Set clear goals. Slow and steady is the best way to approach weight loss. Burn more calories via sex and breastfeeding is the best way to protect against obesity later in life. These are just some of the health based recommendations frequently given by weight loss experts as many seek the elusive goal of weight loss.

Maybe I'm just not ready to lose weight? Photo: Herald Sun

A controversial response to some of these commonly held beliefs was recently published in one of the most powerful medical journals in the world, The New England Journal of Medicine which for the first time has scientifically questioned some of these commonly preached weight loss rules, finding that some may not hold much truth at all.

In real life terms, the good news is that this means certain limitations to weight loss as so often preached by weight loss experts may not be a barrier to success at all.

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  • InternationCuisineasadietchoice says:

    06:31pm | 19/02/13

    Different strokes work for different folks. I think the type of carbs you consume also makes a huge difference, complex carbohydrates from say kidney beans and lentils are far more beneficial than carbohydrates you consume from pasta dishes.  Also eating food high in dietary fibre is also going to be… Read more »

  • yesilift says:

    06:27pm | 19/02/13

    I agree that losing weight isn’t easy after about age 40 but it’s not rocket science either.  Women - take up weight training - and it you keep at it, you’ll start to burn fat like you wont believe.  Then it’s time to focus on shape and fat percentage rather… Read more »


The humble egg has again found itself in the nutrition firing line. Another research paper was released last week arguing that eating too many eggs can be as bad for heart health as smoking.

An egg a day will keep lots of things at bay. Photo: Greg Sullivan

But before you start throwing away your egg yolks and swapping to processed breakfast cereals to ensure that your breakfast is “healthy”, there are a few other factors that need to be considered.

A high saturated fat intake is known to increase blood cholesterol, and high blood cholesterol is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease, Australia’s biggest killer.

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  • Jo says:

    09:24am | 22/08/12

    I agree. A little of what you like and all that. Chicken butt fruit…mmmm! Read more »

  • lea says:

    05:06pm | 20/08/12

    “you mean drinking pus” I’m sorry, but WTF? Exactly how have you got it into your head that milk=pus? Wow, you must feel really sorry for all those breast fed babies then? Read more »


Child goes to athletics carnival. Said child does not react well to soft drink. Soft drink provided at athletics carnival.

Parent outraged when child has soft drink and enters dangerously irritating and unhealthy sugar high. All compounded by child’s accompanying grandkid giving child whatever he wants.

Should kids be allowed the occasional Coke? Is the parents’ fury all fizz and no calories? Or should parents have the right to dictate their children’s diets? This your Friday dilemma.

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  • acheter wow gold says:

    10:36am | 25/10/12

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I?l make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I?l certainly return. Read more »

  • Joan Bennett says:

    08:41am | 09/08/12

    Ellen, vegetarian diets often lack iron or B12.  You can get around this, but most people don’t.  I’ve yet to meet a vegetarian who had good health (and I’ve met a lot in my life).  Other creatures are omnivorous, so not sure why you think humans eating other animals is… Read more »


If you are anything like me, the ever-growing vitamin and mineral section of the pharmacy or supermarket is nothing short of confusing.

It seems that every second celebrity in Australia currently has an endorsement deal for a multivitamin, but it’s not as if you can turn to your favourite hot celebrity to ask for their personal recommendation on the best vitamin to take.

This is not surprising as the vitamin industry is worth an estimated billion dollars in Australia alone. Despite this, the big question that still remains is whether vitamin and mineral supplements actually work.

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  • Joan Bennett says:

    08:00am | 15/06/12

    We probably wouldn’t need vitamins if we were living exactly how nature intended.  All this over-breeding has caused the soil to be leached of goodness due to over-farming.  When you think what the human population was in paelolithic times (what it was meant to be), it’s a no-brainer we all… Read more »

  • Larry Czarnik says:

    11:39am | 29/05/12

    Rose, Thanks for your comments.  Yes, MORE education.  And guess the sub-topic of my comment was that Susie’s article does nothing to EDUCATE and is more aimed at sensationalised scaremongering. Larry 2012MY29 11:40 Read more »


Long term disease states including diabetes, cancer and heart disease do not develop overnight. Each and every day we are making health-based decisions which ultimately impact on the risk of developing such conditions.

