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Working long hours could be contributing to Australia’s obesity problem

A submission to the government’s senate committee on Australia’s obesity epidemic has floated the idea of reducing working hours to help people lose weight.

One of the authors of the submission, Dr Cathy Banwell, from the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the ANU told Neil Mitchell employers could play a larger role in curbing obesity with a different approach to working hours.

“We think that in general, long, unsociable, unpredictable working hours can restrict the amount of time that people have to be healthy, by doing physical activity and by buying and preparing and eating healthy food,” Dr Banwell said.

“We know that over the past 25-30 years many people’s working conditions have changed.

“When they feel rushed or short of time their physical activity and cooking from scratch tends to decline.

“There hasn’t really been recognition of this notion of time as a health resource.”

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