Exercise care in weight message

IT'S easy to find excuses not to exercise.

Long days at work, busy with the children, not enough hours in the day... but the truth is, once you're in the habit it's far easier to find reasons to exercise, than excuses not to.

If the high of a good workout alone doesn't leave you wanting more, the health benefits should.

Exercise is just so good for the body and soul - and it's not about trying to achieve a certain body shape or dress size.

When you exercise, you feel better; it helps you to think clearly and burns any unwanted negative energy.

And you're doing your body a favour.

Regular exercise means you will be carrying less body fat, regardless of your shape or size.

Graphic ads saturating all forms of media this week have everyone talking about obesity. It's a conversation that needs to be had, and the Live Lighter campaign rolled out this week is based on important health messages.

The message that if you can grab the fat around your middle, you have a higher chance of having health-related conditions, is a strong one.

And it's important we understand the difference between good and bad fats - but making those already battling weight issues feel 'toxic' only further isolates them. How is that supporting and encouraging people to make positive choices about their health?

We would be foolish to think those people are not already aware of what is happening to their bodies.

Whether or not the advertisements will have the desired effect remains to be seen. Results on the effectiveness of the campaign in Western Australia, where the ads ran for two years, are yet to be released.

I'm a fan of any program that focuses on educating people about good health, nutrition and exercise.

But I'm not a fan of the grabble gut images - mostly because I'm the mother of children who are at delicate ages where body weight is already something on their minds.

Sure, the ads won't screen on televisions during certain hours when children are most likely watching, but my children read the newspaper - and who could miss those confronting ads in print?

It's true that because of those ads we are having more conversations around the importance of exercise and a healthy diet; the need for balance.

But how many young people will be looking at their own bodies and grabbing whatever skin they can and asking themselves if they are fat?

It already happens.

The media sends so many poor messages about body image to young people, is this just another way of doing that?

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