Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Weight-loss campaigns a waste of money

Weight-loss campaigns a waste of money
August 2, 2011

Overweight and obese persons' bodies are programmed to regain any weight that is lost and authorities are wasting money on campaigns urging people to exercise and eat healthy food, according to obesity expert Joseph Proietto.

In an opinion piece in The Medical Journal of Australia, University of Melbourne Professor of Medicine Joseph Proietto states that the high failure rate of weight-loss programs could be explained by growing evidence that obesity was "physiologically defended".

Professor Proietto opined that weight loss in obese people only led to changes in energy expenditure and hunger-controlling hormones that encouraged weight gain.

"It is likely that it is these physiological adaptations that make it so difficult to maintain weight loss,"

"Importantly … in those who are already obese, public health messages encouraging people to eat healthy food and exercise are unlikely to have a long-term impact on their weight."

Professor Proietto said the weight-control clinic he runs at Melbourne's Austin Hospital was overwhelmed with demand, with a two-year waiting period. But the hospital was funded to do no more than 20 gastric banding operations a year.

In an interview with The Age, Professor Proietto said political leaders were ignoring the biological reasons for obesity by focusing on lifestyle messages and providing only limited funding for bariatric surgery, which had been shown to achieve long-term weight loss.

"All the money is put into giving messages on television, but actually that doesn't work - you can't convince someone not to eat who's hungry.

"If a good tablet came along it would not make it on the PBS [Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme] because everybody says obesity is a lifestyle disorder only and all you have to do is change your habits.

"We don't need tablets to lose weight, but we do need them to keep it off."

Professor Proietto said it was important to focus on preventing obesity, particularly in children, but more resources were needed for people who were already obese.

He believes gastric banding surgery could reverse obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnoea.

In his journal article, Professor Proietto wrote "we must help the long-suffering obese in their struggle to maintain a reduced weight.

"In the absence of safe, effective pharmacological agents that can be used long-term, bariatric surgery is the most successful intervention for sustained weight loss.

"Why is it not more often conducted in public hospitals?"

Professor Proietto's focus on bariatric surgery has been questioned by other medical experts, who say it is a last-resort measure that does not address the complex causes of obesity.

Obesity Policy Coalition Senior Policy Adviser Jane Martin said the surgery was not feasible as a population-wide solution to obesity because it was expensive, risky and not always appropriate.

Martin explained "it's time for the Government to implement policies that tackle the key drivers of obesity, including protecting children from pervasive junk-food marketing, implementing traffic-light labelling on processed foods, and taxing unhealthy foods together with subsidising healthy foods for those on low incomes."

For more information go to www.mja.com.au/public/issues/195_03_010811/contents_010811.html


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

PAYSMART

Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology

 
 

APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd

APT (Advanced Polymer Technology) is the leading global manufacturer of polyurethane-based materials, acrylic coatings and synthetic turf products for sporting and recreational applications. From…

read more

Environment / Sport / Surfaces / Technology

 
 

Smart Connection Consultancy

Smart Connection Consultancy is a boutique sport and recreation consultancy who has become one of Australia’s leading advocates for the use of synthetic sports surfaces as a vehicle to grow…

read more

Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces

 
 

CENTAMAN

Centaman has been a market leader in Enterprise Software Solutions for the leisure and recreation industry and both profit and not-for-profit attractions since 1991. It offers a wide range of software…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Ticketing

 
 

Felton Industries

Felton Industries is Australia’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality outdoor furniture and has been supplying premium seating solutions for all sporting, commercial, community…

read more

Parks / Play / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

@leisure Planners

@leisure is a team of experienced leisure, aquatic and sports facility managers and planners, with market modelling, sports management, recreation planning, business and GIS qualifications. We have…

read more

Consultants

 
 

AlphaFit

AUSTRALIAN MADE. BUILT NOT BOUGHT. AlphaFit is a 100% Australian owned family company manufacturing gear specifically for the strength and conditioning, functional fitness and high-performance…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Myzone

Myzone is the industry’s leading wearable technology solution. Myzone’s wearable products show and reward effort when you work out. It displays accurate real-time heart rate, calories, and…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business