, supposed to improve anxiety levels amongst the nation’s youth?

    Absolutely correct and glad you keep hitting that bag because its a prima facie disgrace. This is government that believes under 40s will never vote for them anyway so f-em, I think the Liberals will come to regret this Liberal government as the imprint it leaves on the next 2 generations of voters will be very strong.

  4. outsidetrader

    I agree Mig – pandering to pensioners while screwing over youth is hardly a model of long term political sustainability…

  5. The young might be better equipped to handle things than some expect.

    ‘…while making Generation Right for BBC Radio 4 and talking to other Generation Ys, this expected latent anger was harder to find that I had anticipated. My generation often appeared not so much ready to revolt as keeping their heads down, working hard and pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. The majority are choosing realism over revolution.

    Contrary to popular belief most Gen Ys (rightly or wrongly) don’t want to take from the rich old and give to the poor young. As Demos and Ipsos MORI’s 2013 Generation Strains report shows, as many as two thirds of Generation Y support helping the over 65s.

    But they want the welfare state to work differently. While 40 per cent of those born in 1945 or before agree with the proposition that “the government should spend more money on welfare benefits for the poor, even if it leads to higher taxes”, the numbers decrease as you move down through the generations with fewer than 20 per cent of Gen Ys agreeing.

    The research shows that today’s young tend to want to spend less on welfare, favour reduced government spending and lower taxes. Not because they don’t care about those in need, but more probably because their attitudes include a suspicion of collectivism, a greater scepticism towards the state and more faith in themselves as individuals to get things done.’

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/10915458/Why-are-young-people-so-Right-wing.html

    Good news!

    • General Disarray

      That would go along with the increase in narcissism. Don’t forget to take a selfie while you vote!

    • Contrary to popular belief most Gen Ys (rightly or wrongly) don’t want to take from the rich old and give to the poor young.

      That’s right. They’re very conservative and quite android.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      “We should be cautious about interpreting this as evidence of generational differences in support for the welfare system, however. The reason for this is the wording of the question, which refers not just to ‘welfare’ but ‘the welfare state’. Our focus groups revealed that older groups were more likely to understand the ‘welfare state’ as a wider system of cradle-to-grave support, encompassing services like the NHS as well as social security benefits. Younger generations, by contrast, often had a less clear definition of the ‘welfare state’, and were more likely to interpret it as meaning welfare benefits for the unemployed. This lack of clarity over the meaning of ‘the welfare state’ is reflected in the very high levels of those in Generation Y who answer ‘don’t know’ to this question (around five in ten, compared with around two in ten from the Pre War Generation).

      Your propaganda machine certainly has done an impressive job convincing people to go against their own best interests though, minebot, I’m sure you’re proud.

  6. General Disarray

    The increasing BMI – despite being “a nation of weight watchers” – could have a lot to do with an aging population and the incredible amount of bullshit people tell researchers in any study that is reliant on self-reporting calorie intake. Add to that we’re becoming more sedentary and people usually overestimate the amount of activity they perform which throws their calorie requirements off.

    Basically, if you’re looking at anything about dieting and the sample was self-reporting toss it straight in the bin.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      Oh pashaw! Are you telling me the guys on mobility scooters will over estimate how much exercise they do?

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Dunno. Reckon they put in a lot of effort in attempting to run down fit young blokes like myself.

        Going to the shopping centre in Ballina is like being in a real life Frogger.

  7. Sigh…. healthy food is expensive and takes more prep – cooking time… processed industrialized kibble [fat food] is cheapo and quick to fix.

    Skippy… productivity demands the latter…

  8. Leftist broad brush smear and anecdotal wankery is not an argument Bluebird.

    http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2013/02/13591/quantity-sugar-food-supply-linked-diabetes-rates

    That’s just one link imo and as someone with family in the clinical and academic medical field, along with my history of industrial – plant engineering, I can safely say your a polemic moron.

    Skippy… Try attending the Salon International de l’Alimentation or spend some time watching what goes on in industrialized food processing and get back to me.

    PS. fresh local food or the next best… is and always has been… the best personal and market choice.

  9. Yeah someone doesn’t like me… again. Fuck. I thought everyone did.

    as someone with family in the clinical and academic medical field,

    Well you should be the first to admitting to what failures you are. You give veracity to Abbott cutting uni funding. You suck.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      I like you Bluebird, you give me hope that irony survived the long trek to the antipodes, even if it became dulled and rough at the edges.

      Of course Abbott hasn’t cut funding, he’s increased debt loading, and that’s just the kind of dull irony I need on a Wednesday evening.

  10. This is quite sad.

    All the dairy, animal protein and fat is consigning generations to a slow death spiral.

    Hat tip: The China Study.