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Food vs exercise: what's more important for weight loss?

Searching for the best way to lose weight? Should the emphasis be on diet, or can the solution be found in the gym? Well, the answer lies somewhere in between.

In the red corner of the weight-loss title fight, sits the dieting contender. On the surface, dieting would appear to have the edge, because no matter what a person’s genetic makeup and metabolism, anyone who stops eating is guaranteed to lose weight.

Starvation, though, is not a dieting option to be recommended or one that is sustainable. So should it be low-fat, low-carbohydrate, high-protein, low-GI, small meals or any one of a myriad other popular dieting approaches?

The scientific jury is now firmly in, with dozens of high-quality, randomised controlled trials showing that no one dieting option is the magic solution for everyone.

Hyperactive kids? Don't blame sugar

The connection between sugar and hyperactivity is one of the most popular food-behaviour myths going around, yet it is one that has been well and truly busted by science. Where there’s sugar, there must be hyperactive kids – or so says conventional wisdom. Science says otherwise.

Any parent would tell you that seeing children fuelling up on sugar-laden cake, lollies and soft drinks at a birthday party is a sure-fire recipe for a bunch of rampaging hyperactive kids

Australia's Changing Ties with the Middle East

Australia recently signed a deal with the United Arab Emirates to provide uranium for the Persian Gulf country’s planned nuclear power plants.

Fast food v councils: the battle for hearts, minds and bellies

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has just finished hearing submissions in a case against McDonald’s opening an outlet in the town of Tecoma. The case is part of a growing trend of councils recognising the insidious impact of fast food on their communities and refusing permission on public health grounds.

It was brought by the multinational fast-food corporation after Yarra Ranges Shire Council declined to grant the company a planning permit to build. The campaign against the proposal was spearheaded by the local Tecoma Village Action Group and their efforts resulted in over 1,100 individual objections being sent to the council.

Tamils pay the cost of political expediency

At a time of bipartisan support for renewing the Pacific Solution, it is deeply disturbing to see the asylum seeker issue taking a turn for the more extreme. In a world of dog-whistle politics, it appears that further punishing victims is acceptable if it can score domestic political points.

Despite the opposition’s success in the government adopting its Pacific Solution, Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop’s call to return Sri Lankan asylum seekers to Sri Lanka without processing their claims reduces policy debate to moral abandonment. Backing her, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has displayed either ignorance or denial of the facts on the ground in Sri Lanka and Australia’s legal obligations.

Online Activism: Experiments in Democracy

With the click of button we can now fight poverty, condemn dictators, and occupy... (insert your home town here). Online activist organisation Getup! offers us the chance to support gay marriage and refugees and asylum seekers. CommunityRun even lets us devise our own campaigns. YouTube offers the perfect place for ideas to begin their viral journey. While Facebook provides a community of millions to reach out to.

 

Pacific Island states in the limelight

From a sleepy backwater, the South Pacific has been catapulted into the diplomatic limelight, with the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in the Cook Islands playing host not just to Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, but to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and a large delegation from China. All of a sudden, the Pacific island states – a mere scattering of specks in a vast blue ocean – are at centre stage.

Fusing Art and Technology

 

'The most fertile ground for experimentation is where the real and the virtual blend together... Artists tend to push on the questions that we’ll all be asking years later. And in the process, they often grapple with emerging technologies in unpredicted ways’ (Cacophony).

 

 

Community legal centres: revolutionaries, or going around in circles?

Once again, activist lawyers from across Australia are coming together at the National Conference of Community Legal Centres (#naclc12). It’s a terrific opportunity to reflect on the work of Community Legal Centres (CLCs), and to identify challenges and opportunities.

Australia’s West Papua bind

It seems that no matter how cordial Australia’s relationship with Indonesia is or how much it is desired to be so, perennial issues continue that call aspects of that relationship into question. Critically, the gap between how Australia official engages with Indonesia and how that engagement is more widely viewed within Australia continues to test the relationship.

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