Obesity. The purpose of this assignment is to analyse how an individuals lifestyle and cultural influences has been an underlining factor in causing their medical condition. I will be looking at their lifestyle and the environment in which they

Authors Avatar

A 2500 word assignment based on an individual who has health care problems due to their lifestyle and cultural influences, looking at the response of the health service, policies and practices, the structure and teams that provide their care.

The purpose of this assignment is to analyse how an individual’s lifestyle and cultural influences has been an underlining factor in causing their medical condition.  I will be looking at their lifestyle and the environment in which they live in, how statistically trends have influenced the healthcare provision, the structure in healthcare systems involved and their contribution.  I will be looking specifically at Childhood Obesity.  

Obesity is a condition in which excess fat has accumulated in the body and an individual has a Body Mass Index of over 30 in adults (Oxford, 2008).  The World Health Organisation (2007) defines Body Mass Index (BMI) as a simple index of weight-height ratio that is commonly used to classify underweight, overweight and obesity in adults.  However, in children over the age of 5 this is adjusted to take into account their age and gender and healthcare professionals now more commonly use the term percentile which uses a percentage of the overall BMI.  The categories are set out are overweight being over the 85th percentile and obese being over 95th percentile.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have set out a code of conduct on how to maintain confidentiality within a healthcare setting and state that we must treat information about patients and clients as confidential and use it only for the purpose in which it was given (NMC Code of Conduct, 2008a).  Throughout this piece of work I will be maintaining confidentiality at all times by not mentioning the real name of the client, or the trust that they live in therefore I will name him Lewis.

Childhood obesity is the most widespread and preventable nutritional disorder of the twenty first century (Caprio & Genel, 2005).  According to Ogden, Flegal & Carroll (2002) there are many factors linked to obesity in children including poor eating habits, excessive calorific intake and lack of physical activities or exercise that are linked to obesity in children.

Lewis is a 12 year old boy and lives with his mother who is an unemployed single mother and has had problems with his weight from the age of 8.  His mother is of average weight. She has struggled over the years to financially to support them both therefore both Lewis’ health and weight have suffered dramatically as he now has a BMI of 30.

Over the years Lewis has developed poor eating habits by mainly eating processed and unhealthy food at home and refuses to eat fruit and vegetables. However at school he does eat healthy meals due to strategies already in place which I will look at later.  

According to Adair (2005) home and family environments are essential in the development of food preferences and consumption habits, and families represent a promising avenue toward improvement of children’s eating habits and prevention of obesity, so in the case of Lewis it can be said that his upbringing by his mother has played a fundamental role in his eating habits.  As suggested in Ebbeling, Garcia-Lago, Leidig (2007) nutritional factors in fast food, such as low levels of dietary fibre, high palatability, high energy density, high fat content, and high content of sugar in liquid form, may promote excess energy intake.

As I mentioned earlier another fundamental aspect in obesity is the lack of physical activities and exercise also contributes to obesity.  Children are similar to adults in that regular exercise provides additional health benefits for overweight individuals and therefore physical activity is critical for the prevention of abnormal weight gain and weight maintenance.  Lewis attends school which is situated two miles from where he lives. Also Lewis doesn’t participate in any sport or activities at school and he would much sooner watch television or play games consoles and according to Ritchie, Welk & Styne (2005) television viewing is generally higher among lower socio-economic populations and as a result low income children are subjected to 40,000 commercials on television per year.

Join now!

Poor eating habits that lead to obesity contribute to health problems and conditions that will develop in adulthood including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and problems breathing whilst asleep, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers (Daniels, 2006).

According to Health Survey for England (HSE) (2008) the prevalence of obesity of children aged 2 years to 15 years has increased from 25% in 1995 compared to 30.3% in 2008.  It also showed that levels of obesity increased greater in boys compared to girls, with boys increasing from 11.1% in 1995 compared to 16.8% in 2008 with girls increasing from 12.2% in 1995 ...

This is a preview of the whole essay