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Obesity And Social Determinants Of Health

1766 words - 7 pages

Obesity and social determinants of health
Overweight and obesity problem is becoming more and more serious in Australia. Not only Australians but also the world’s problem obesity is studied as one of the main causes of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers and sleep apnoea as well as other serious conditions, which put national economies and individual lives at risk. Obesity is also regarded as epidemic. Obesity is caused by a calorific imbalance between diet intake and consumed calories. Obesity has become the biggest threat to Public Health in Australia shown by Australia Bureau of Statistics (2013). Also, the prevalence of obesity is predicted as the ratio of obesity in adults and children will be doubled by 2025 (Backholer et al.2012). It is believed that this phenomenon is happening due to many social determinants of health, which have a strong negative impact on not only individuals but also society and economy. (Wilkinson and Marmot 2003) The social determinants of health are explained as conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age by WHO (Wilkinson & Marmot 2013). Different circumstances can be formed depending on their finance, power and global resources. These social determinants seem to be responsible for health inequities, which seem to be unfair and avoidable. Social determinants of health including social gradient, high calorie food intake, excessive amounts of stress and poor early life care are the relevant factors to contribute to be or being obesity. It is important to understand that the correlation of social determinants of health and obesity to manage the health problems and enhance public’s health.

A social gradient is one of the social factors of determination that attributes to obesity. According to The Solid Facts, it is evident that the differences in social classes negatively effect on health status (Wilkinson & Marmot 2003). People in lower socio-economic groups are more likely to experience poorer health finance status and premature death approximately twice more than advantaged groups. Socioeconomic disadvantage, such as, low educational levels and living in hardships, increase the likelihood of the prevalence of obesity (Ball et.al 2011). The low-income earners tend to possess unhealthy behaviour, for example, consuming energy-dense and poor nutrition foods because they are not able to afford high quality healthy foods. Also, people from a poor background show increasing rate in having such health disease while advantaged people have decreasing percentage in obesity prevalence (Markwick, Vaughan & Ansari 2013). It is clearly seen that overweight and obese medical problems are largely related to socioeconomic gradients (Marwick, Vaughan and Ansari 2013).

Food intake is another important determinant of medical conditions that has a chance of causing obesity. People exposed to enough diet for an active and healthy life define food security as...

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