New government research shows that levels of childhood obesity have remained largely unchanged for the past decade.
For the first time since the mid 1990s, government scientists asked a large number of Australian children (4,400 between the ages of two and 16) about what they eat.
In a survey that also included questions about physical activity, CSIRO researchers found that while most children get enough exercise, time in front of television and computer screens has blown out dramatically.
The survey found 72 per cent of children are in the healthy weight range, but 17 per cent are overweight, 6 per cent are obese and 5 per cent are considered underweight.
The relatively unchanged levels of childhood obesity comes despite a common conception in today’s society that Australian children are in the grip of an obesity epidemic.
This was not an issue addressed by the study or by any reportage I’ve yet seen, but I wonder whether part of the perception that there is an “obesity epidemic” is related to shifts in the mass media beauty standard to a much thinner beauty ideal – for men as well as women (male models/actors these days have awesome muscle definition, but not that much muscle bulk, which means that the defined muscle outlines derive from a very low body fat level).
P.S. Anyone who wants to add to the panic about the alleged obesity crisis, please read this page at Shapely Prose first, kthxbai.