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ContentsIntroduction 1Overweight and obesity 2Vulnerable Paper

Words: 1922, Paragraphs: 172, Pages: 7

Paper type: Essay , Subject: Disease


Introduction: 1

Overweight and obesity: 2

Vulnerable Population group: 3

Environmental Factor: 3

Social Factor: 4

Economic Factor: 4

Family factor: 5

Bayside Peninsula Municipal health and wellbeing plan: 5

Conclusion: 6

Reference: 8


There are several health issues keep thriving even after being addressed and demand a

consistent and long term approach towards them. They can range from mental health,

obesity, drug use, or sexual and reproductive health issues. A pattern can be observe of a

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consistent existence of determinants which continue effecting individuals at different stages

of their lives. The purpose of policy formulation is to mitigate the effect of these

determinants and risk factors involve in it.

For instance person’s biological, genetic characteristics, environment and lifestyle might be

the factors impacting the sustained growth of that health issue. However our focus in this

report will be on the prevalence of overweight and obesity in women and health, social and

economic impacts of it.

This report will collect variety of information in order to create a clear picture of overweight

and obesity in City of Whittlesea in the light of Victorian public health and well-being plan

2015-19 and how this council is addressing this issue. What are the gaps needs to be

addressed, whether the outcomes set are practical or ideal and to what extent they have

been achieved. (187)

Overweight and obesity:

Australia is facing major public health crises regarding overweight and obesity, which

resulted from sustained energy imbalance with respect to greater energy intake from eating

and drinking than little expending through physical activity. World health organization

defined it as “Overweight and obesity refers to excessive fat accumulation that presents

health risks (WHO, 2016).” According to WHO, Overweight and obesity affects the whole

community throughout the life stages. Several intervention points at different life stages

have been proposed, including during childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, pregnancy,

and menopause (WHO, 2000).

That’s why, This is not only national dilemma but an international one, according to WHO

survey worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975, in 2016 more than 1.9 billion adults,

18 years and older, were overweight and of these over 650 million were obese or overall

about 13% of the world's adult population (11% of men and 15% of women) were obese in

2016 (WHO, 2016). However the fundamental cause behind this high rate in women is an

increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and involvement in physical

inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, increasing

urbanization and changed modes of transportation.

According to Australian Bureau of statistics report , Australians spent an average of 34 hours

per week sitting at leisure, up from 31 hours per week in 2011–12 (ABS 2014- 15). That’s

why this increasing rate in leisure sitting suggests sedentary behavior and showing alarming

health risks involve with it.

However in Australia more than one in four adults is obese (OECD, 2017). Although Victorian

state has lowest of all states obesity around 17% but according to 2015-19 Victorian health

and well-being plan this rate has been increasing and now Victoria is now becoming an

obese society, with over 2.3 million adults and children overweight or obese (Victorian

health and well-being plan, 2015-19).

Consuming low-nutrient, energy-dense foods, and drinks, not doing enough physical

activity, a sedentary lifestyle, and insufficient sleep can result in weight gain, leading to

overweight and obesity (CDC 2016). In Victorian state about one-third of whole energy

comes discretionary items, such as energy-dense items of little nutritional value such as

biscuits, snack bars, alcohol and soft drinks (Victorian health and well-being plan, 2015-19).

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend a diet relatively high in vegetables, fruit,

whole grains, poultry, fish, and reduced fat dairy in order to control obesity.

Raised body mass index (BMI) is a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as

cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which were the leading cause of

death in 2012 diabetes musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a highly

disabling degenerative disease of the joints) some cancers (including endometrial, breast,

ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon) (WHO, 2018). 14% future disease

burden can be reduced if the population at risk reduced their body mass index (BMI) by 1%

and maintain these rates and 6% burden can be reduced if only current increases in

overweight and obesity in population is halted (AIHW, 2018).

