Some of the changes in lifestyle that have been associated with increase in obesity among Australians include an increase in foods rich in sugars and fats in the diet as well as sedentary lifestyles. The relationship between consumption of fast foods and obesity more so among children has not been a direct one. As such, the concept of sedentary lifestyles comes into play when considering change ion lifestyle and obesity among Australians. Harker, Harker and Svensen (2007) argues that in addition to consuming foods rich in calories, children are also spending more time watching television and less physical activities.
It is therefore no wonder that obesity is on the rise among children. It has been argued that intense advertising of fast foods have resulted to increase in obesity among children. However this is contended and individual behavior is largely to blame. People’s perception about a condition that affects a society is a considerable factor into how those affected by the condition cope with the condition. In Australia, obese persons perceive the media and consequently the larger population as perpetuating blame upon them yet most of them would not like to be obese.
Harker, Harker and Svensen (2007) for instance notes that obese persons are considered as failures and people who cannot control their morals especially if measures to reduce overweight have failed. This is a view that is propagated by the median through weight control campaigns. The use of the term obesity to address overweight persons is also disliked by most obese Australians and most of them prefer being termed as overweight or even fat (Thomas et al, 2008). Thomas and colleagues identify several social and cultural factors that have negatively affected obese persons in Australia.
It is noted that most obese Australians end up suffering stigma at some stage in the course of life. As such, most of them struggle a lot to reduce their weight problems although most of them end up giving up. While most of them appreciate dietary measures and more physical exercise may reduce obesity, most of them appreciate that if the culture changed from blaming them, they would be more successful. Failure to tackle the obesity issue from a socio-cultural perspective may have inability to fully address the situation in Australia.
According to a study by Thomas et al (2008) on experiences of obese persons in Australia, almost every obese person had tried reducing their weight. Unfortunately, there is little social support with even health professionals not fully supporting the efforts. As such, medical and dietary prescriptions are not enough and instead the society at large more so the media, healthcare professionals as well as policy makers ought to ease the stigma which they perpetuate concerning obese people.
As such, combining socio-cultural support and individual efforts would most likely address the obesity problem in Australia. Obesity in the United States of America In the last three decades, increase in body weight among Americans has been tremendous. Obesity in America is considered as among the major health concerns affecting the overall population. According to Menifield, Doty and Fletcher (2008), there was an increase in obesity rates in America by 11 percent as from 1990 to 2005. In the United States, obesity is increasing in alarming rates in both children and adults.
It is estimated that roughly 30. 4 percent of all persons aged twenty years and above are obese. Among children aged between 6 and 19 years, up to 16 percent are considered overweight. Furthermore, it has been noted that if a person is overweight during childhood, the likelihood of that person developing obesity during adulthood is almost certain (Baskin et al, 2005). The trend at which obesity is increasing among American children aged between 12 and 19 years has tripled over the last three decades whereas that of adults as well as children aged 6 and 11 years has doubled.
In America, prevalence of obesity also seems to vary according to sex and race but there is a general increase in rates of obesity. Baskin et al (2005) note that there are more obese women than men. Amongst adults, the highest prevalence of obesity is found in black women of non-Hispanic origin. Mexican American women also have higher obesity rates compared to white women of non-Hispanic origin. Whereas American men are generally less obese that women, the lowest prevalence is found amongst Mexican American men.
Childhood obesity in America seems to be more prevalent among Mexican American boys whereas non-Hispanic black girls have the highest prevalence of obesity. It is noted that the southern States in the United States have higher rates of obesity compared to other states. Some of these states include Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana, Indiana, Alabama and Missouri. The distribution of obesity in America seems not only to vary depending on age and sex but also along other factors such as race, education status and socioeconomic status among others.
An important finding is that increase in poverty is associated with rise in obesity in the United States. Obesity rates tend to decrease as people earn more income (Menifield, Doty & Fletcher, 2008). However, income does not seem to determine the prevalence of obesity among children especially the non-Hispanic blacks. The more a state spends on health care, the less cases of obesity are identified in that particular state. The level of education of individuals in America has a relationship with obesity.
It is noted that the higher the level of education one has attained, the less likely Americans are to become obese. In terms of race factor as a determinant of obesity, it is identified that Whites are less likely to become obese. Occupation seems to be an important determinant of development of obesity amongst Americans. It is acknowledged that employed persons seem to have a higher risk of developing obesity regardless of whether they are male or female and their race.
Caban et al (2005) mentions that there has been an increase in obesity rates among the employed increased from 0. 61 percent as from 1986 to 1995 to 0. 95 percent as from 1997 to 2002. In almost all occupations, obesity among female workers is higher than in male workers. It is noted that obesity is higher among Black female workers compared to other workers even as every other group of workers is experiencing rising obesity rates. It also noted that obesity is most prevalent amongst motor vehicle operators whether males or females.
From this finding, it is acknowledged that whereas occupation in general is determining obesity in the United States, some occupations are associated with increased risks in obesity. In America, measures to prevent obesity are mainly focused on changing diet to appropriate ones, as well as changes in other aspects of lifestyle such as increased involvement in physical activities (Oria, Sawyer & Institute of Medicine (U. S. ). Food and Nutrition Board, 2007). There are calls to incorporate these aspects of lifestyle into the working conditions since occupation is a determinant of obesity.