Friday, August 10, 2007

Fat facts and perception

The 2007 Australian Social Trends Report was released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week, containing all sorts of fascinating facts and figures about our population. Stuff like fertility stats, marriage and divorce figures, income and lifestyle facts, who lives where and so on. Some of it makes interesting reading. Some of it would be useful as a cure for insomnia.

The bit that interested me was covered in an article in The Age on Tuesday, which reported that more than 50% of Australians are now overweight or obese.

That's a scary statistic, but even more scary was the piece of news that almost half (47 per cent) of men and a fifth (21 per cent) of women who were overweight or obese thought they were a healthy weight. I can relate to that - I can remember back when I was carting around 85kg on my 160cm frame, saying that sure, I needed to lose 'a few' kilos. But I never considered myself obese. In fact, my BMI was over 30 and my bodyfat would have been somewhere around 40%. But obese? Noooo, not me. I was just a little overweight. And I was going on a diet on Monday anyway, so hand me that family block of chocolate!

How on earth do we manage to delude ourselves like that? How is it possible to look in the mirror and see something different to what's actually reflected there?

The human mind is really weird.

7 comments:

Kristy said...

I agree. I was looking at photos when I was overseas a few years back and i knew I wasn't skinny, but didn't think I was fat. Now when I look at them I feel disgusted... I now feel so much better about myself and slwoly getting in control of my food...

btw the way your question about if I think of myself as an athlete now really got me thinking. I'm not sure if I would think of myself as an athlete, but compared to hell of a lot of people at work I am probably a lot fitter and do a lot more fitness... I'm still thinking the question over... :)

kathrynoh said...

I think it would be interesting to know the break down btw overweight and obese. You really don't have to be that much over your ideal weight to be considered overweight really, do you.

Chris H said...

Shut up already!!! I look in the mirror and some days I think "yep, I look FINE", or on days like today I just want to crawl into a bloody hole.... and stay there. Not a good day.... I am fat....

Lyn said...

mI'm with Chris ... somedays I think I look good, others I just suck!!!

LizN said...

Gosh, just lost my post here - I think people see what they want to see.

Hugs
Liz;)

Deb said...

Doesn't it blow you away...not 10 lbs overweight, but obese? And we can't firgure out why there is so much illness and disease. Woese yet, this is not rocket science people. Eat healthier clean diets and get moving! I think some of that fat must be lodged in our brains.

Sara said...

Look on sky news UK. 50% of UK residents do not know that being fat is unhealthy and the same amount had no idea that cancer and diet are related.

BTW being in Europe gets scarier each time I am here. The obesity problem is more and more obvious. It`s a serious issue. I saw a lady at the Roman Forum with bleeding feet just because she was too heavy for them.. and she was taking a rest and eating a gelato...

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