In public health and health promotion, health issues have become apparent throughout the course of these disciplines. Responses to these issues have, over the years, increased awareness, gathered statistics, and formulated ways in which to adequately prevent or reduce the effects of these health concerns. Within Australia, major health issues include obesity and mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Internationally speaking, major health concerns include maternal health and mortality rates of mother and infant. This paper will discuss these matters in terms of the evolution regarding epidemiology and the initiatives which aim to achieve prevention.
Overweight and obesity is defined as the accumulation of excessive
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A re-evaluated set of goals were formulated in 1993, ‘Goals and targets for Australia’s health in the year 2000 and beyond’. This strategy aimed to specifically reduce morbidity and mortality rates, reduce risk factors, further development of health literacy and creating supportive environments (AIHW 98’). Obesity was not recognised as a National Health Priority Area (NHPA) until 2008. This was due to the 2004-5 National Health Survey which indicated that obesity rates are still increasing and also that Australia is considered to be one of the most overweight countries in the world.
Obesity is a major public health issue as it is one of the leading causes of morbidity and burden of disease in Australia. WHO 2014, have determined that the key fundamentals of public health are the prevention of disease, promotion of a healthy lifestyle and strive to extend peoples life span. The aims of public health are to record data and find health trends, construct policies to reduce high prevalence rates, and to ensure all people have access to necessary health care (WHO 2014). In terms of overweight and obesity, the Australian government has responded by formulating public health initiatives in the attempt to reduce the increasing prevalence rates.
The Australian Government Department of Health responded to rising overweight and obesity rates with the implementation of