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I'll be rocking my NF shirt tomorrow at the Heart Foundation Petition rally in Brisbane City. There's apparently going to be some media covering it so maybe I can try photobomb a camera =P

So I'm thinking it could be time to put together an Australia-wide meetup. There are quite a few Aussies on board these days, and most don't live in Sydney, where all of the past meetups have been hel

Stop making up names

Haha, it certainly is! That and the hometown of Shane Crawford (our only other claim to fame). My Dad was a business partner with Spiderbait's guitarists brother (yeah, wrap your head around that one)  and I've had a couple of entertaining pub conversations with Mark Maher (aka: Kram- the drummer) when he used to come in for a quiet one. Last time I saw him actually, he walked in, ordered a drink, someone put 'Black Betty' on the jukebox, he stood up and walked out, haha, poor guy!

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Hey guys, I just put this on Facebook but since we're all Aussies, I thought it might be relevant here as well.

It is long overdue that I wrote this status (And I’m sorry it’s a long one) and it concerns a matter that affects us all. The Heart Foundation is an organisation that claims to “save lives and improve health through funding world-class cardiovascular research and guidelines for health professionals†(Heartfoundation.org.au). This is a noble purpose, after all, obesity is the biggest threat to public health, it is the leading cause of premature death and illness and, at its current rate, will see 80% of Australian adults and 33% of Australian children overweight or obese by 2025 (Monash University).

It is therefore such a shame to see an organisation with so much influence failing the people it claims to protect so poorly. This is no criticism on the many devoted individuals who are doing what they can to combat the obesity epidemic, it is, however, a message for those running this organisation- especially in regard to their ‘Heart Foundation tick’. That message is simple: Do your job.

I don’t want this to be a novel, so I will briefly touch an example of where the Heart Foundation’s words are the polar opposite of their actions. Specifically, regarding sugar.

The Heart Foundation’s take on sugar is the following:

“The NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) recently reviewed all available evidence to update the Australian dietary guidelines and concluded that sugar as an individual nutrient was only important in relation to dental caries.

There is no scientific consensus that sugar as a nutrient causes heart disease. We believe that while overall kilojoule intake is important, other factors such as levels of sodium, fibre and saturated fat and trans fat are more important in preventing cardiovascular disease.†(Heartfoundation.org).

This is based on all the “available evidence†from “world-class cardiovascular researchâ€, yet when we look to the Journal of the American Medical Association (this isn’t some blog, this is one of the most highly respected medical journals in the world) we find multiple studies saying the exact opposite. This article, from April this year says, in no unclear terms:

We observed a significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk for Cardiovascular Disease mortality†(Quanhe Yang, et al., 2014).

Even the American Heart Foundation has jumped on board with this:

Getting too much added sugar in your diet could significantly increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease†(Heart.org)

We already get our TV shows and Movies months after the USA, does the same have to go for our medical recommendations too? It’s not only sugar. Saturated fat and salt intake have also been vilified with little regard for what the data actually says, while other ‘foods’, like margarine and vegetable oils have been celebrated despite their connection and inability to treat illness.

 The Australian Heart Foundation prides itself on its ‘Heart Healthy Tick’. Is it really sensible to trust the recommendations of an organization that ignores science? What can you do about it? What can we do about it?

Changes come from the masses. If you have a spare five minutes (and what’s five minutes in a day?), I’d strongly encourage you to sign this petition.

If you have more than five minutes, then research this stuff yourself. There is so much information out there, take some time to look at the studies, look at the people following the different recommendations and come to your own conclusions.

If any of this has resonated with you, feel free to share this post and share this message. Social media gives the majority a power that was never previously available. Use that to make a change.

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