Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul - - FRONT PAGE -

un­like mod­ern view­ers, they had to get up to change the chan­nel and broad­cast­ing wasn’t 24/7.

To­bacco may have con­trib­uted to slim­mer waist­lines: 58 per cent of men and 28 per cent of women smoked (it’s now about 13 per cent). While stud­ies have shown smok­ing has a slight in­crease on me­tab­o­lism, “the ef­fect might have been larger than those stud­ies show, be­cause [ smok­ing]... dis­places other ac­tiv­i­ties,” Gill says. “We’ve re­placed smok­ing with a cup of coffee and a muf­fin.” “Sit­ting down to a ta­ble to eat and cook­ing from scratch are the things peo­ple to­day can learn from the 1960s,” Stan­ton says.

Gill adds that we should em­u­late the ’60s ap­proach to treats. “Soft drinks weren’t used as a source of hy­dra­tion. It’s the nor­mal­i­sa­tion of hav­ing soft drink ev­ery day, eat­ing take­away foods, hav­ing school tuck­shops full of con­fec­tionary, or driv­ing to work and ex­pect­ing to park 10 me­tres in front of the door,” Gill says.

Jo Mitchell, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Cen­tre for Pop­u­la­tion Health in Syd­ney, said mak­ing healthy nor­mal could be­gin with some­thing as sim­ple as us­ing ac­tive trans­port ( such as a push­bike) and tak­ing the stairs in­stead of lifts or es­ca­la­tors.

The best way to stop nor­mal­is­ing bad habits is to nor­malise good ones. As Nancy told the Women’s Weekly back in the 1960s, “be­ing fat­ties to­gether means we can en­cour­age each other to diet.”

*Based on com­pa­ra­ble UK fig­ures

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