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Schools Should Implement Programs Tailored To Prevent Childhood Obesity. Australian Bureau Of Statistics. (2010).Measures Of Australia’s Progres

1267 words - 6 pages

This essay exposes the adverse consequences of childhood obesity on the overall prosperity of the country, elucidating the urgent requirement of prevention programs in schools. Childhood obesity is one of the most alarming public health challenges of the 21st century(World health organisation.(2012). Obesity according to Bruce-Keller et al.(2009) is ‘a physiological condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to an extent that it can negatively affect health’. Over 90% of children in Australia attend school, more than one third of students overweight or obese (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC].(2013). Without the incorporation of prevention programs in schools this ...view middle of the document...

According to Dr. David Ludwig he predicts “This may be the end of the trend toward increased lifespans, it may shorten lifespan by two or three years, more than the effect of all cancers combined”. The multitude of chronic illnesses decreasing life expectancies are linked with childhood obesity, emphasising the urgent need of prevention programs in school.

Psychological and social consequences of childhood obesity are more complex than the physical complications. School years encompass the critical developmental period of body image and self esteem. It is important to implement prevention programs into schools as individuals who are obese during childhood are more likely to have poor body image, low self esteem and confidence than those with adult onset obesity (Cole, Bellizzi, Flegal & Dietz 2000). Friffiths et al.(2006) study suggested that obese children were ranked by other children as least desirable friends, this is destructive as approval from peers is particularly important to the development of self-esteem. Exhibiting the potential value prevention programs can have on increasing self-esteem. A recent survey revealed that obese children rate their quality of life as low as those of young cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy (Lüsted, 2008). The probability of being bullied is increased by 63 percent in conjunction with a negative self image social isolation occurs as obese children are more likely to have smaller or no social companions(Lee, 2009) highlighting the negative repercussion evident without programs aimed at the prevention of childhood obesity.According to the Commonwealth Department of Education guidelines for pastoral care programs should “ aim to create safe, supportive environments promoting the wellbeing of all members and positive relationships”. As obesity rates sore the effectiveness of current programs are disappointing , revealing the schools obligation to students to introduce programs aimed specifically at the prevention of childhood obesity.

The prevention of obesity is quintessential to the economy, the consequences significantly effect the government, employers and families. According to Medibank Health Solutions “Obesity intervention policies aimed at reducing the prevalence of obesity in Australia will yield strong benefits for the economy”. Childhood obesity according is estimated to cost $37.7 billion in direct health expenses. Without the incorporation of prevention programs in schools the amount spent on health care will continue to dramatically grow as children enter adulthood with higher obesity rates. Obesity effects the government through public health care costs as obese children are three times more likely to be hospitalised (Marder,Chang 2005). By implementing prevention programs the estimated cost of obesity could be potential governmental savings, which therefore can be used to enhance other services and program such as education. The community would also benefit as the reduced health...

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