Social Determinants of Childhood Obesity Essay

1292 Words Jun 11th, 2012 6 Pages
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…
Children living in low socio-economic neighbourhoods have unsafe playgrounds and streets, and their parents are time poor and do not have the time to supervise them, furthermore, parents also do not have the funds every week to pay for regular sports or activities outside of school.
The health services that these families do have access to fail to include specialist appointments such as dieticians and nutritionists, which are the kind of services overweight and obese families need to access, and sadly, these families are unable to pay for such appointments. Similarly, childcare access would be beneficial to children of low socio-economic status as studies have proven that a child who attends childcare on a regular basis is fed nutritious, healthy food and is expected to take part in physical activities, and as a result they are less likely to develop obesity in the future
Childhood obesity is multifactorial and it appears that the two social determinants, early life, and the social gradient show the just some of the contributing factors surrounding childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is easier to prevent that it is to treat; further studies provide evidence that if parents are educated on nutrition, diet, and exercise, they can be more successful at losing weight, and in turn, their

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