Part 1 – Describe your own community
Describe your own community – this could be the community in which you live or in which you work. This activity addresses part of Best Practice Principles #1 Community Engagement.
Your description will provide details regarding:
a. The epidemiology of overweight and obesity in Australia (or another country if you are focusing on a community overseas). This should outline the prevalence of overweight and obesity and at risk groups from a national perspective. Then present the prevalence of overweight and obesity in your community. Compare this to the national data you have presented. If you are unable to find data on the prevalence of overweight and obesity in your specific community, you might like to look for data at a wider local government, or nearby area.
b. The demographic characteristics of your community (who comprises your community, what characterises them? e.g. geographic location, age structure, socioeconomic status such as income, education, CALD groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders). Compare this to national data to highlight what is unique about your community and who may be most at risk of overweight and obesity.
Part 2 – Evidence to inform Obesity program design and planning
Begin to describe aspects of Best Practice Principles #2 - Program Design and Planning to show evidence of your understanding of how you might address overweight and obesity in this population. Using evidence from systematic reviews and expert reports (generally not single studies) you will need to:
a. From part 1b), identify one target group at risk of obesity in your community. Review the literature to identify one likely cause of obesity in this target group in your community. Provide evidence (from systematic reviews and expert reports) that this is likely to be an important predictor of obesity for your target population.
b. Provide an overview of the sorts of interventions (from systematic reviews and expert reports) that might be considered as valuable in addressing this cause of overweight and obesity in your target group
c. Using information from 1b, 2a and 2b complete the first two columns of the BPPs template (example below) to illustrate your understanding of who you would engage with (individuals/settings/organisations – column 1) and the types of interventions that could be utilized (column 2) across the various levels of the socioecological model (from individual focussed to public policy focussed approaches).
Part 1- Describing the community
Obesity is one of the major challenges, which is being encountered by the entire world. The epidemic of obesity or overweight is rapidly increasing. This is a multi-factorial and much more complicated disease, from which third of the world population is suffering (1). The prevalence of obesity can be found mostly among children and young adult. Diabetics, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and cancer are some of the major effect of obesity among people. As per the report published by WHO during 2016, there are 1.9 million people who are extremely obese. The rate of obese people aged between 5-19 years was 340 million during 2016. It has been reported that there are almost 28% adult people in Australia who can be categorised as obese (2). There are nearly two-third of the young people who are extremely obese. This paper intends to discuss the prevalence of obesity in Australia, especially among young generation. The targeted population for this paper is the Australian obese people aged in between5-19. The fundamental cause of obesity along with the intervention that can be undertaken to prevent this issue will also be discussed in the paper.
a) The epidemiology of obesity:
Overweight or obesity can be regarded as abnormal fat in body which can pose major risk for people. Obesity generally arises from the imbalance of sustained energy. Excessive body fact is fundamentally responsible for accelerating the risk of chronic disease. The adult and youth generation of Australia can be categorised as extremely obese (3). During the survey 2014-2015, it has been estimated that almost 11.2 million adults in Australia who are extremely obese and the rate of which is promptly increasing. The adults, who are living in the comparatively lower socio-economic group are much more exposed towards suffering from obesity, that that of the people, living in the higher socio-economic group (4). In between 1995-2014, the rate of obesity affected adults has been increased by 7%. Additionally, the rate of obesity is higher among men and women. Childhood obesity is one of the major problems in Australia. It has been reported that almost 28% children and adolescents are extremely overweight and obese (5). On an average, there are almost 2 among 4 children who are suffering from obesity. Among the people aged in between 4-17, obesity is one of the most alarming issue which is affecting the psychological well-being of them. The boys aged in between 16-17 are more likely to suffer from obesity than that of the girls (6).
In the entire English speaking world, the Australia holds the third-highest position in terms of obesity. In Australia, the rate of adult women suffering from 56.3% while the rate of obese adult is more than 70% (6). It has become the kind of epidemic disease in the entire country as the rate of people, suffering from obesity is increasing quickly (7). A person can be referred as obese if he holds the BMI below 35. On the other hand, person having BMI higher than 40 can be considered as extremely obese. There are more than 27% children aged in between 5-19, who are being categorised as extremely obese.
a) The epidemiology of obesity
b) Demographic characteristic of the community:
The children living in the remote areas of Australia are more likely to suffer from obesity than that of the people, living in the metropolitan areas. It has been reported that, the children and adolescents, belonging from comparatively lower socio-economic group are more exposed towards obesity, than that of the people, suffering from higher socio-economic group (8). The rate of childhood obesity in Australia has been increased by 3% in between 1996 to 2007. It has been estimated that over 600,000 aged in between 5-19 are suffering from obesity. The fundamental reason behind, such overweight is nothing but their poor economic condition, which restricts them to access nutritious food. Evidences are showing that there are more than 60% children from socially marginalised class who are suffering from obesity while rate of obesity among the children from higher socio-economic background is 50 % (9). Improper food habit and excessive consumption of food are the key reason behind the morbid obesity among the children from higher socio-economic background.
a) The fundamental cause of obesity in target group:
Consumption of healthy food is one of the most significant ways, through which obesity can be prevented. Thus, lack of access towards the healthy food is the leading cause behind overweight among the children from lower-socio-economic group. In Australia, the cost of healthy foods such as vegetables, eggs, fish and nut is higher, which creates difficulty among the people from the lower socio-economic group to afford such food (10). Therefore, they access junk food due to their affordability. Thus, it can be said that overeating of junk food is the reason behind increasing rate of obesity among the children from lower socio-economic group (11). Lack of consuming energy dense food is the major reason behind such increased trend of obesity. In addition, the children are also less likely to consume fibre, vegetables and milk. Excessive consumption of junk food during childhood is the leading reason behind obesity among children.
