Australia has achieved the inglorious title of No.1 Fat Nation in the world, overtaking the Americans in the obesity explosion.
The new report, Australia's Future 'Fat Bomb', has been compiled by Melbourne's Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and will be presented at the Federal Government's inquiry into obesity.
The latest figures show four million Australians, or 26 per cent of our adult population, are now obese compared to an estimated 25 per cent of Americans.
It's a worrying issue and not a title Australia wants to keep for very long.
So how are those in the Bush dealing with the news? Well, as you would expect, with a combination of seriousness and humour.
Jock Laurie, president of the NSW Farmers' Association, admits he's no longer as svelte as he'd like to be, but says many farmers are in the same boat because technology has changed the way they do things.
"Things have changed in the industry and there's not as much physical work being done now as there was previously," he says.
"Tractors are doing a lot of work now that used to be done by hand before," says Mr Laurie.
Stuart St Clair, from the Australian Trucking Association, sees the sombre side of the story, too, but was willing to run with the joke to get members thinking about their weight and general health.
"We do have a lot of fitness freaks among our drivers out there and you would have seen them at truck stops," he says.
"But on a very, very serious note they've got to make the time to get down and go to the doctor," says Mr St Clair.
Stuart St Clair says any driver in a Truck Safe Accreditation Program must now have an annual health check every 12 months and that's picking up a lot of ailments, including obesity.
Robyn Ferrier and her husband, John, farm near Birchip in Victoria and are part of a sustainable farming families group. She says most wives spend their life nagging their farmer husbands about eating less and caring for themselves more.
"Now I've heard my fella tell me in the last few months, since Christmas time in fact, that he's got to go to the doctor and it's now the end of June and he still hasn't been," she says.
"But men are getting better and are more aware of their health," says Mrs Ferrier.
John Gallen is the proprietor of the Wingen Hotel in the NSW Hunter Valley. Truckies, farmers, miners and stud owners have been known to travel very long distances to sink their teeth into his famous rib-eye and T-bone at the tiny watering hole with a population of 250.
He says he'd like his patrons to eat better, but he says there's fat chance of that happening when they're as fond of pizzas as they are of a good steak.
"We actually bought a little pizza oven, but it's not big enough to keep the pizzas up to them," he says.
In this report: Jock Laurie, president, NSW Farmers' Association; Stuart St Clair, chief executive, Australian Trucking Association; Robyn Ferrier, sustainable farming families group, Birchip, Victoria; John Gallen, proprietor, The Wingen Hotel, Wingen, NSW.
Last edited by clinton666; 12-10-2010 at 01:16 PM