The Prevalence of Obesity in Industrialized Countries

1060 Words Jan 28th, 2018 4 Pages
(Reidpath, Burns, Garrard, Mahoney, Townsend, 2002) Obesity is a national epidemic, it is estimated that half the Australian population is overweight. (Reidpath, 2002) It is also a major risk factor for obesity-related diseases, including non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (type 2), coronary heart disease, hypertension, and various cancers. (Reidpath, 2002) This essay will examine the current state of obesity with a public health approach. Including social, cultural, environmental, individual and health service determinants. No, obesity is not just an individual problem the essay will outline how other factors including school environments, social-economic status, individual perceptions and education can influence the increasing obese population.

Obesity follows a socio-economic gradient with the poor having the greatest risk. There is a direct link between poverty and obesity primarily due to the social determinants of income inequality, social capital and policies surrounding food. (Reidpath, 2002) Those with low socio-economic status (SES) can not simply adopt a healthier eating habit due to healthy and fresh foods being expensive in comparison to low-cost unhealthy foods. These economic restraints lead to further inequality between the availability and access to healthy food. This can be attributed to the growing price gap. According to Drewnowski (2009) “Some low-income families limit their…
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