Childhood Obesity: A Growing Menace in Australia
Create an evocative and engaging Op-Ed that explains a challenge associated with realising aspirations of the common good in your professional community, locally and globally.
• The Op-Ed should clearly explain to readers what the issue or problem is and how your understanding of the knowledge you have acquired in the unit addresses the issue or problem and relate to the discipline area you are studying in.
• Please note that you do not have to come up with the ‘definitive solution’ for the Op Ed, this may form part of Assessment 3. Your tutor is looking for a well-argued view in order to move forward on the issue or problem.
• The Op-Ed is to be no more than 700 words long (papers which fall beyond this word length will be penalised). The idea is to express your thoughts clearly and concisely and make your argument as directly as you can – just like a journalist or writer. Do not assume that this assignment is easy given the word length. The challenge is to present a persuasive argument in a concise manner!
• Although Op-Ed’s do not usually require referencing, for this academic work, referencing is required. References do not count in the word limit. See referencing guidelines on the UNCC300 LEO page (You can find it under Assessment > How do I reference course materials for UNCC units?).
• This assessment will be worth 30 marks
Childhood Obesity: A Growing Menace in Australia
According to the World Health Organization, obesity has contributed a significant proportion of a global burden regarding chronic diseases and disability(WHO, 2016). Arguably, the levels of childhood obesity have tremendously escalated as children continue to foods that are high in sugars and unhealthy fats as they spend less to in engaging in physical activities (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017). As such this article will address the need to educate Australian community to enable minimization of cases associated with obesity.
First, it is important to educate the community about the need to take good care of the next generation. Arguably we saw that the cases of childhood obesity have increased over the recent years. Arguably it is estimated that 20%- 25% of Australian children populace is are overweight and approximately a quarter of this category are obese (Gill et al., 2009). Furthermore, in certain groups such as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, the childhood obesity tends to be more prominent in children. Childhood obesity is an issue that needs urgent attention, in that, the above-stated statistics suggest that a significant number of children are obese within the nation as a whole. As such, as a nurse practitioner, I argue for more resources to be provided to educate the community of the detrimental effect brought about by a childhood obesity infested society.
Second, children are immature when it comes to making food choices. Han, Lawlor, and Kimm (2010) stipulated in their research that children will develop obesity regarding calorie intake as they undertake their sedentary lifestyle. Furthermore, as we borrow Uprichard’s analogy that children are good in the following instruction especially when they are instructed by their parents or an older adult (Uprichard, 2008). In doing, so the menace of childhood obesity can be tackled effectively. Furthermore, it is evident that when children develop obesity at a younger age, they are more likely to depict the chronic levels of obesity in their adult (Kelsey, Zaepfel, Bjornstad, & Nadeau, 2014). How can a country flourish if the majority of its populace being obese? This question brings us to another dimension of thinking; what can obesity do to our levels of productivity?
Evidently, an individual level of productivity is directly related to the overall productivity of a nation as well as a particular society (Oecd, 2001). Australia, being one of the developed nations across the globe needs a healthy population to maintain its status as a developed nation. As such, research suggests that management of chronic levels of obesity is costly (Colagiuri et al., 2010). Furthermore, productivity being one of the indicators of economic growth, the nature of an obese individual predisposes one to absenteeism as well as immobility which can lead to productivity at work.
More so, it can be argued that childhood obesity is a dangerous disease since it is considered as a fatal disease. Arguably, a significant number of deaths in Australia have been associated with childhood obesity. Franks et al. (2010) stipulate that the complications associated with childhood obesity can lead to premature death in children. Do we want to grief year in year out, when we can fix these deaths? Even though the Australian government came up with a program to develop and promote healthy eating and guidelines of physical activities for children, there are still cases of childhood obesity instigated by failure to follow these guidelines (Obesity Australia, 2014).
Conclusively, childhood obesity has snatched our loved ones, but as nurse practitioners, it is our duty to protect the community, with the attributes of a common good, we can overcome this menace. The prevalence levels of childhood obesity are escalating each and every day, parents and medical practitioners need to liaise with each other to protect our children from this menace. Through effective health promotion and training to all the communities across the nation we can achieve in making our country healthy. Furthermore, children are our future; they are our flag bearers.
Count: 679 [700 word bracket]
Australian Burueu of Statistics. (2017). Main Features – Children who are overweight or obese. Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features20Sep+2009
Colagiuri, S., Lee, C. M. Y., Colagiuri, R., Magliano, D., Shaw, J. E., Zimmet, P. Z., & Caterson, I. D. (2010). The cost of overweight and obesity in Australia. Medical Journal of Australia, 192(5), 260–264. https://doi.org/col10841_fm [pii]
Franks, P. W., Hanson, R. L., Knowler, W. C., Sievers, M. L., Bennett, P. H., & Looker, H. C. (2010). Childhood Obesity, Other Cardiovascular Risk Factors, and Premature Death. New England Journal of Medicine, 362(6), 485–493. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa0904130
Gill, T. P., Baur, L. A., Bauman, A. E., Steinbeck, K. S., Storlien, L. H., Singh, M. A. F., … Caterson, I. D. (2009). Childhood obesity in Australia remains a widespread health concern that warrants population-wide prevention programs. Medical Journal of Australia, 190(3), 146–148. https://doi.org/gil10817_fm [pii]
Han, J. C., Lawlor, D. a, & Kimm, S. Y. S. (2010). Childhood obesity. Lancet, 375(9727), 1737–1748. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60171-7
Kelsey, M. M., Zaepfel, A., Bjornstad, P., & Nadeau, K. J. (2014). Age-related consequences of childhood obesity. Gerontology. https://doi.org/10.1159/000356023
Obesity Australia. (2014). Obesity : A National Epidemic and its Impact on Australia. Obesity Australia.
Oecd. (2001). Overview of productivity measures. Measuring Productivity – OECD Manual, 2, 11–21. https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264194519-en
Uprichard, E. (2008). Children as “being and becomings”: Children, childhood and temporality. Children and Society, 22(4), 303–313. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1099-0860.2007.00110.x
WHO. (2016). Childhood overweight and obesity. WHO. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood/en/