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What is obesity? And why is it on the rise?

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Aspects of Health Education. 1000-1500 words 1. Choose a specific health aspect. 2. Demonstrate an understanding that it relates to young children's learning and 3. the impact of poverty and inequality. 4. Speak of my role and that of other professionals and agencies related to this issue. 5. Explore social/cultural diversity. 6. Explore ethical issues. 7. Demonstrate scientific/technological impact on the modern day Introduction What is obesity? And why is it on the rise? This essay will identify and discuss the specific health issue of obesity in young children, how it effects young children's learning and how various professionals and agencies are tackling this issue in the modern day. It will also include how poverty and inequality can have a significant impact on this health issue. Main Body. What is it?? The Oxford English Dictionary describes obesity as: Obese /'bis/ a. very fat. Obesity (p301 oxford mini dictionary) Where as the NHS defines it as '... excess body fat for a given height and gender' (http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/nhsdoheso/print.asp?sTopic=Obesity&sPrintAll=true). Although it appears that there is not any one definitive definition for obesity, obesity in young children is steadily on the increase especially it seems within young children. Research recently carried out by the National Audit Office reported that 'Obesity levels in England have almost tripled in the last 20 years. Nearly two thirds of men and more than half of women are overweight or obese and it is an increasing problem among children.' ...read more.


'Overweight children as young as age 5 years can develop a negative self-image, and obese adolescents show declining degrees of self-esteem associated with sadness, loneliness, nervousness, and high-risk behaviour's. http://www.thelancet.com/search/search.isa The impact poverty/inequality has?? Significantly, a leading factor related to obesity is poverty and that many children are unable to eat a sufficient well-rounded diet. Interestingly, the Rowntree Foundation (2002)? Found that 'One in fifty children did not have daily fresh fruit or vegetables'. Martin Barnes, director of the Child Poverty Action Group, said: ... 'many families in Britain cannot afford to eat enough or eat well. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/uk/1707636.stm Suggesting that children may not be getting a healthy varied and well-rounded diet due to it not being affordable or accessible for many households. ' Children growing up in disadvantaged families are about 50% less likely to eat fruit and vegetables than those in high-income families. The social class gap is greatest for fruit consumption' http://www.doh.gov.uk/schoolfruitscheme/equalstart.htm A survey carried out by the Local Authority Caterers Association (1999) found that 60% of parents said that the school meal played a vital role in their child's diet. However with cut backs and subcontracting school meals may still not be setting a good example for healthy eating. What effect technology has The effect of television viewing on obesity risk is of particular interest. Television viewing is thought to promote weight gain. ...read more.


Agency involvment It appears that stronger links need to be forged between professional agencies parents and the wider communities in a bid to tackle the inequalities within young children. Practitioners within the class environment can do this by encouraging children and parents to participate in healthy cooking activities for example making fruit salad or other cultural dishes. This could be ongoing with activities and stories based around healthy eating and a healthy life style, for example with the story of The Hungry Caterpillar, discussing healthy food, looking after teeth etc. It would also be highly beneficial to encourage awareness in adults, parents and children alike by having information, books and literature regarding certain important health issues readily available in a wide variety of languages so that the information reaches the whole community regardless ethnicity. Indeed the Government's commitment to opening the Sure Start Programme in areas of disadvantage appear to be a step in the right direction in combating the equalities within children's health. Conclusion This essay has identified how obesity is on the increase in the UK and the effects this can have upon young children. It is fair to say that many factors appear to contribute to this problem from advertising to current lifestyles and that inequality; particularly poverty has a significant bearing. Hopefully with the new government schemes like The School Fruit Scheme and Sure Start along with schools and other agencies informing parents about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise these inequalities will start to eliminate and the health of children will improve. ...read more.

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