Obesity and overweight not only costing human life but also national economy, as according

to AIWH report illness associated with overweight and obesity have a significant impact on

the Australian economy (AIWH, 2018). Recently, PwC Australia estimated that obesity cost

the Australian economy $8.6 billion in 2014-15, if this rate is not controlled it can cause

$87.7 billion in additional costs due to obesity over a 10-year period in 2024-2025 (PwC,


According to the same report, in 2024–25, a great number of people will be obese class III

(BMI of 40.00 kg/m2 or more), which can lead to higher health risks and costs. That’s why

the Department of Health has developed Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary

Behaviour Guidelines, which recommend the type, duration, intensity, and frequency of

physical activity, and practices for sedentary behaviour, for people of different life stages

(AIHW, 2017). (800)

Vulnerable Population group:

As already discussed above the huge gape in male(71%) and female(56%) obesity rate, in

this section we will try to identify what risk factors are involved in causing high obesity rate

in male.

Environmental: The occupation and place where a man lives or any nearby places decides

the factors which affects women health through food outlets nearby, working hours,

vending machines, and transport access. Occupation also plays a role, with predominantly

office-type settings being associated with sedentary work (Parry & Straker 2013).

Relationships between determinants of health and wellbeing across the life course (Victorian

health and well-being plan 2015-19)

Not only this but home and neighborhood also provide complex environment for healthy

lifestyle choices, again here such opportunities should be provided which eradicate the

sedentary activities at home.

Social: Society is setting our food trends and which as data provided above more inclining

towards energy dense discretionary food items. High advertisement on social media is also a

factor setting individual behavior and trends. Discretionary foods contributed 35% of energy

intake for women (ABS, 2014).

Economical: from lower socio-economic areas are more obese due to poor diet, as they

cannot afford to follow balance diet sheet uploaded by Australian Health authorities. In

2014–15, three-quarters of men living in Inner regional areas (75%) and Outer

regional/Remote areas (74%) were overweight or obese, compared with just over two-

thirds (69%) of men in Major cities (AIHW, 2017).

Family factor: The most significant element of the family environment that impact and

increase the risk of young person obesity include the increased trend of eating out; greater

access to passive activities such as television watching and playing games, particularly

during meal times; and neglect (Ebbeling et al., 2002). (300)

City of Whittlesea Municipal health and wellbeing plan:

According to City of Whittlesea survey, around one quarter (24%) of Whittlesea adults do no

involve in physical activity in a week, which is above the state average of 19%. Men are likely

to sit for longer each day (309.6 minutes) than women (284.1 minutes), although having the

highest sports club membership. As according to Victorian Population Health Survey of 2016

in Whittlesea, In 2008, 47.6% of males and 28.8% of females in the City of Whittlesea were

overweight, similar to Victorian males and females (39.9% and 24.2% respectively)

(Victorian Population Health Survey, 2016).

More than one in seven males (17.0%) and 19.1% of females were obese, also similar to

Victorian males and females (17.3% and 16.1% respectively) and males in the City were also

Increase rate of obesity in


Sever obesity raise between 1995-2014

Low socio-economic background, increase in

discretionary food, Sedentary lifestyle

Inclined toward discretionary foods, Imbalanced

nutrition, Family structure failed to improve

physical activity, Disinterestedness on part of


more likely to be overweight compared with the females in the city (City of Whittlesea,


This shows a significant trend toward sedentary behavior and lack of good environment to

engage these people with physical activities. Not only this a huge nutritional difference has

been found among male and female, as according to 2017 Whittlesea health and wellbeing

survey , 9.3% of females and 5.0% of males in the City met the national dietary guidelines

for vegetable consumption. More than half of females (50.6%) and 36.3% of males in the

City met the dietary guidelines for fruit consumption, with respect to Victorian females and

males (53.5% and 41.0% respectively) (City of Whittlesea, 2017-21). This is strange how,

82% of sports club members in the City of Whittlesea are male (Whittlesea health and

wellbeing 2017-21). Unfortunately, still male obesity and overweight is rising.

