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Army October 27, 2011
THIRTY minutes of physi-
cal activity each day is
the key to staying in
shape -- all it takes is a
commitment to creating healthy
habits such as walking, cycling or
jogging instead of driving.
Would you like to know another
secret? Don't think of physical fit-
ness as a chore.
Choose an activity you enjoy
because then you're more likely to
continue doing it. In the long run,
tackling your weight problems will
not only benefit you but also your
family and ADF career.
According to Joint Health
Command's Director of Military
Medicine, Gp-Capt Graeme Peel,
the prevalence of obesity in the
ADF has remained a health issue.
In response to this, a new pilot
program, conducted in conjunction
with Weight Watchers, is being
trialled at three Sydney-based
Gp-Capt Peel said the pro-
gram's impact on the ongoing
health management of ADF mem-
bers was being assessed.
"Preliminary indications are that
members are finding the Weight
Watchers service effective in man-
aging a healthy diet," he said.
A Defence member is classified
as obese if their Body Mass Index
(BMI) exceeds 30.
Once a member is deemed
obese they receive support and
counselling on physical activity,
diet and other lifestyle modifica-
tions from ADF and contracted
However, Gp-Capt Peel said
the classification system -- with
ratings of 'underweight' (<18.5),
'normal' (18.5-24.9), 'overweight'
(25.0-29.9), 'obese' (30.0-34.9),
and 'extreme obesity' (>40) -- did
not completely reflect individual
He said the BMI classification
was actually designed to indicate
the risk of disease.
"Some ADF members are only
technically obese, that is, while
they exceed a BMI of 30, they have
significant muscle bulk as opposed
"Changes to Defence health
policy and guidance are under way
to reflect the need to enhance the
measurement of body fat to better
target those members who need
greater support from Defence to
reduce their weight.
"Members are referred to a die-
tician to provide further specialist
assessment and management."
For selected members, weight
control medication may also be
prescribed under the supervision of
a medical officer.
"Physical conditioning pro-
grams are tailored to the member's
requirements and their progress is
monitored," he said.
"The member's unit must also
ensure time is made available dur-
ing the duty day for the member to
For more information on the support
Defence offers its members in relation to
obesity refer to Health Directive No 206,
Amendment No 4 on the DRN at http://
Step in right direction
Making a habit of being more active will not
just help you, but also help the ADF get into
shape. Cpl Melanie Schinkel reports.
EASY STEPS TO HEALTHY HABITS
ACCORDING to the Department
of Health and Ageing, Australian
adults can implement four simple
steps to achieve better health.
Step 1: Any form of movement
should be seen as a chance to
improve your health, not as a time-
Step 2: Be active every day in as
many ways as you can. Make a
habit of walking or cycling instead
of using the car, or doing things
yourself instead of using labour-
Step 3: Put together at least 30
minutes of moderate-intensity
physical activity on most, prefer-
ably all, days. Accumulate your 30
minutes (or more) throughout the
day by combining a few shorter
sessions of activity of around 10 to
15 minutes each.
Step 4: If you can, also enjoy
some regular, vigorous activity
for extra health and fitness. This
step does not replace steps one to
three, rather it adds an extra level
for those who are able and wish to
achieve greater health and fitness
For more information on how to maintain
a healthy weight, visit the Healthy Active
website at www.healthyactive.gov.au/
PEOPLE believe flattery will get you everywhere,
well, in my case it has put an extra spring in my
I have recently been approached by numerous
members who I had never met before, and they compli-
mented me on my achievements.
mentioned that he was following the campaign.
He said the 'Join Bill
Campaign' had inspired him to
It was great to actually
meet one of the many mem-
bers of the campaign and
to see the results they have
Many have provided me
with training tips, weight-loss
ideas, and general information
For example, a member recently informed me
he was cutting out all sugar from his diet. He had
researched the concept and, after two weeks, was
already losing weight.
The consensus on training is you need to have a
cardio element in your routine. You need to get your
heart rate up to the fat burning zone.
As we come into the last few weeks of the cam-
paign, I encourage members undertaking their own
weight-loss campaigns to send emails letting me know
how you are going.
We hope to publish readers' comments in the next
couple of editions of the newspaper.
I still have a long way to go, but my motivation has
received a kick along and the journey continues.
Email Bill at vasilis.solomou@defence news.gov.au
Bill blogs on ...
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