Weight loss myths weigh heavy on obesity burden

Healthy eating and drinking

Around 2.3 million Queensland adults headed into the New Year overweight or obese, increasing their risk of developing chronic diseases, including some cancers.

Today, Cancer Council Queensland will sort fact from fiction to help Queenslanders set New Year’s resolutions to slim down and achieve better health in 2018.

Research shows being overweight and obese contributes to around 3900 preventable cancer cases in Australia every year.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said weight loss myths and misconceptions could hinder people from losing weight effectively.

“You don’t need a revolutionary New Year’s resolution or dramatic change to your diet to lose weight, or to prevent yourself from gaining more weight,” Ms McMillan said.

“Eating more fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, exercising regularly and staying clear of common myths and misconceptions can make a big difference.

“We have debunked four myths to help get you started.

“Myth 1 is that you need to detox after the festive season. The good news is – there is no need for a crash diet in early January because our bodies detox naturally. Our lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal, and immune system remove toxic substances within hours after we consume them. Instead, focus on limiting unhealthy options and exercising to lose weight.

“Myth 2 is that you can eat what you like, as long as you’re exercising. While exercising will assist with weight loss, it’s not the only answer. It’s best to complement regular physical activity with a healthy diet for improved results.

“Myth 3 is that you can’t eat carbs at night. Many fad diets push the idea that carbohydrate foods should be cut out to lose weight, especially at night. This is far from the truth. In fact, they’re actually good for controlling our weight. There is strong evidence that eating wholegrains is linked with lower body weight, a slimmer waist, and reduced risk of weight gain.

“Myth 4 is that fat makes you fat. Although there are unhealthy fats like saturated and trans fats, not all fat is bad for you. Unsaturated fats are healthy fats and are an important part of a healthy diet. These fats help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels and can be found in foods like nuts, avocado, fish and olive oil.

“Even if you make just one resolution this year – pledge to lead a healthier lifestyle.”

The Chief Health Officer’s report shows overweight and obese Queensland adults need to collectively lose 35.5 million kilos, an average of 15kg per person, to reach the healthy weight range.

Queenslanders should opt for foods that are low in sugar, saturated fat and salt and be sure to include plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, low fat dairy options, and lean proteins.

“The benefits to losing weight are an increased sense of wellbeing, greater health and reduced risk of a range of chronic diseases, including some cancers,” Ms McMillan said.

“Make a commitment to small changes for your health in 2018 – helping you to lose weight, and keep it off in the long term.”

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.

For more information or interviews, please contact:
Lisa Maynard,
Senior Media Advisor,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5171
Mobile: 0488 015 702