Bringing star quality to weight management education
The latest National Nutrition Survey indicates more than 2.3 million Australians aged 15 years and older are on a diet to lose weight or improve their health. Despite this, rates of overweight and obesity are rising in Australia and it is the third contributor to burden of disease, behind smoking and high blood pressure.
Researchers across the country and the globe are looking for ways forward to halt and reduce the cause and effects of overweight and obesity and the Australian Hospital and Healthcare Bulletin has recently published articles on:
- The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Atlas which highlights that soaring rates of obesity will be a major contributor to the expected 50 per cent increase in cancer cases to 21.7 million by 2030.
- Obesity and extreme obesity have the potential to reduce life expectancy by up to 8 years and deprive adults of as much as 19 years of healthy life as a result of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- A team at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute has discovered how damage caused from obesity passed from mother to child can be reversed, and the findings could have major implications for future fertility research.
- Urban Planners Play a Big Role in Fighting Obesity according to health and urban research experts at the University of Melbourne.
The researchers, including those with backgrounds in biology, physiology, psychology, epidemiology and neuroscience are looking for evidence-based answers and it seems this multi-disciplinary approach may be the way to end the global obesity epidemic.
And this is exactly why Sonja Bella, Founder of the Australian Institute of Weight Loss Consultants has established the inaugural Global Weight Management Conference which is happening in Brisbane this May. The conference is using ‘out of the box’ content to engage its audience, and has recruited Australia’s fittest man, Guy Leech, as its patron.
It’s not common to see a ‘celebrity’ as an ambassador for a health, but Ms Bella explains aligning with Leech’s principles will be a useful tool in their professional practice.
“Guy was chosen as the ambassador because of his philosophy and attitude to everything he does; for Guy, failure is not an option and he uses the same principles that made him successful in sport in every other area of his life. “We need to adopt that philosophy into the weight management industry as we can no longer sit back and operate in our own ‘silos’ and just hope that obesity will go away,” Ms Bella said.
“The trends and forecasts for obesity are frightening and if the current practices were working, we would have seen a turn-around in the statistics. “The Congress aims to cross-pollinate the multi-disciplinary fields that co-exist within the weight management industry and give practitioners a platform to network, engage and learn from other experts, leading authorities and professors so that we can offer clients a new way forward and a new way of thinking about weight management.
“The other reason Guy was chosen is that while fitness is certainly one aspect of weight management, we didn’t want this to become another fitness convention as the market place is flooded with fitness information; instead we wanted to focus on cutting edge research and methodologies that will make a significant impact on the way we currently address obesity and eight management, so if we had to select just one person to represent fitness, we wanted Australia’s best.”
There is no doubting Guy’s passion for helping to tackle obesity. As well as being recognised as ‘Australia’s fittest guy’, he has helped many people, including celebrities such as Jonathon Coleman and Casey Donovan with their battle of the bulge. Seeing their transformations can inspire the general public to work towards their own personal health goals.
“Every year in Australia five million people set health and fitness goals in the year – whether they are to lose weight or stop smoking,” Guy said. “Out of those, may be 250,000 reach their goal – that’s one in 25 people who get to the finish line. “The strength those people have is knowing the reason why they want to lose weight and having a plan and strategy in place. “I call it their unfair advantage”.
Guy has a good understanding of the health ramifications of being overweight or obese and is working as an ambassador with Diabetes Australia.
“There are real concerns where we are going in this country,” Guy says. “Type 2 diabetes is something you can do something about – changes in your lifestyle can turn things around.”
Researchers at the University of South Australia have developed a novel coating that can be...
The Australian College of Nursing has welcomed the recognition of the profession's...
A team from Southern Cross University is pioneering a technology that could heal wounds in days...