Sydney Weight Loss
Sydney is one of the big cities of the world. And just like other big cities such as New York and London, they can have some of the fittest people in the world. Unfortunately they also have one of the most unhealthiest who struggle with staying fir and weight loss. We always marvel at the lean fit joggers striding in Hyde Park but Sydney is another example of a big city that is divided not just in wealth but also obesity rates. There is geographic proof that the health of Sydneysiders is intrinsically tied to wealth.
People living in the pricey harbour side and coastal areas, often reserved for the affluent are substantially healthier than their Western neighbours. People in the Western suburbs not only struggle with good health but also in losing weight and weight loss. Yet, only a few kilometres separate them. This highlights the city’s economic, social and environmental inequalities.
However, in Sydney, the main concerns are the growing rates of childhood obesity. Over the last 25 years, there has been an unprecedented increase in worldwide childhood obesity and Syndey is no exception. Homebush Bay and Silverwater has the highest rates of obese and overweight children (2-17 years) in greater Sydney. According to goverment organisation, AHPC more than 40% of children in these areas have a BMI over the healthy weight range. Also, just over 1/3 if children in Mount Druitt and Whalan were obese or overweight. Suburbs such as Canley Bale, Ashcroft, Lakemba, Punchbowl and Liverpool followed closely with increasing rates of obesity.
Which are the healthiest Suburbs?
In contrast, Mosman, one of Sydney’s most affluent suburbs, has one of the lowest rates (17%). Similarly, Sydney’s other ultra rich suburbs such as Killara, Cremorne, Kirribilli, Double Bay, North Sydney, Balmain, Avalon and Palm Beach all had ½ the rates of its poor suburbs at around 20%.
Why is this a concern for health and weight loss?
Sydney is not different to the rest of the world or Australia. It has a growing overweight population but more frightening is its growth in childhood obesity. They struggle with weight loss in both their rich but more importantly, their poor areas. Professor Rosemary Calder, public health expert and director of the Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC) says
“For obesity to be at such high levels among this young group, something is going very wrong.”
It is worrying as childhood obesity is a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, muscle and joint problems and depression in adult life. It is so important to manage these weight issues now as it is likely that the problem will persist into adulthood. The rates of overweight children becoming overweight or obese adults can be as high as 50%. As overweight adolescents, the rates climb to 78%
Mortality due to these diseases in Sydney follow the same geographic health distribution. The reasons can be explained geographically again. Some of the problems are that suburbs closer to the CBD have better connected transport systems that supports incidental exercise whereas many of the Western Sydneysiders may sit in their car commuting both ways to work.
Highest rates of obese and overweight children
- Homebush Bay and Silverwater
- Mount Druitt and Whalan
- Canley Vale, Canley Heights and Fairfield
- Lakemba, Wiley Park/Punchbowl
Lowest rates of obese and overweight children
- Mosman, Gordon,
- Killara and Pymble
- Double Bay Cremorne, Cammeray, Neutral Bay and Kirribilli
- North Sydney
- Avalon, Palm Beach, Newport and Bilgola
What can be done?
Many of these health problems can be preventable by leading a healthy lifestyle early. It is so important that we set good examples to our children and foster a healthy relationship to food and exercise. When at the beach, set the example – do push ups on the sand, and dont just lay on your back. Show your children that movement and being outside is great for your mental health, physical health and family activity. Sydney has wonderful parks and beaches and great access to healthy food options. There is no doubt that the most effective weight loss strategies involves not putting on weight in early childhood.
Healthy Eating Out Options with kids
Sydney is lucky that is has some of the hippest and trendiest healthy kids cafés in Australia making eating out enjoyable and healthy. These are my picks
- Sprout Wholefoods Café – (Nerembum): A wonderful café that focuses on local produce, with a kids menu that has tasty but nutritious unprocessed food.
- Duck Duck Goose (Ranwick) – Armed with grassy play areas and chalkboards, it also has a healthy 3 course menu for the kids including a nutritious smoothie, unrefined and unprocessed meal and a dessert that is not filled with sugar.
- Britton Gourmet Café (Alexandria) – a gorgeous French café with a kids’ menu that is not just nuggets or fries but a bit of French culture goodness
It time to act now before the problem keeps growing at the rate is currently is. If you need any help with healthy weight loss and exercise, have a look at our Redefine Metabolic 6 week diet and exercise program .
Written by Dr Marlene Tham, Director of Medical & Mind Weight Loss