In addition to this, daily health related complaints including fatigue, constipation, bloating, lack of energy, poor libido, painful menstrual cycles and insomnia are all relating directly or indirectly in some capacity to poor lifestyle habits and weight issues.

Pretend this guy is diabetes or heart disease. Now run… straight to the green grocer!

So, rather than waiting until you need to lose weight, or until you are so tired and stressed that you are forced to reevaluate your lifestyle, here are the top few daily health and nutrition habits that will go a long way in helping you to be at your best, every day, not just tomorrow.

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  • Pete says:

    08:39pm | 21/05/12

    Good for you Clayton. I don’t think you need to focus too much on the weight aspect when you’re getting yourself healthier. It will come, but it’s not a goal in itself, more a symptom of a healthier body. Your comment made me realise how many barriers society puts up… Read more »

  • PeeWee says:

    08:33pm | 21/05/12

    OldBag: “Remind me what I should be feeling guilty about”. Here it is: “Despite my vast weight”. Just because you can do the things you ‘need’ to do, doesn’t mean you’re not endangering your body. It’s when you get old(er) that things like obesity exact their toll. Being fat is… Read more »


The temperature has dropped, the days are noticeably shorter and suddenly salad does not seem like such an appealing lunch option – bring on the soups, I say.

It may surprise you to hear that not only are soups a great option nutritionally but certain types of soup have also been proven to help support weight loss, so let’s get that soup pot out and get chopping!

Soup, particularly vegetable based soups are a great option nutritionally as they combine a high nutrient density with a low energy density and this means that we get lots of key nutrients including vitamins and minerals for relatively few calories.

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  • Social Bookmarking Service says:

    08:16pm | 16/06/12

    W6QJwt wow, awesome article post. Keep writing. Read more »

  • Scotchfinger says:

    10:29pm | 14/05/12

    Fairsfair: ‘maybe gestapo is the secret’? Do you mean the German secret police who will torture you for misspelling gazpacho?? Read more »


No other food has received the recent caning (pardon the pun) that sugar has over the past few months. Headlines of ‘toxic’, ‘poison’ and ‘addiction’ have been constantly bantered around with sugar free devotes claiming that banning the simple molecule has changed their life and their weight forever.

Would you hold up a service station for one of these?

Since high amounts of sugar is found in generally non-nutritive foods including soft drinks, sweet desserts, yoghurts, confectionery and processed cereal products, is not surprising that people drop weight when they ‘ban’ sugar form their diets.

When you take a closer look at what is actually happening physiologically, is that the total carbohydrate load of the diet is significantly reduced when foods that contain sugar are eliminated, which simply means that insulin levels in the body are reduced and weight is lost.

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  • cheap says:

    06:48pm | 08/05/12

    Thanks again for the article post. Keep writing. Read more »

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    06:37pm | 08/05/12

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If you walk down the streets of Paris on any weekday morning, you will see sleek, perfectly coiffed Parisians clutching a briefcase or designer handbag and perhaps the newspaper.

Drinking this much coffee is not recommended

If you walk down any Sydney street, you will see a very different picture. You will see hundreds of people clutching a takeaway coffee cup. Now inside those containers there could be a skim capp, a chai latte or even a soy mocha, but what I see is calories. A lot of liquid calories that few of us really need.

Now, before your morning coffee fuelled brain goes into a fury at the thought of the dietitian ruining your Monday morning by taking away the one indulgence of the day that gets you through the office doors each day, yes, it is true that there are some health benefits associated with drinking coffee.

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  • tryingtobegood says:

    10:35am | 21/04/12

    I’m too unsophisticated to take it black. I try keep the calories low by using unsweetened almond milk, nutrasweet, a sprinkle of cinnamon and sometimes a few drops of vanilla essence. Read more »

  • marley says:

    04:50pm | 17/04/12

    @lola - I don’t much fancy machine-gunning every bar in Rome.  That said, I do realize that Arabica is much touted as the better bean - so why does coffee in Italy always taste better?  What’s the real secret? Read more »


If there is one topic that is guaranteed to cause much debate and controversy it is about the “right” way to deal with, and discuss overweight children. Many still believe that even though one in four Australian children has a significant weight issue that it is simply “puppy fat” and that children will grow out of it.