In 2012 a state-wide survey identified that Whittlesea residents had the lowest rate of

“visits to green space more than once per week” in the State– only 34% (City of Whittlesea,


These indicators show that, Whittlesea council has been unable to change people behavior

toward inactive life and food choices. There is a need to improve their socio-economic

status too as in Financial vulnerability, The index ranks the City of Whittlesea as the 38th

most disadvantaged municipality out of 79 in Victoria and Thomastown and Lalor rank as

two of the most socio-economically disadvantaged suburbs in Victoria in 2011 (Australian

Bureau of statistics, 2011).

However according to 2015-19 plan of City of Whittlesea for obesity control policies are

concentrated on campaigning against sedentary way of life in all sections of community, and

to enhance the trend of balanced nutrition in male community, which is highly lagging

behind female and to mitigate the environment factor, as Whittlesea do not provide good

parks and tracks to walk. All these factors are equally participating in increasing male

obesity rate in this city and have been highlighted in Whittlesea health and wellbeing plan

2017-21 and different future goals have been set to achieve. (500)


Obesity has been the key issue of Australian, Victorian and City of Whittlesea health policy

for decades. All the determinants are equally significant to be addressed, as even if one is

missing, it will devalue the work on other factors as closely observed in the case of City of

Whittlesea. It was also negligence on the part of male community too, as this is their

responsibility also to engage themselves in those activities, which can reduce their obesity

and save them in the end from cardiovascular diseases and diabetes etc.

Reason of dis-interestedness from male community can be the factor of reduction in

physical activity, that’s why Council should assert the argument of this well-observed

change in attitude toward physical activity in man and build the next policies more of

Psychic based, where indicators of this change should be identified and mitigated in well-

organized plan. Not only solid policies, but solid implementation is the need of time. (150)


ABS 2014. Australian Health Survey: nutrition first results—foods and nutrients, 2011–12.

Cat. no. 4364.0.55.007

ABS 2015. National Health Survey: first results, 2014–15

AIHW (Australian institute of health and welfare) 2017. A picture of overweight and obesity

in Australia, Available from:

216.pdf.aspx?inline=true p.17 [8 April 2019]

AIHW (Australian institute of health and welfare) 2018. Burden of Disease due to

overweight and obesity, Available from:

2018/contents/burden-of-disease-scenario-modelling/overweight-obesity [7 April, 2019]

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011, Socioeconomic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), Available

From: < www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/censushome.nsf/home/seifa> [9 April, 2019]

CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) 2015. Strategies to prevent obesity.

Available from: www.cdc.gov/obesity/strategies [6 April 2019]

City of Whittlesea 2015, City of Whittlesea Youth Plan 2017, Available from:


City of Whittlesea 2017, Health and wellbeing partnership plan, 2017-21 Available from:

temp-sarah-cs-community-wellbeing-health-plan-hwpp-final-hardcopy-highres.pdf [9 April,


Ebbeling, C, Pawiak, D. & Ludwig, D. (2002). Childhood obesity: public health crisis, common

sense cure, The Lancet, 360, 473-482.

OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ) 2017, Obesity Update,

Available from:

[5 April 2019]

Parry S & Straker L 2013. The contribution of office work to sedentary behaviour associated

risk. BMC Public Health 13, Available from: [8

April 2019]

PwC Australia 2015. Weighing the cost of obesity: a case for action

VicHealth, 2016, VicHealth Indicators Survey 2015, LGA Profile factsheets and topic


Ibd, 2016, VicHealth Indicators Survey 2015, LGA Profile factsheets and topic factsheets

Victorian health and well-being plan 2015-19, Available from:

[6 April


WHO (World health organization) 2000, Obesity: preventing and managing the global

epidemic, WHO Technical Report Series 894:i–xii, 1–253

WHO (World health organization) 2016, Definition of obesity, Available from:

p. 4 [5 April 2019].

WHO (World health organization) 2018, Obesity and overweight, Available from:

[6 April, 2019]

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