Skip to main content

Australia and obesity: Fast moves and thin bodies

I'm starting today's blog with a bit of a shocker...please meet my friend "monster bat."  He and about 10,000 of his friends hang out in the trees in Cairns, then exit into the night at dusk. They are as big as hawks and make strange screeching noises.

Let's talk a bit about obesity...or in the case of Australia, the lack of obesity. It's hard to ignore the fact that after one week running and walking miles of streets, I have yet to see a noticeably overweight person.

Of course, this observation requires more study to truly delve into the facts.  The Australian Bureau of Statistics states:

In the Australian Health Survey, measured height and weight were collected to determine a person's Body Mass Index. BMI based on measured height and weight is considered to be more accurate than self-reported height and weight. See the Glossary for cut-offs for BMI.

In 2011-12, 63.4% of Australians aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese, comprised of 35.0% overweight and 28.3% obese. A further 35.2% were of normal weight and 1.5% were underweight.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in Australia over time, from 61.2% in 2007–08 and 56.3% in 1995.

Maybe it's the fact I'm seeing the proactive, foot commuters and runners.  I remain impressed with the pace of activity; most all are pushing the pace and achieving max ROI. There is an intention in the effort. Aussies seem to enjoy their meat pies and beer, but that too seems to be imbibed in moderation.

It's a fast, carefree attitude, but that may be driven by the discipline to succeed. When you're doing life in a fit, toned body, it's easier to see that glass is half full.


Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…