post 1_Childhood Obesity

One in three Aussie kids is now obese, according to new study

One of Australia’s largest media companies AAP, News Corp Australia Network has published an article about a new study that revealed one in three Aussie kids are now obese. The study suggests that Aussie children are fatter than ever before, which is causing serious health risks and putting a strain on the system.

AAP interviewed Associate Professor Sarah Garnett from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead’s Institute of Endocrinology interview and she was alarmed that “we know (being) overweight and obese is associated with health problems, but children with severe obesity are really at the highest risk of additional problems. That includes things like pre-Diabetes, type 2 Diabetes, sleep problems, Hypertension and other cardiovascular risk.”

She also state that “Very obese youngsters are also more likely to have a poorer quality of life, suffer weight-based victimisation, and die prematurely.” and called for more dedicated weight management services.

She gave examples such as “trying to make the environment easy for everyone to follow a healthy diet to undertake physical activity and cut down the amount of them spent in front of the screens.”

I think is a cruel but real fact that impacts children in everyday life. I strongly agree with this from my own experience of seeing it back in my school days. I saw children at school being victimised and bullied for their weight and it is still evident of the world we live in now. They don’t have many friends because they don’t get accepted so they live a very lonelier and poorer quality life than other youngsters.

Children bombarded with unhealthy eating messages on TV, experts warn

An online newspaper organisation ‘Independent’ has shown experts’ concerns towards TV programs that are watched by children which show scenes of unhealthy eating and portrays “unrealistically” slim and healthy characters consuming high levels of fatty, sugary and salty foods. Unhealthy foods accounted for nearly half of the food shown, with sweet snacks the most commonly shown item. Sugary drinks represented a quarter of all the drinks displayed on screen.

Professor Clodagh O’Gorman, from University Hospital Limerick’s department of paediatrics, who took part in the study, said “The programmes were not showing the detrimental effects of eating all of these high fat and high sugar foods that we would expect to happen in real life.

“Many shows were largely based at coffee shops or meeting places for kids where they all eat fast food and have high calorie drinks. And yet they are all happy, they are all thin, certainly not reflective of the overweight and obesity seen in kids today.” Health experts are increasingly concerned that high levels of overweight and obesity among the young could exact a heavy toll on society as the current generation grows up with an elevated risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

What can parents do about childhood obesity?

The Daily Telegraph posted a TV news story online which focused on the opinions of the journalist/ reporter Sarah Le Marquand about the rise in concerns of obese Australian children. The news states that now 25 percent of Australian children are obese and more shockingly, most of them won’t outlive their parents. The main question that arose on this topic was ‘what can parents do about childhood obesity?’. They believe that the fault is on the parents /care takers who can’t be bothered to cook them proper healthy food or encourage them to be active.

Sarah posed the question, “is it abuse if the child is in a position where they’re probably not going to outlive their parents?” and she highlighted that this topic very important and describes it would be a ‘national disaster’ because according to Sarah Murdoch who is a children’s institutes spokes person, “this is the first generation of Australians that won’t outlive their parents.”

Future Fears: Obesity

Australia’s multicultural and multilingual broadcaster SBS Radio held a talk about the future fears of obesity. They said that the population’s general appearance is also changing with more people gaining weight.

The radio journalist introduces quotes of a Barker IDI Hearts and Diabetes Institute Associate Professor Jonathan Shaw who says ‘people growing bigger has been accepted by the retail market. It started with adjusting clothing sizes.’ He speaks about the fact that 40 years ago, clothes only came in limited sizes – small, medium and large. Then XL was made, followed by XXL and more Xs before the L because people are just getting bigger and bigger. He believes that it’s likely to continue in the next 10 or 20 years and we are going to continue to see more diabetes resulting from this, perhaps more heart disease and many of the other complications of obesity that we know that it can cause.

Dr Shaw says the average measurements of weight will have to be shifted to a new standard. “On the one hand we want to say, ‘well, once you are above something it will always increase your risk of diseases such as Diabetes,’ and on the other hand as the whole population gets bigger if we end up labelling everybody as obese or overweight, the label comes to mean nothing.”

I agree with the statement that when we end of labelling everyone as obese then the label loses meaning and therefore people aren’t scared by it like they once were. I understand where the fear for the future is coming from and I believe that if this continues, then one day, obese is going to be the new normal.

Doctors Voice Support As Central Coast Hits Highest Rate Of Obesity In NSW
A news article from the central coast australia had Platinum Physiotherapy’s resident exercise physiologist, Daniel D’Avoine talk about the causes of obesity. He explains “Diabetes is a serious condition, depending on the type, the body either cannot produce or respond to insulin in the blood, to make sugar into energy”. Potential complications include heart disease, stroke, blindness, limb amputation, kidney failure and erectile dysfunction.

Davoine says Australians are less concerned about Diabetes than most other conditions and underestimate their risk of developing it. “Our modern diets and lifestyles are adding to the problem” says D’Avoine . The Central Coast has the highest rate of obesity in NSW, with 30-60 % of residents being classified as obese.

“You don’t have to be overweight to develop Diabetes, but obesity will increase the risk” explains Reliance Medical Director, Dr Theresa Colina. Other risk factors include; family history of diabetes and/or heart disease, inactive lifestyle, high blood pressure, hormonal problems such as polycystic ovaries, and ethnicity.

Diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke. “It is the most common cause of blindness, and the second most common cause for kidney failure’’ says Colina. Every day there are around eight limb amputations due to diabetes.

Reference

news, 2016, One in three Aussie kids now obese, according to new study, viewed on 29th July 2016 <http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/one-in-three-aussie-kids-now-obese-according-to-new-study/news-story/9676a68805a7f64b0eaf71b72ba3f168&gt;

Independent, 2014, Children bombarded with unhealthy eating messages on TV, experts warn, Viewed 30th July 2016 <http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/children-bombarded-with-unhealthy-eating-messages-on-tv-experts-warn-9582736.html&gt;

The daily telegraph, 2015, What can parents do about childhood obesity?, viewed on 1st Aug 2016 <http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/what-can-parents-do-about-childhood-obesity/news-story/1005a50a985e1234d837ab8e74fc7dc5&gt;

SBS, 2015, Future Fears: Obesity, viewed on 1st Aug 2016, <http://www.sbs.com.au/radio/article/2015/09/21/future-fears-obesity&gt;

Central Coast News, 2016, Doctors Voice Support As Central Coast Hits Highest Rate Of Obesity In NSW, Viewed 2nd Aug 2016 <http://www.centralcoastaustralia.com.au/news/doctors-voice-support-as-central-coast-hits-highest-rate-of-obesity-in-nsw/&gt;