23 Feb 2007

Australian obesity

This is kind of a throwaway post, in that I don't really take obesity to be a serious political issue, but I found this article, about Australia being the 21st fattest country in the world, amusing. I've long suspected that Australians' self-image as a sport-obsessed nation, and the massive national per capita spending on sport, function to mask and excuse the sedentary behaviour of the populace.
From the article:

Dr Booth said Australia's rich food supply, "relatively unregulated advertising environment" and love of gadgets and machinery that encourage sedentary behaviour had contributed to the obesity epidemic.

For 'rich food supply', read 'cheap meat', 'cheap fast food', '2l of Coke for $2', and oodles of alcohol. For 'relatively unregulated advertising environment', note the fact that Australian television consistently broadcasts advertising on the part of meat producers claiming that eating red meat is necessary for good health, a clearly-false claim that would never be allowed in the UK, a significantly less fat (though still mostly overweight) country. The 'gadgets and machinery' alluded to – well, what can this mean other than cars?