Michelle Bridges ABC Australian Story

Michelle Bridges speaks out about childhood obesity on ABC’s Australian Story

Childhood obesity is a hot topic and with good reason. There is an estimated 1.5 million people in Australia under the age of 18 that are considered overweight or obese. This transcends into approximately 20-25% of Australian children being overweight or obese.

Alarmingly, if this trends continues one third of Australian children will be obese by 2020.

In a recent interview as part of her Australian Story episode ‘Building Bridges’ which aired on the ABC earlier this week, fitness trainer, business woman and media personality Michelle Bridges has also jumped on the wagon to address and tackle the issue of childhood obesity. In her story Michelle said:

Having Axel has really made me think about how I can use what I’ve learnt about health and fitness to make a better life for kids like him. Potentially getting out there and putting some truth and hard-hitting messages around the junk food industry and the sugar industry. And the truth of the matter is: they sell crap food and make people sick. And that makes me angry.

I’d like to tackle the junk food industry the way that the tobacco industry was tackled 50-odd years ago. We’re now seeing children that potentially have a lifespan shorter than their parents. Never before have we ever seen that globally. We’re now seeing it. Why? I’d like to get out there and start fighting the fight for others who can’t fight the fight.”

Not only are children eating the wrong foods but they’re eating too much of it. The difficulty is that children will only eat what is put in front of them from their parents, which is not only establishing their eating behavior but also their future health.

Educating children at a young age about ‘sometimes’ foods, the importance of healthy food, the correct portion sizes of food and the speed they should be eating their food all contribute to their overall health and well-being both as a child and as they grow into adults.

Michelle Bridges ABC Australian Story L

Michell Bridges on ABC’s Australian Story ‘Building Bridges’.

How food affects your mood Waitplate

How your food is affecting your mood

The best example we can all relate to in regards to a particular food group affecting our mood is the famous ‘sugar rush’ we experience after eating a bar of chocolate. It’s that burst of energy we receive as our taste buds revel in the sweetness and our brains go into overdrive. Then it wears off and we’re left feeling tired, flat and sometimes even a bit grumpy.

It’s no secret that food affects our mood as our bodies react to the breakdown and processing of what we’ve just consumed. If you are feeling healthy and content, you will more than likely be in balanced and happy mood. However, if you are feeling lethargic and somewhat unsettled in your stomach, your mood is more than likely to reflect that.

So why does what we eat affect how we feel?

The scientific answer is that we have in fact two ‘brains’ – one in our stomach and one in our head that are connected to one another via our vagus nerve. This explains why we have cravings and why our diet directly affects how we feel emotionally.

The three most influential food groups we can digest to cause mood swings are:

  1. Sugar
  2. Gluten
  3. Processed foods

The body’s natural make-up does not nutritionally require excess amounts of these above groups, in fact many people have cut them out of their diet completely.  With the increasing number of people suffering from mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, a link can be somewhat made with our increased consumption of bad food. It is easy to see a very subtle trend.

If you are feeling unsatisfied, lethargic, nauseous  or just generally unwell after eating, then this is your body’s way of telling you that it is not receiving the nutrients it needs. Simply  put, the first step to getting yourself into a good mood starts with what food you’re eating.

how-food-affects-your-mood Waitplate Sytems


waitplate table setting

How setting your table can make a difference

Many of us are guilty of using our dining room table for everything but eating. A dumping ground for paperwork and laptops, folding the laundry, kids toys, the list goes on.

Try and think back to the day you went and purchased your dining room set. It was probably one of your biggest furniture purchases for your home outside of your lounge suite. And there was probably a lot of thought put into which dining room set was best for you and your home.

Instilling a set place and routine for meals is one of the first steps in retraining your eating behaviour and getting your habits right for a healthy lifestyle.

Sitting at a table while you’re eating is good for your posture, digestion, speed of eating and general enjoyment of the meal. So why not make an effort and use the one piece of furniture in your house that was actually specifically designed for eating?

So the next step is to make it appealing for you, your partner, your family to sit at the dining table and that comes down to setting. By making an effort to set the table nicely will be the difference between eating your meal and enjoying your meal.

Some Tips to Table Setting:

  • Remove all clutter from table
  • Wipe down your table before setting
  • Use place mats and coasters
  • Have a cold glass of water for each place
  • Minimise amount of sauces & dressings on table
  • Ensure cutlery is laid out nicely
  • Involve the whole family in setting the table

There is so much more involved to eating than just the food on your plate and as you begin on your way to a healthier lifestyle, it’s a good idea to cover all of the bases.