Analysis Of The Australian Social Problem Of Childhood Obesity

1498 Words 6 Pages
In the following pages, I will be discussing the Australian social problem of childhood obesity, what it is and whom it affects. I will be looking at this problem from both a Functionalist and Marxist stance, taking into account the social, political and economic viewpoints of this social issue. I will also look at two different ideas to help combat childhood obesity.

Individuals that are obese, have an excessive amount of body fat (Germov, 2014, p. 214). At present, the assessment tool most used to define obesity is the Body Mass Index (BMI). A person’s BMI is calculated by dividing their weight by double their height (Germov, 2014, p. 214). For children (ages two to seventeen), age and sex are also a factor, growth charts such as those
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Of these children, eighteen percent were overweight and seven percent obese. Boys aged between five and seven years old had the highest obesity rate at nine percent. For girls the age groups of five to seven years and sixteen to seventeen years both revealed eight percent obesity rates (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013, paras 13–14; Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2014, paras 8–9). The latest figures for New South Wales find twenty- two percent of children aged between five and sixteen years are classed as overweight or obese (NSW Ministry of Health, …show more content…
Obesity is more likely to continue to adulthood if the onset is at a later stage of childhood and if parents are also obese (Department of Health, 2009, para. 15). Issues that are linked to high body mass index levels for childhood include changes in structure and function of feet (‘Researchers at La Trobe University release new data on obesity’, 2013) asthma, social segregation, a pre-disposition to eating disorders, menstrual problems, high cholesterol, hypertension (Department of Health, 2009, para. 15). With obesity progressing into adulthood issues such as musculo-skeletal problems, cardiovascular disease, cancers, sleep apnoea, hypertension and high cholesterol become common. The threat of Type 2 Diabetes is very real at all ages and one of Australia’s top six National Health Priority Areas (Department of Health, 2009, paras 13–15).

Functionalism is the idea that individuals fulfil their given role to the betterment of society as a whole. A community is a collection of many and varied working parts all coming together for the common good. Functionalism proponents believe that the family is the core of society, that from birth individuals learn and are shown how to fulfil their allotted roles which leads to the smooth running of their community (Kenny, 2006, pp.

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