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Skeleton Brief: Obesity Amongst Young Australians Essay (Essay Sample)


Skeleton brief: Obesity amongst young Australians. Overview and learning outcomes The World Health Organization (WHO) has described childhood obesity as one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. The prevalence of childhood obesity has increased at an alarming rate and has impacted developed and developing countries. Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health (WHO, 2013). In this module you will learn a little about the effects of childhood overweight/obesity on children’s development, but more importantly you will develop skills in: • writing succinctly, • synthesising and summarising information, • using your understanding of social development to understand what might be contributing to high risk of illness in Australia’s young people, • using your understanding of development to speculate about where (and who) health interventions should be targeting, • developing an argument, • presenting information concisely and professionally using the Presentation software in Portfolio. Prescribed readings: Students will refer to the core readings on Social Development plus undertake the following additional readings: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016).National Health Survey: First Results, 2014‐15. Cat. No. 4364.0.55.001 Sahoo, K., Sahoo, B., Choudhury, A. K., Sofi, N. Y., Kumar, R., & Bhadoria, A. S. (2015). Childhood obesity: causes and consequences. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 4(2), 187–192. http://doi(dot)org/10.4103/2249‐4863.154628 (attached)


Childhood Obesity in Australia
In the simplest of terms, obesity is the accumulation of excessive weight in the body of an individual. So often, it has been associated with adults and the elderly in the society. There is, however, a new trend whereby children and other young members of the society, are getting obese. In Australia, childhood obesity is quickly becoming a matter that needs greater attention. More and more Australian youngsters are getting under the burden of obesity, mainly as a result of lifestyle. It seems like nowadays; kids are spending much of their free time indoors, watching television, playing computer games or playing indoor games, while continuously consuming junk. They, therefore, end up not doing any serious physical exercise, thereby acquiring more weight that leads to obesity. Much focus needs to be given to the roles of the parents and teachers in helping fight this menace of childhood obesity.
Obesity usually comes about as a result of the inability of the body to offset the amount of energy taken in by that it takes out or consumes. This, therefore, results in a buildup of excessive energy, which calls for the body mechanisms to store it. The body works in such a way that such energy can only be stored in the form of fats. It should be noted at this early stage; children are still in the process of learning. Therefore, physical activity is also a skill that they learn to love and practice. If children learn to stay indoors and do no physical exercise at such an early age, then it will be permanent and detrimental in the long run.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2010), there has been a steady rise in the number and percentage of obesity in children aged between 5 and 17 over the years between 1995 and 2009, from 5% to 8% respectively. During this period as well, the number of boys that became obese also doubled from 5% to 10%. The obesity statistics for girls remained unchanged, but their overweight statistics did increase, from 12% to an average of 20% in the same period. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW, n.d.) summarizes these statistics by stating that every one in four kids in Australia, is obese or overweight. That is 25% of all children in the country. This is a mind-boggling statistic for any nation.
As initially stated, physical exercise plays a major role in the lifestyle of any individual, including these youngsters. It helps burn off excess calories while at the same time build the ability and ease of coordination for the body. These kids can engage in extracurricular activities, even if it's just riding a bicycle or running around in the field. It should also be noted that exercise helps in reducing the stress and anxiety levels in the body, thereby cutting down on the chances of one getting depressed. Depression can easily push someone to engage in binge eating, which also contributed to weight issues. It also places them at risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases(Sahoo et al.,2015).
Engaging in physical activity is one thing; the amount of time spent on it is another. In Australia for example, it was noted that kids between the ages of 5 to 17 only spent 6 hours every two weeks on exercise. Much of their other leisure time was devoted ...
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