Blog post 1

Article 1: Obesity a bigger problem than world hunger, Lancet study says – SMH

The article is written by Catherine Armitage and Inga Ting; Armitage is an ideas and innovation writer and an editorial writer, while Ting is a data journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald. This article is to inform Australians that the growing obesity epidemic is a lot more serious than we are aware of. I believe this article is credible as most of the information ties in with the academic article ‘Trends in adult body mass index in 200 countries from 1975 to 2014’, which was published in the British medical journal, The Lancet. The biggest ever study of worldwide trends in BMI has revealed,

“Global overeating has become a bigger problem than world hunger with more people now obese than underweight.”

Armitage and Ting’s article is also supported, on many occasions, by comments from Bruce Neal (a director of the food policy division at the George Institute for Global Health and professor of global medicine at the University of Sydney) saying,

“Driving the rapid increase in obesity is the changing food environment. Incredibly cheap and incredibly unhealthy food has been made available everywhere.”

I found this article intriguing, yet extremely concerning. Although I knew that obesity was an important issue that was occurring around the world, but I hadn’t realised this issue has become this serious and bad. The article is factual with little bias present and provides correct referencing of sources mentioned, as well as supporting comments from experts in this field.

 

Article 2: Opinion: Bullying is a fat lot of use

The article is written by Paul Scott, a lecturer on the School of Design, Communication and Information Technology at the University of Newcastle. Scott has written this article to inform Australians the seriousness that is the issue of obesity, especially in children. A survey conducted in Australia, U.S, Canada and Iceland has revealed,

“Weight-based bullying held the op spot by a substantial margin over other forms of bullying including race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and academic ability. At least 70% of participants in all four countries perceived weight-based bullying to be a common problem, with 69% characterising it as a serious or even very serious problem.”

Scott also points out from Sidney Spaner’s generalisations almost half-a-century ago, the primary message is that fat people are unloved and sad, and simultaneously deserve both condescending pity and spiteful contempt. Scott concluded the article by asking the obvious question, “What’s the best way to approach Australia having the fastest growing obesity rate on the planet?” in which he responds, “I have no idea. But I am damn certain it ain’t bullying anyone.”

I found the research from this article extremely sad. It is unacceptable to assume that obese people deserve to be excluded or hurt or humiliated by body shaming comments and bullying them. The pressure and negative treatment may build on to the level of stress, which will impact or trigger a mental health condition, e.g. depression.

The article is supported by multiple statistical data throughout the text, however there is no legitimate referencing. The article is factual but also includes the author’s opinion on the topic.

 

Article 3: Obesity prevention starts prenatally

The article is written by Debra Henline Sullivan, an Assistant Professor at Middle Tennesse State University School of Nursing where she currently teaches graduate and undergraduate nursing students. Currently she is working with childbirth educators to build simulated scenarios.

The author’s position is to inform parents of the important components of obesity prevention during pre-natal classes. It is important to open the parents’ eyes to this very real epidemic, which should reinforce their desire to protect their children from obesity. I believe the article is trustworthy and reliable as she reports on a topic within her expertise of research.

“Some tools can serve as guidelines to promote healthy outcomes, such as nutrition and portion control, exercise implementation, and supportive environment information.”

“Studies have shown that if parents overeat, then their children will probably overeat as well. Furthermore, when a child has one or two obese parents then they have a 40% or 80% respectively likelihood of being obese.” – A. Broedsgaard

This report is factual and well-researched, the author has gathered a number of statistical data to support her findings. There is little bias present and the author’s position is common, as I feel that people are already aware of the influence parents have on their children. This report is a good reminder of little things that can be done to encourage healthy eating and exercise, such as serving water instead of sugary drinks, support the choice of breastfeeding etc.

 

Article 4: Emotional eating fuelling Australia’s obesity epidemic, psychologist says

The article is written by Sam Ikin, an online producer for ABC News Digital based in Hobart. Ikin does not specialise in the field of health, but he has written about the issue before in the article ‘The eating disorder nobody wants to talk about’ in 2014. Ikin who has first hand experience with being over weight, has taken a different approach on this issue. In this article he acknowledges that obesity is not just as simple as the common message of “eat less and exercise more”. He explores the mental health side of obesity, which is often overlooked, and something that has not been given much coverage.

“New data suggests most overweight Australians were comfort or emotional eaters and stress and depression were major triggers”

Ikins describes this as a “vicious cycle”. The Australian society constantly judges you and so therefore you feel worse about yourself but then that releases those same hormones, which drives us to comfort eat even more.

 

Article 5: Victoria leads way in fighting childhood obesity

The article is written by Lisa Cornish, who is a freelance data journalist for Herald Sun. The article does not have any correct referencing or evidence of where the facts have been gathered from, which makes me question the authenticity of information provided in this article. The author has written this article to inform Australians of the actions to fight childhood obesity by the community of Victoria and hope you influence other locations to do the same.

“More than 200,00 Australian children aged 2-15 are obese; more than 20,000 of them are aged 2-4.”

The article is reinforced by commentary from the Nutrition Australia spokeswoman Aloysa Hourigan saying, “parental influences, public parks, sporting facilities and access to healthy food are critical in determining if your child is at risk of becoming obese.”

The article is factual, but not properly referenced. Cornish’s position on this issue is to inform and remind parents that they need to be provide positive role models, incentives and encouragement for their kids. By dieting and exercise, access and encouragement these are key in fighting childhood obesity.

I found this article thought-provoking. Although diet and exercise are important, there are many other elements that much be considered as well, such as educating children of nutritional value of healthy foods etc.

 

References

Armitage, C. & Ting, I. 2016, ‘Obesity a bigger problem than world hunger’, Sydney Morning Herald, 2 April, viewed 10 August 2016,<http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/obesity-a-bigger-problem-than-world-hunger-lancet-study-says-20160317-gnlbwk.html&gt;.

Scott, P. 2015, ‘Opinion: Bullying is a fat lot of use’, The Herald, 13 July, viewed 10 August 2016,
<http://www.theherald.com.au/story/3205612/opinion-bullying-is-a-fat-lot-of-use/&gt;.

Sullivan, D., 2014, ‘Obesity prevention starts prenatally’, International Journal of Childbirth Education, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 12.

Ikin, S. 2016, ‘Emotional eating fuelling Australia’s obesity epidemic, psychologist says’, ABC News, 18 February, viewed 10 August 2016,
<http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-18/emotional-eating-fuelling-australias-obesity-epidemic/7175204&gt;.

Cornish, L. 2014, ‘Victoria leads way in fighting childhood obesity’, Herald Sun, 24 January, viewed 10 August 2016,
<http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/victoria-leads-way-in-fighting-childhood-obesity/story-fni0fit3-1226809955057&gt;.

Advertisements