Thursday, July 29, 2004


Feminism has made us fatter

"There's no doubt we are fatter. One in five Australians are now classified as obese and, no, it's not because they've redefined what obesity means. We are really bulking up.

The main reason is not lack of exercise. In the 1980s and most of the '90s, when obesity shot up, there was little decline in exercise. So don't blame the TV or the computer. In fact, in the US, obesity is actually highest in those states with the lowest rates of computer ownership.

The main reason we are fatter is that we eat more. Between 1985 and 1995 in Australia the energy intake (mainly carbohydrates) of boys rose almost 15 per cent, and for girls 12 per cent. If you exercise the same amount but eat more, you're likely to get fatter. So far, so clear. But why do we eat more? In the latest issue of The Public Interest, a respected US journal, professors Inas Rashad and Michael Grossman say the rise in obesity is matched closely by a rise in the number of restaurants and takeaway joints. And what has created the demand for these places? Increases in rates of labour force participation by women.

According to these experts, as non-work time for women became increasingly scarce and valuable over the past few decades, time devoted to at-home meal preparation decreased. Families began eating out more often. This lays on the lard because restaurants of all kinds - including the most expensive sit-down places - use far more fat in their food preparation than most home cooks. So even if you don't eat any more by volume in a restaurant, you're more likely to be putting on the pounds. And you're also likely to eat more as the food tastes better".


Court upholds individual responsibility -- about time

"A $5 MILLION payout by a New South Wales council to a man who became a quadriplegic after diving off a rock platform has been overturned. Ernest Vairy sued Wyong Council after he lost the use of his arms and legs after diving off a rock platform at Soldiers Beach, on the central coast, on January 24, 1993. The council was ordered to pay Vairy $5 million.

But the NSW Court of Appeal today overturned the decision saying the risks of diving from the platform should have been obvious and therefore there was no need to warn swimmers. "A danger is obvious where both the condition and the risk are, in the individual circumstances of the case, apparent to, and would be recognised by a reasonable person in the position of the plaintiff exercising ordinary perception, intelligence and judgment," President Keith Mason and Justices Murray Tobias and Margaret Beazley said in their judgment."

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