There's nothing fun about puppy fat. Photo:The Daily Telegraph

Based on this belief, it is inferred that we should basically ignore the fact that a child is overweight or obese - we should leave them be.

If only this were true. After working in the area of child and adolescent obesity for more than 10 years I can tell you that childhood obesity is a massive issue here in Australia. When you see a child who appears to have a little “puppy fat” or “muffin top”, you are actually looking at a serious weight issue.

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  • Fed up says:

    10:03pm | 02/04/12

    With people saying “Mum told me I was getting big, it was very traumatic, and it made me overeat for the rest of my life.” you can see why kids are so fat these days. What a bunch of self-serving twaddle. The reason there are all these fat kids is… Read more »

  • SD says:

    05:58pm | 02/04/12

    Sometimes they mean around your hips and sometimes it’s round your belly button. That could be the difference. Read more »


We have all been there. Watching a favourite show on TV and suddenly feeling as if we could die if we do not get our hands on a tub of ice cream. Like now.

Repeat after me: I don't want this cupcake. I just need to eat a better lunch.

In fact, some of us may be so taken by this urge to eat something sweet that we find ourselves leaving our warm, cozy home to get our sweet fix. Or sometimes threatening or convincing our partners to go and get it for us.

The interesting thing about food cravings is that they give us much valuable information about what’s happening in our bodies, and what things are missing from our baseline diet.

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  • Audra Blue says:

    05:22pm | 20/02/12

    My cravings are two fold.  I only ever crave sweet creamy things like ice cream, creme brulee or baked cheesecake.  I crave these things when my diet is crap and I’m not getting enough nutrients.  Once that side of things is taken care of (as it usually is), a sweet… Read more »

  • esteban says:

    03:32pm | 20/02/12

    Do you know if coffee inhibits calcium absorption? Read more »


You have to hand it to the big multinationals. They know how to get us to eat more fatty food and drink more sugar, even when they claim to be committed to our health and well-being and no one has done it better recently than Coca Cola.

Hooray! My shares in that obesity drug company are soaring! Photo: Nikki Short

Their latest campaign, which encourages people to seek out a can of regular, full strength, eight teaspoons of sugar per 375ml of soft drink that has their name written on the label, is nothing short of brilliant.

And then, once you have your own can, you can also seek out cans that feature your best mate’s name, or your kids can find one with their name… the list goes on.

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  • LC says:

    12:27pm | 19/02/12

    What tripe. A feminist does not want the state taking control in the minor details of people’s lives. All they want is for women to receive the same legal recognition and right of men. What you’re thinking of is either socialists, communists or fascists. I can see why they’d want… Read more »

  • LC says:

    01:35pm | 11/12/11

    So? They made their own choice to consume it. They weren’t forced. If they have no self control it’s not anyone’s issue but theirs. Again, perhaps you’d like to join Julie Burrell and Rachel in living in a socialist state where the government controls everything with an iron grip. You… Read more »


The National Health and Medical Research Council might know a fair bit about health, but they don’t know anything about cooking.

Mmmmmmmm, salty.

The NHMRC last week released the innocuous sounding Assessing Cost-Effectiveness in Prevention report. The document is the result of five years of research by people who take carrots, nuts and celery into work in plastic lunch boxes, and think the rest of us should do the same.

The report has at its centre some fairly predictable calls for smokers to be taxed out of existence with an immediate 5 per cent increase in tobacco taxes (on top of the 25 per cent increase in April this year), a 10 per cent increase in the tax on spirits, and an increase in the legal drinking age from 18 to 21.

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  • Chookowner says:

    07:50pm | 22/09/10

    I stopped all salt when my doctors told me too when I got pregnant. Don’t eat takeaway. Got dreadful postnatal depression. After 15 years had an idea & started using salt again. Bingo!!! What a difference. It is all very well to recommend against salt to high-processed food consumers, but… Read more »

  • justmeint says:

    06:57pm | 17/09/10

    The Government is pushing the ‘reduce your salt’ intake….. but wait! There is NO REAL EVIDENCE that an increase in salt will cause people to suffer an increased risk of heart attack….. The studies are there for all to see for themselves, so why is there a push to lower… Read more »


It’s a scary thought, knowing that you have no idea where your food has come from. It may look and taste like you would expect, but it may not have been created the conventional way.