Fast food consumption is highly harmful towards the health of children. Junk food is being considered as the major factor, having adverse effect on the child. Such as the prevalence of consuming junk food is high among the children. As they are eating junk food, they are highly exposed towards consuming fat, carbohydrate and added sugar (11). Eating excessive junk food makes a dietary habit among children, from which they can never escape. Higher consumption of unhealthy foods such as excessive oily food, fries, burgers by the children from lower socio-economic group generally carry a disproportionate diet towards their young age (8). Lack of education and awareness among parents regarding the negative impact of junk food leads the children to consume junk food (12). Due to the pocket friendly price, the availability and accessibility of junk food is rapidly increasing. The confusing labels along with wrong claims of junk food are the leading cause behind excessive consumption of junk food. Lack of awareness among the lower socio-economic group also leads them to consume junk food without any worry (6). The trend of executing a proper diet and consistent physical activity are also lees in the contemporary society, restricting to burn the excess body fat and thus enable the people to stay fit and healthy. Therefore, it can be said that low priced and nutritionally poor junk food and lack of diet and exercise are the leading cause behind excessive obesity in Australia (13).
b) Demographic characteristic of the community
b) Overview of intervention to prevent obesity:
Confidence and self-esteem are the major factors towards promoting emotional and cognitive development of children. Consumption of junk food in a consistent manner affect the physical development of children by increasing the weight (8). This can result in self-esteem issues among the children which ultimately leads to depression. Therefore, prompt action is needed to be undertaken to prevent obesity in the youth and adolescent community (14). As obesity poses greater challenge towards leading a healthy life, it is important to undertake prompt action (8). In order to help the children to lead a healthy weight, it is important to provide necessary support to them to balance the calorie. The parents must lead the children to eat that kind of food that has higher nutritional value. The parents must encourage the children to drink lots of water, which is the key of losing weight in an effective manner (15).
The most significant intervention that can be undertaken to lose weight is removing high caloric temptation. This is the way, through which healthy eating habit among the children can be generated. High fat and high-sugar must be reduced from the regular diet plan. Fruits such as apple, banana, and grapes play a very significant role in the way of reducing weight. One of the most significant ways of balancing calorie is to help the children to stay active (16). It is important to encourage the obese people to engage in the physical activity. This consistent physical activity is very much needed in order to strengthen the bone, reducing stress and blood pressure (17). Another important benefit of regular physical activity is that it helps in accelerating the level of self-esteem among the children and adolescent people which is the key of promoting their emotional and cognitive wellbeing (3).
The children must be encouraged to be engaged in physical activity for 60 minutes. This is the way, through which the flexibility in the muscles can also be amplified (18). It is a widely admitted fact that rapid emergence of modern technology is restricting the children at home and thereby creating barrier for them to engage in physical activity. Therefore, it is imperative for the parents to limit the time of watching TV and thereby encourage them to play outdoor games (19).
c) BPP Template:
Child- and youth-Cantered Program (20)
· Conduction of survey for identifying the prevalence of obesity in the targeted group.
· Making the list of children and young adult suffering from obesity.
Community Awareness Program
· Engaging the children and adolescences along with their parents
· Conduction of seminar by including people from health and social care sector, who can give speech on the harmful effect of obesity on health and well-being.
Table 1: BPP Template
(Source: As created by Author)
Based on the discussion, it can be concluded by saying that, excessive weight or obesity is one of the most alarming issues throughout the world. This is the major reason, behind health impurities. The children and adolescence people are more vulnerable towards suffering from obesity. Over consumption of junk food is the primary reason behind such increasing rate of obesity throughout the country. Easy accessibility due to pocket friendly budget are leading the people to consume more oily foods which can have an adverse effect on the healthy. Lack of affordability of healthy and nutritious food is leading them to consume excessive junk food. The children must be encouraged to eat vegetables and drink ample water. These are the fundamental factors towards staying fit and healthy.
- Overweight & obesity Overview - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [Internet]. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2018 [cited 9 August 2018]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-statistics/behaviours-risk-factors/overweight-obesity/overview
- Obesity in children [Internet]. Healthdirect.gov.au. 2018 [cited 9 August 2018]. Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/obesity-in-children
- Overweight and obesity in Australia – Parliament of Australia [Internet]. Aph.gov.au. 2018 [cited 9 August 2018]. Available from: https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/archive/obesity
- Da Luz FQ, Sainsbury A, Mannan H, Touyz S, Mitchison D, Hay P. Prevalence of obesity and comorbid eating disorder behaviors in South Australia from 1995 to 2015. International Journal of Obesity. 2017 Jul;41(7):1148.
- Chan W, Maxwell R, Malpas T, Radford D. The Prevalence of Obesity in an Australian Cohort of Adult Patients With Congenital Heart Disease. Heart, Lung and Circulation. 2018 Jan 1;27:S405.
- Kendall BJ, Wilson LF, Olsen CM, Webb PM, Neale RE, Bain CJ, Whiteman DC. Cancers in Australia in 2010 attributable to overweight and obesity. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health. 2015 Oct;39(5):452-7.
- Garnett SP, Baur LA, Jones AM, Hardy LL. Trends in the prevalence of morbid and severe obesity in Australian children aged 7-15 years, 1985-2012. PloS one. 2016 May 12;11(5):e0154879.
- Allender S, Owen B, Kuhlberg J, Lowe J, Nagorcka-Smith P, Whelan J, Bell C. A community based systems diagram of obesity causes. PLoS One. 2015 Jul 8;10(7):29-68.
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