Obesity asseement 1 part B Essay Example

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5Obesity Assessment


Why obesity is a National Health Priority Area

In 2008, Australian Health Ministers concurred in making obesity, one of the major health concerns, a National Health Priority Area (NHPA). The National Preventive Health Taskforce (NPHT) was given the responsibility of developing a National Obesity Strategy in order to deal with the urgent need of obesity crises (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2011). It is evident that making obesity a National Health Priority Area will assist in driving mutual efforts which are aimed at dealing with obesity at local, state, national and territory levels and furthermore, this will make certain that obesity obtains adequate attention from the concerned bodies (AIHW, 2010).

The reasons behind making obesity a National Health Priority Area is the fact that Australia is amongst the countries with the highest rates of obesity globally. Studies have proven that one in every four Australian adults is obese (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2011). Furthermore, obesity leads to various health problems, and moreover, it adds to the Australia’s costs of health considerably. According to 2007-2008 national health survey data, 21 percent of the population was obese, while 35 percent was overweight. Of this, 64 percent were males, while 49 percent were females. On the other hand, the same survey revealed that 25 percent of children who are aged between 5-17 years were obese or overweight. Furthermore, obesity is linked with various risks which include increased morbidity and mortality rates, risks of Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, gall bladder disease, osteoporosis and some cancers (APEC, 2008).

How the ‘Determinants of Health’ need to be considered in relation to obesity as a health issue

What determine the probability of individuals being healthy is the environment they live in and their circumstances. Some of the factors which are considered to have a high impact on our health include environmental state, where we live, education and income levels, genetics, and how we relate with family and friends (Victorian Government Health Information, 2011). However, studies have proven that such factors as access to health care facilities have a less effect on our health. All these factors which make up the physical environment, economic and social environment, and personal behaviours and characteristics of an individual are among the determinants of health. It is evident that in order to be able to deal with obesity as a health issues, all these factors need to be put in mind. In most circumstances, individuals are not capable of controlling most of these determinants. The concerned bodies should ensure that instead of blaming people for their poor health, they should initiate strategies to address these factors. For instance, the concerned bodies should ensure that they offer adequate information regarding the causes of obesity and the impacts (World Health Organization, 2011). This can be done through advertisements or through the social media where most people in the contemporary society have a liking. This will assist people to have enough awareness regarding the same and therefore take control measures such as taking proper diets, and doing exercise among others. In addition, ensuring that the Australian population is well educated, people will have a higher social status, reduced stress, high self-confidence and higher income all of which are associated with better health.

Primary, secondary and tertiary health promotion in relation to obesity as a health issue

Health promotion is defined as a process which enables individuals to boost control over, and better their health (Public Health Agency, 2009). The concept integrates both individual focus and other environmental and social interventions. The key idea of health promotion is to assist and encourage persons to take various preventive measures which will help in averting onset or worsening of obesity and adopt better and healthier lifestyles.

The Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA) is a professional body which was established in 1988 with an aim of promoting health in Australia (Mittelmark et al., 2008). ACT Health of the Australian Capital Territory plays a major role in health promotion by offering information dissemination and funding support. The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) is the globe’s initial health promotion foundation to be funded by a tax on tobacco (Mittelmark et al., 2008). These agencies ensure that Australians obtain primary, secondary and tertiary health promotion as far as obesity as a health issue is concerned. Primary health promotion encompasses strategies which are put in place to assist in avoiding the development of obesity. These are focused on the individual and they include living healthy lifestyles by taking proper diets and doing enough exercises. Secondary health promotion on the other hand involves diagnosing and treating obesity. Patients are put under medication in order to prevent obesity from becoming critical and the probability of other risks such as Type 2 diabetes, some cancers or even death. Tertiary health promotion encompasses the attempts of reducing the negative impacts related to obesity by lessening disease linked complications. In this case, general practitioners try to treat other related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, gall bladder disease, coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke among others.

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

It is apparent that in order to prevent, diagnose or treat and control risks linked to obesity, the community nurses have to play a major role in ensuring the same is achieved. Community nurses are regularly in frequent and close contact with the patients, caregivers, families and the community (Chenoweth, 2007). In this regard, they are in a better position to promote health that targets obesity in a community setting compared to nurses who work in hospitals. For instance the community nurses can be involved in creating awareness regarding the causes of obesity, disease impacts and how it can be prevented (Chenoweth, 2007). This can be done through holding seminars which will be focused o preaching regarding the same. Through this, the community nurses can teach people the importance of eating proper diet, and physical exercises which are some of the factors of obesity prevention. The community nurses can also offer counseling services to individuals with obesity (Mittelmark et al., 2008). This will assist in reducing stress among such patients which as a result will lessen the probability of suffering from other obesity related diseases. Through counseling, individuals will be able to take the medications as required, and take precautions which will enable them to live a normal life. The community nurses are also involved in offering community wellness services.


Australia’s health no. 12. Cat. No. AUS 122. Canberra: AIHW.Australia’s health 2010.AIHW (2010).

APEC (2008). Press release: Australian Health Ministers’ Conference communiqué. Available at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mr-yr08-dept-dept180408.htm accessed September 3, 2011.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2011). Obesity. Available at http://www.aihw.gov.au/obesity-health-priority-area/#risks accessed September 3, 2011.

Chenoweth, DH. (2007). Worksite health promotion. (2nd Ed). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Mittelmark, M., Kickbusch, I., Rootman, I., Scriven, A. and Tones, K. (2008). Health Promotion Encyclopedia of Public Health. London: Elsevier.

Public Health Agency (2009). What is health promotion? Available at http://www.healthpromotionagency.org.uk/Healthpromotion/Health/section2.htm accessed September 3, 2011.

Victorian Government Health Information (2011). The determinants of health. Available at http://www.health.vic.gov.au/healthpromotion/what_is/determinants.htm accessed September 3, 2011.

World Health Organization. (2011). Health Impact Assessment (HIA): The determinants of health. Available at http://www.who.int/hia/evidence/doh/en/ accessed September 3, 2011.