Social Determinants of Childhood Obesity Essay example

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Childhood obesity fast becoming a worldwide epidemic, and according to the Bureau of Statistics (cited in Browne 2012, p.20), 23 per cent of children are overweight or obese in Australia. Browne (2012, p.20) suggests that by children being weighed regularly by their doctor, just as they were when they were babies and toddlers, it will help doctors and parents to closely monitor their weight. Although obesity is caused by an imbalance of the calories consumed with the output of energy through metabolism and exercise (O’Gorman et al., 2011; Wang, 2008), the reason/s for this imbalance can arise from several of the 10 social determinants (the social gradient, stress, early life, social exclusion, work, unemployment, social support, addiction,…show more content…
It was recommended that infants be breastfed exclusively for at least 6 months as this reduces the risk for obesity, furthermore, there is evidence that shows that for every month of breastfeeding, the child’s risk of becoming overweight reduces by 4 per cent. In similar studies, it is recommended that introduction to solid foods be delayed until at least 4 months, however, 6 months is preferred, this significantly reduces the risk for obesity. The average age of introduction to solid food was 20.49 weeks, which resulted in a healthy BMI at aged 10 years-old, and 18.67 weeks resulted in a higher BMI at aged 10 years-old. ‘A good start in early life means supporting mothers and young children: the health impact of early development and education lasts a lifetime’ (Wilkinson & Marmot 2003, p. 14). It has been strongly proven that families confined to the poor social gradient, or from low socio-economic status are highly disadvantaged, which is definitely the case when it comes to childhood obesity. Children who come from a low socio-economic status have a greater likelihood of becoming overweight or obese because their family have restricted access to everyday resources. Children from low socio-economic status are eating high energy-dense, high-fat foods because their parents cannot afford to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, or, it is simply not practical, especially to families who do their shopping monthly, since they are highly
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