Obesity is a growing epidemic in Australia which has doubled in the the two decades since 2003, studies have indicated that these results are a due to environmental and social changes in our lifestyle where we’ve become more sedentary and reliant on convenience. Today I will be interviewing a University of Sydney Bachelor of Science and Master of Nutrition and Dietetics Graduate who understands the importance of a nutritionally balanced diet. To keep my subject’s anonymity I won’t be naming her, instead I shall use the name Jessica.
As I started to interview Jessica, I wanted to understand from a Nutritionist’s view why we must eat healthy. Through her studies in USYD Jessica understands the growing epidemic of obesity and people becoming reliant on fast food products to receive their nutrients. “society is currently entrapped with fast food and convenient food, its become extremely easy to overeat and not receive the right amount of nutrients. Having the right balance of nutrients through a balanced diet is essential for good health.” Relying on these unhealthy eating habits will not allow our bodies to receive the right amount of nutirients needed to function, as she mentions below. “Essential nutrients, are nutrients our body needs but can’t make ourselves and therefore we must get them from the foods we eat. These are water, all the vitamins, most of the minerals, some amino acids and essential fatty acids. If we don’t get all the essential nutrients, our health becomes compromised in one way or another. It may be that our immune system is not as strong or other parts of our bodies can’t work at full capacity.”
I then asked her about current technologies that she believes will make people healthier and she mentions that new phone applications are currently fighting against unhealthy eating habits. Jessica highlights the successful marketing and usefulness of these phone applications since they let you track what you’re eating from a molecular level. “Some good applications include Calorie King and My FitnessPal. My Fitness Pal allows you to keep track of everything you’ve eaten. You choose the food type and the amount you have eaten and it will keep track of your energy, protein, fat, carb and sugar intake. Another good app is FoodSwitch which allows you to scan the barcode of a food and it will tell you how healthy that food is and if there are healthier alternatives.”
She also believes that in the future, phone applications will become more advanced and will perhaps track more important bodily functions that will help keep people healthier. “they will probably be still using more advanced applications that track more because they are so readily available and easy to use.”
With the successful implementation of phone applications tracking food, I then switched the conversation to how our current mindset is and if she can imagine our society becoming a healthier country, in response to this, Jessica states “people are slowly becoming more aware of their health and realising that what we eat plays an important role in our health. There have been and continually will be campaigns from the government and NGOs and other nutrition related bodies that promote healthy eating. Examples of such campaigns include Make Healthy Normal, and Go for 2 & 5.”
but it will be difficult since Jessica understands the divide in between the rich and the poor and how currently they’re at a disadvantage. “In the lower socioeconomic status areas, you will find there are more fast food restaurants around compared with the more affluent areas populated with health food cafes and juice bars. Even though there is this divide, it is still possible for everyone to have access to healthy nutritional foods. Though it will require making people aware how they can do this. It will require higher level actions from government bodies and local councils to have a wider reach.”
Therefore Jessica understands that in the future the government must play a important role in ensuring that everyone receives that right amount of nutrients and are equal to each other despite the economic divide we have. We cannot rely on just marketing ploys by companies, making applications because we have to consider people who don’t have access to these technologies. Jessica’s vision of the future isn’t too far from what we have now and with current campaigns such as Make Healthy Normal, the government might eventually take a step further in the future to ensuring everyones eating healthy.
Obesity Australia (n.d). viewed 27th October <http://obesityaustralia.cipcms.com.au/resources>.
CalorieKing (n.d). viewed 27th October <http://www.calorieking.com.au>.
MyFitnessPal (n.d). viewed 27th October <https://www.myfitnesspal.com>.
MyFitnessPal 2012, “Introduction to MyFitnessPal”, Video Recording, Youtube, viewed 27th October <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fu9RKqlmD1Q>.
NSW Health Government (n.d). viewed 27th October <https://www.makehealthynormal.nsw.gov.au>.