OBESITY Essay Example

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Obesity as a National Health Priority area

According to Bauman (2002), within Australia, obesity rate have doubled its number in the past two decades. The Australian health minister acknowledges that Australia as a nation is facing epidemic of obesity and calls for dire action be taken to emphasis on health diet and physical exercises across the country. Although reducing level of obesity will take time, there are several reasons why obesity needs to be a health priority area across Australia. Firstly, obesity is been perceived to be a major cause of preventable health problem. Bad eating habit across the nation are creating huge financial and health burden for the larger society, individual and the government (Bauman, 2002).

Research indicate that an estimated population of 1.5 million young adults who are considered to be obese are at a risk of acquiring chronic condition such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, type II diabetes, musculoskeletal problems and stroke. Bauman (2002) asserts that, such chronic conditions are estimated to cost the Australian government $8.283 billion in the year 2008 as compares to $3.767 billion in 2005. Further the government of Australia believes that by making obesity a national priority area, collaborative effort would be achieve which in turn will aim at tackling the problem of obesity at a national state, territorial and communal levels. Also by making it an area of national priority, obesity will receive the desired attention especially when considering matters of national urgencies. Long term will be achieved in that environment that are conducive to physical activities will be created by way of creating awareness at a national level.

Determinants of Health in relation to obesity

It is very important for determinants of health to be considered in relation to obesity which is a major health issue across Australia. Determinants of health are those factors under which individuals live under them and widely affects or determine their way of living. Social factors act as determinants of health in relation to obesity (Uutela, 2000). Clearly, obesity is a non contagious health condition that has widely been escalated mostly because of lifestyle behaviors. Based on social health determinants, endogeneity in lifestyle is main factor. The risk of obesity mainly increases at a decreasing rate with income and age. Stimulated human capital and bad diet has widely contributed to the increasing rate of individual suffering from obesity across Australia.

Uutela A. (2000) maintains that, poverty and wealth have weighty effects on physical activities; diet structure, health and nutrition which are factors that result to obesity when proper measures are not taken in. economic environment which is a health determinant indicate that increase in economic strength result to increased rates of obesity. Australia being a developed nation especially in its economy, its citizen tends to consume food with added sugar and fats thus the current increase rate of obesity. Apart from economic status, Australia aboriginal community tend to suffer from obesity due to low level of education and income levels which is attributed to racial/ ethnic discrimination (Uutela, 2000). Clearly most lifestyles behaviors across Australia that are related to obesity are usually cultural driven. Globalization is another determinant of health in relation to obesity. This is because people are doing less walking always bicycling and use of automobile to move from one place to another which results to increased level of obesity.

Primary, secondary and tertiary health promotion in relation to obesity

According to Keleher (2001), because obesity develops over time making it difficult to treat, the most suitable health promotion for the alarming rate of obesity across Australia is mainly primary prevention. Keleher (2001) maintains that, primary prevention is whereby actions are carried out on all determinants of health in relation to obesity. This can be achieved by creating environments that will allow people indulge in physical exercises and ensure that healthy eating is embraced. This can also be explain by ensuring that health facilities across Australia are refocusing on upstream that will prevent individuals from being obese or overweight. Further, primary prevention calls for decreasing the number on new cases of individuals suffering from obesity.

Keleher, H. (2001)maintains that, secondary prevention is also an essential health promotion in relation to obesity. Secondary prevention is whereby an early detection of obesity is made which is usually followed by the most appropriate intervention such as a proper health promotion. Early detection which can be identified by calculating the Body Mass Index (BMI) assists the patient to indulge in physical activities and undertake healthy diet thus minimizing chronic condition that results from obesity(Keleher, 2001).. In addition secondary prevention ensures that lower rates of establish obesity cases across Australia. Finally, tertiary prevention is important since it aims at reducing the impact of obesity thus promoting quality life by way of active rehabilitation which includes proper feeding and physical activities. Keleher (2001) asserts that, it further ensures that obesity to severe condition such as hypertension.

The involvement and roles of community nurses in health promotion that targets obesity within a community setting

Australian Government (2011) maintains that, community nurses play major roles in health promotion especially those which target individuals with obesity within any given community setting. Community nurses are required to take leadership especially when responding to the epidemic of obesity. As the largest group of health practitioners across Australia, nurses are considered to be properly positioned to be influential in identifying, preventing and treating obesity (Australian Government, 2011). Further, it is within their roles to promote advocacy efforts for national policy change to create environments across Australia which will result to lowering the rates obesity. Community nurses are expected to always get access to tools that will ensure that planning and evaluation of cases of obesity across Australia.

Clearly, the challenge in obesity does not seem to reflect on lack of knowledge especially on the societal part, rather nurses understand that it relates to the ability or inability to act on such knowledge. Such factors present roles of community nurses in creating opportunity so as to change societal condition which highly hamper their ability of preventing obesity right from childhood (Australian Government, 2011). Community nurses are expected to assess the type and level of prevention appropriate for that particular culture, environment, socioeconomic status, language and family based on obesity background. It is considered for such described roles that community nurses are considered best positioned health professionals to indulge on health promotion aimed at reducing rates of obesity. Lastly, community nurses should creates campaigns that will ensure that bad eating and lack of physical exercise behaviors are changed.


Australian Government. (2011). Obesity. Retrieved on 11th and welfare statistics and information
September 2011 fromhttp://www.aihw.gov.au/obesity-health-priority-area/: Australia’s national agency for health

Bauman, A., et al. (2002). Getting Australia active: towards better practice for the promotion of physical activity. Canberra: National Public Health Partnership

Keleher, H. (2001). ‘Why primary health care offers a more comprehensive approach for tackling health inequities than primary care’. Australian Journal of Primary Health, vol 7 (2), 57-61.

Uutela A. (2000). Physical exercise and psychological well-being: a population study in Finland. Preventive Medicine, 2000. 30: p. 17-25.