Waist the bottom line in Roma health competition

Waist circumference is a more accurate indicator of chronic disease.

Waisting away: waist circumference is a more accurate indicator of chronic disease.

Roma residents are encouraged to shape up this spring with a little ‘healthy’ competition that will see participants kick the kilos to the curb in the Roma Battle of the Bulge contest this month.

Teams of four to six will battle it out in the twelve-week challenge that focuses on ‘waist’ loss rather than weight loss.

Roma community nutritionist Rohan Ballon says that waist circumference has a more direct correlation with chronic illnesses like type two diabetes and heart disease.

“Weight doesn’t really differentiate between muscle mass and fat mass so people can start losing weight but as they’re being active they might start to put a bit of muscle on.”

The competition kicks off on September 21 and will dish up big things with weekly workshops at the Nuriyn Wellness Centre to give participants useful information about nutrition and exercise.

Local gyms are also jumping on board, offering special membership deals throughout the twelve weeks to help competitors improve their health and fitness.

A Heart Foundation study in April this year revealed that Maranoa takes the cake as the country’s top region for obesity and inactivity, a confronting result that Mr Ballon hopes will impel citizens to strive for better health.

“I think that is a statistic that the area was not proud of and something that they want to do something about so I hope that they embrace this challenge and we get some good participation rates,” he says.

Battle of the Bulge was also run in Charleville this year, with 170 participants boasting an average loss of 8cm to waist circumference.

“Their winner lost around twelve per cent [of waist circumference]… so I hope that we’re able to get up a little bit of competition between the regions,” says Mr Ballon.

“St George are currently running their Battle of the Bulge and it will be interesting to see how we compare to this region also.”

Being mindful of food choices, filling up on fibre-rich plant based foods and reducing liquid calories are the top tips for competitors, as well as finding opportunities to fit physical activity into daily life.

Keen competitors can also consult the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.

Those who think they’ve got the competitive edge and the circumference to shed can register for Battle of the Bulge by calling the Nuriyn Wellness Centre on (07) 4624 2595 or emailing [email protected]