Then the Whos, young and old, would sit down to a feast. And they’d feast! And they’d feast! And they’d FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!

Can you feel it? This time of year I mean. It just has a different feel – a busy year is coming to an end & (hopefully) it’s time to celebrate with family & friends. Most of us will over-indulge a little, & some of us will indulge a lot.

Our problem, however, is as we get older it just gets a little harder to shed those extra kilos. Given our hectic lifestyles it’s not too difficult to put on an extra kilo or 2 in any given year, but when you multiply 1 or 2 kilos by 10 or 20 years then that is a lot of weight, particularly if you are trying to get rid of it.

Unless you are extremely determined & disciplined, shedding 10 or more kilos is really challenging & most people will simply give up after a few days. Sore knees, sore ankles, a slight strain here & there, the constant hunger pains & there there are all of those damn friends who keep putting glasses of wine & yummy cheeses in front of us!

But let’s be serious for a moment – Australians are getting fatter. We were fat, but now we are on par with Americans & just behind the Kiwis in terms of adult & childhood obesity rates. We are now Fatter! We just scored a big fat F on our report card.

I’m not trying to put a dampener on our Christmas celebrations but I want us to live long, healthy, active lives & I want our kids to live even longer. Unfortunately many of us will be burying our kids because we are shoving so much sugar & processed foods down their throats. And I’m sorry, but a game of wii tennis does not substitute for real tennis!

Many of us will have excuses about how we have become overweight but, if you get the opportunity, compare school photographs from this generation & the previous two generations. Two generations ago there were very few fat children in the class photo. How does that compare today? How have we let this happen?

One insurance company has recognised this problem & has taken an active lead in addressing it. AIA have introduced a wonderful program called ‘VITALITY’, and the purpose of this program is to reward their policyholders for making healthy lifestyle choices. Rewards partners include Qantas, Endota Spa, Woolworths, Fitness First, Caltex & many more.

My wife & I changed our life & trauma insurances over to AIA last year & we recently qualified for quite substantial premium discounts, as well as a 50% discount on Qantas flights, both domestic & international! My daughter also changed her policies over to AIA & had great pleasure reminding me that she was the only one in the family to qualify at the very highest level.

This is a tremendous initiative by AIA & I understand that their claims have reduced by 30% since introducing the program. That just simply means less Australians getting sick due to poor health & diet, & more Australians living longer. Well done AIA!

Enjoy the festive season everyone. May it be full of joy & celebration………but not too over-indulgent.