Obesity : The Body Mass Index Essay

1699 WordsMay 8, 20167 Pages
Introduction Obesity can be defined as an abnormal increase in the proportion of fat cells, mainly in the viscera and subcutaneous tissues of the body (Mosby, 2010). The official medical measure of obesity is the body mass index (BMI), an index of an individual’s weight relative to height. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines obesity as having a BMI greater than or equal to 30 (World Health Organisation, 2015). New Zealand (NZ) ranks 3rd highest for obesity rates amongst OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries with 1 in 9 children classified as obese (Statistics New Zealand, 2015). The rate of childhood obesity in NZ has increased from 8% in 2006/7 to 11% in 2014/15 (Ministry of Health, 2015). Obesity is of particular concern amongst children due to the association with a wide range of health conditions and an increased risk of early onset illness. Obese children are more likely to be obese adults and have impaired glucose tolerance and hypertension at a younger age. Obesity in children is also associated with asthma and musculoskeletal problems as well as mental health problems due to low self-esteem and depression (Ministry of Health, 2015). This essay will discuss the environmental factors that aid the prevalence of this health issue. Also, discussion will be had about the environmental worldview that is reflected by this situation. Lastly, the role of government laws and policies in the management of this issue will be analysed.
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