Cupcakes of death. Photo: Grant Nowell

Genetically modified foods are weaselling their way into the diets of unsuspecting Australians. That is, any food product that includes genetically modified organisms.

While there are some labelling laws in place to help consumers identify genetically modified (GM) food products, there are still many instances where the public remain oblivious.

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  • Joe West says:

    08:50am | 27/11/10

    Amazing reading this articles response from readers. Do we all accept now in November of 2010 that GM foods are straight out poison or do we still need more research? Read more »

  • anna says:

    01:48pm | 29/08/10

    I remember watching that documentary about the dogs how they are being farmed for looks that they can barely walk. Most used to look extremely different to how they are today. Just look at a pug dog it didn’t used to look like that before animal organizations like the one… Read more »


David Penberthy’s health sandwich is laden with a generous helping of cynicism and a pinch of exaggeration.

Trans fats are lurking everywhere.

By calling for a reduction of the harmful fats in our food, Bob Carr is not seeking to ban fast food outlets. Instead, he is highlighting how easy it would be to make our takeaway foods substantially healthier.

Australians love to eat out - nearly one in three of us do so almost every day, which adds up to a massive 3.8 billion meals eaten out every year.

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  • Turkey says:

    11:03am | 26/02/10

    Some splash in the grey while others swim in the black and white. Either way individual health is a community responsibility so let us make an infomed decision and provide the healthy alternative. It’s been a while since I have ordered grilled fish and received dirty looks! Read more »

  • Dan says:

    02:41am | 30/10/09

    So Paul, because I don’t have a black & white view, I’m flip flopping? Yeh right. Here’s a shock for you; not every issue is black & white, and neither is every issue involving cancer. Cigarettes cause cancer, but should they banned? Some say yes, other might say no. It’s… Read more »


Our supposedly classless society is showing signs of being divided into two camps where people’s private choices as individuals and their behaviour as families are regulated on the basis of their affluence.

Apparently one of these people needs government intervention

And it’s in the area of nutrition, preventative health and exercise where the working class, for want of a better term, is increasingly being treated like a bunch of babies, while the more affluent members of society continue to live as they please.

It’s only a small thing but it’s a signifier for the times, a demonstration of a mindset which holds that working class people are unable to modify their behaviour, while the gentry can be trusted to keep its conduct in check. But get along to the SCG, that great people’s arena, where our knockabout, egalitarian society lets the members drink as much full-strength beer as they want and limits the great unwashed to light beer.

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  • Sir Lolsworthy says:

    11:50am | 30/10/09

    Yes, E, that’s exactly what I said. Thank god someone was able to work it out. In case you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic. Get your hands on copies of ‘Fast Food Nation’ and ‘Don’t Eat This Book’ if you want to learn about the realities of the situation Read more »

  • Sophie says:

    09:28pm | 29/10/09

    I blame the baby boomers. Aspirational… apathetic and about to become a massive burden on the healthcare system. Read more »


I have always had a fair deal of respect for nutritionist Rosemary Stanton but realised yesterday that this is only because I haven’t been paying attention.

Healthy option: Iguanas contain less sugar than a traditional chocolate cake.

Not sure if the rest of you caught it, but Mrs Stanton has launched a pretty out-there tirade against Bindy Irwin’s new commercial deal as the public face of a particularly sinister company.

Not Union Carbide or Exxon or British Aerospace but the baking products conglomerate Greens General Foods, one of the shadiest players in the evil cake trade.

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  • Shoshana Young says:

    04:55pm | 31/08/10

    BTW somebody spelled Bindi’s name wrong!!  Read more »

  • Shelley says:

    09:27am | 18/06/10

    We have gotten way off track here - Rosemary stanton is right, how could you disagree with the rising obesity, chemicals in food and some are banned in other countries and can cause reactions like headaches and worsening of asthma and children looking up to Bindi and thinking that its… Read more »


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