Obesity; a word that has become synonymous with Australia,and many other developed, and OECD countries. Obesity has reached epidemicproportions in Australia with 11.2 million adults or 63% of the adultpopulation, and 1.
2 million children or 26% of the child population recording aBody Mass Index (BMI) of over 25 in 2014/15 (Abs.gov.au, 2015). In world widestatistics, that now makes Australia the 5th most obese OECD countryin the world (OECD.org, 2017) only behind Hungry, New Zealand, Mexico and theUnited States of America. Childhood obesity and overweight rates have steadily risenover the past two decades.
In 1995 5% of children were obese and 17% wereoverweight (Abs.gov.au, 2009), meaning roughly 1 in 5 children had a BMI on orabove the 85th percentile and were considered overweight. Fastforward twenty years and the percentages have only increased with 7.4% obeseand 20.2% overweight, now making that 1 in 4 children or 27.
6% overweight(Abs.gov.au, 2015). The statistics are only worse for those living in regionalareas with 36% of children aged 2 to 17 considered overweight or obese incomparison to 25% in major cities (OECD.org, 2017). Overweight children are at a much higher risk of developinga variety of health conditions compared to children in a healthy weight range,with these varying from type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and somecancers (AIHW.gov.au, 2017).
These aren’t just limited to physical healthconditions with studies showing that they are at a higher risk of developing psychologicaland social problems (Abs.gov.au, 2009).
I will be exploring the cause and effects of childhood obesity,with particular emphasis on the impacts obesity places on individuals, thecommunity and the government. I will be addressing the alarming statistics andthe continual rise of obesity, not just in children but in society as a whole.