Healthy politics: how to vote for a fitter Australia

Dear Prime Minister. Dear Opposition Leader. Dear Tony. Dear Darren. Dear Pauline (is she really in there?). Dear winners. Dear losers. Dear Hillary. Dear Donald. Dear anybody in any government.

I'm Mike. Just a writer, personal trainer. There's an MBA (Economics) in the back pocket from years' past, and I'm a former chubby chap that cut the BS and turned my lifestyle around a few years back when I saw the (health and fitness) light.

I just had my second glass of shiraz, and I've got a few ideas to scribe about changing the health of this country. Wine. Health. I'm a slight contradiction, but stay with me.

I've got a problem

Well, my neighbour has a problem, and so does their neighbour and the whole neighbourhood. The problem is obesity.

I've got a stat that was not spoken about during the election. The cost to Australia's wellbeing caused by obesity has leapt by 84 per cent in the past decade to more than $130 billion a year.

Diabetes. Heart disease. Cardiovascular disease. Cancer. Every graph predicting poor health dramas points northeast. Dear politicians. Let's change that.

Here are a few ideas

a) Give half the tobacco tax to farmers. There's drought. There's price squeezing by supermarkets. It's too easy to forget – these hard working farmers produce the very thing we need – quality food. So, reward them. Make them profitable. Take from those who ingest poison and give to those that produce fresh fruit. Vegetables. Meat. And catch fish.

b) Give the other half of the tobacco tax to grocery stores (keep reading, you'll see why).

c) Give the major supermarkets tobacco tax money as long as they cut the price of all fresh food in half.


d) Give the major supermarkets tobacco tax money and demand a doorway in supermarkets. That doorway will have all the junk. Processed foods. Chips. Chocolate. Chemically laden food. And it will read: Enjoy tonight. Get fat tomorrow.

e) Give the major supermarkets tobacco tax money if they feed the homeless and families in need that require an economic break.

f) Teach kids about food. Food is important. Food is fuel. Food is life. Food prevents disease or it creates it. It's time to educate kids about health and wellness.

g) Give kids more choice. As a kid, I loved maths, and maths loved me. Science? No. Recess and gym class? Yes. If kids want to move their bodies more while learning less about X, then let them. Physical fitness is just as important as the periodic table of elements.

h) Ban supplements and 1800 fitness numbers. There has to be some kind of BS detector that goes off when shake weights and more protein powders are sold via multi-level marketing / passive income schemes. I'm over it. Ban 'em.

i) Give a fitness bonus. Not too long ago there was a 'baby bonus'. It's time for a fitness bonus. Ran a race with quality time? Here's $1000. Haven't seen the doctor in 2 years? Here's $1000. Lost 10kgs? Here's $1000.

j) Ban cigarettes by the year 2040.

k) Pump inspiration into us. I don't care how you do it. We require music. Motivation. Purpose. I wanna see my neighbours walking over bush treks and hot coals with Tony Robbins … just get us moving.

During the campaign, I heard about the environment. Education. Interest rates. Immigrants. Foreign policy. Private Medicare. Public Medicare. I'm surprised not one candidate has spoken up and said – "I want to see a healthier Australia. I want Australians to be better with their health."

Imagine that politician, looking into the camera and saying: my policies made this continent the healthiest place on the planet.

Got any radical ideas to change the health of Australia? Let Michael know in the Comments section.

Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his 'Cut The BS' diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.

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