Topic: Health Problem in Australia
Obesity is one the problems that modern Australia is facing. The word obesity is used to refer to a body condition where the body accumulates excess fats resulting to a person being overweight. Being overweight does not necessarily mean that a person is obese. In order to ascertain that somebody is obese a measurement criteria known as B.M.I Index is used. B.M.I is an acronym for the words Body Mass Index. According to (Anderson, 2003) the B.M.I index was developed to measure obesity to persons who are 18years and above. To calculate a persons BMI index, a person’s weight in kilograms is divided by the square of his height in meters. A BMI index between 18.5 and 24.9 shows a person is healthy. In keeping with Crawford (2010) a person is overweight when his BMI falls between 25 and 29.9 while over 30 indicates a person is obese. For children BMI index measurement is not used. In calculating obesity in children, sex specific and age percentile is used instead of the BMI used in adults. This is because boys and girls grow at different rates at different ages in their lifetime. A child is overweight when his BMI is above 85th but lower than 95th percentile for children in same age group and sex. Above 95th percentile indicates that a child is obese (Anderson, 2003).
Obesity statistics in Australia
According to Young (2012) the Australian Bureau of statics report in 2012 reported that between 2011 and 2012 about 5 million Australians aged eighteen years and above were overweight. This meant that in every 4 Australian adults, one was overweight. This figure also indicated that 35% of Australian adults were overweight. The report further revealed that more men were affected by the problem than women. Out of the 5 million, 3 million were men aged 18 years above representing 42% of all men and 2 million were women representing 28% of all women. Young (2012) also illustrates that 17% of Australian children between 12 and 16 years are overweight. Out of these figures 6% are obese.
he livelighter campaighn
In order to address the obesity issue in Australia, the LiveLighter campaign was initiated.The campaign was launched in order to encourage adults in the Western Australia region to live healthier lifestyles. The campaign encouraged the adults to make changes in their diets and engage in physical activities in order to ” LiveLighter”. In keeping with Livelighter (2012) the campaign further anticipated in helping Australian people in understanding why it was necessary to take action against obesity by implementing simple changes in order to live lighter. Today, through the mass media advertising the campaign is leading the Australians by showing them why it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle and the repercussions of leading an unhealthy lifestyle. At times, the campaign employs confronting and graphic style because they believe that obesity problem in Australia has to be solved. The campaign is also committed in ensuring that every person achieves and maintains a healthy weight and that action should take place immediately without being postponed.
According to Livelighter (2012) the Australian Beaural of statistics reported that by the year 2010 more than 4.3 Australians were obese. In simpler terms 1out 4 Australian was obese. The website also illustrates that in Western Australia the same problem persists and more than 1/3 of the population is either obese or overweight.
Live lighter methods of curbing obesity
In order to tackle the obesity crises, the liveligher campaign advises people to take action in their lives by observing the following issues as follows:-
Observing portion size a person consumes
In keeping with Livelighter (2012) people must observe the portion size of whatever they are consuming.In that regard people must ensure that whatever they are consuming contains the right amount of food. The website also argues that packaged and takeaway foods sold by many reaustrauntants are getting bigger each day. With such, people might tend to think that the bigger packaging reflects a better value of their money, apparently what hoteliers sell is unbalanced food known as junk food and these foods increases the obesity problem. With such, Livelighter (2012) advices people to keep healthy by consuming only healthy portions. According to the advice, for a person to be able to eat a healthy portion one should use smaller plates and avoid going for more food in the second round. If one had prepared more food than he needs the leftovers should be freezed. In addition, during main meals livelighter advices people that half of their plates should be filled with vegetables, a quarter with proteins while the other quarter should be filled with carbohydrates.
Avoid sugary drinks
According to Livelighter (2012) people forget that they acquire energy from the food and drinks they take. In addition, most people drink a lot of kilojoules unknowingly. In that regard, the website advocates plain tap as the best drink because it is cheap, has no kilojoules and quenches thirst. With such, people should only consume plain water and always carry a bottle of plain water so that they can take it whenever they are thirsty. In addition, people should keep water in their fridges so that they can always take it whenever they are thirsty.
In regard to soft drinks, Livelighter (2012) advises people to avoid them because they are full of unwanted kilojoules and have no other nutritional value rather than the fluids. As an example, according to the website a 600ml bottle of softdrink contains over 1000 kilojoules and approximately 15 teaspoonfuls of sugar.On the other hand, diet soft drinks contain no added sugars and lower in kilojoules than regular soft drinks. Apparently, the drinks have nutritional value rather than the fluid.In keeping with Livelighter (2012) 100% fruit juice is a healthy diet when taken in small quantities. A grass of orange juice (250 ml), contains about 6 teaspoonsfuls of sugar hence its better to consume the orange itself because it contains less sugar, more vitamins and has fibre rather than taking its juice. Livelighter campaighn also advocates people to drink reduced fat milk. In their argument, reduced fat milk is a good source of proteins and calcium, but flavored milk is not good because some sugar has been added into it. Green tea, black tea and coffee are some of the best sources of antioxidants.
According to Livelighter (2012) most people spend a lot of time while sitting down-travelling, at home and at work. This time a person is inactive is known as sedentary time. With such livelighter campaign advises people to reduce sedentary time and to become active. Many health problems are like obesity and type2 diabetes are associated to sedentary life. Apparently, sedentary behavior cannot be equated with doing less exercises because sportsmen spend some of their times sitting down for hours. With such Livelighter (2012) argues that irrespective of how long one sits down, regular interruptions like standing up helps in reducing sedentary life diseases. Among the sedentary life behavior that people should include time spent while watching tv, sitting down at work, listening to music sitting down, being a passenger or driving a car. With such it is advisable for people to monitor the time they spend while sitting down. In case one has to sit down for long the campaighn advices people to stand up frequently as this is one method of doing exercises.
Cut back on salt
In keeping with Livelighter (2012) human body requires salt in order to function normally. Apparently too much salt is hazardous to human health. Sodium is a compound that is found in salt but also occurs naturally in most foods. In that regard, Livelighter (2012) argues that one can satisfy sodium daily body requirements by only consuming natural foods containing sodium. With such, people should avoid consuming salts that is contained in most processed foods like hot chips, chorizo, pizzas and other ready made meals.
In keeping with Livelighter (2012)the average daily salt intake should be less than six grams and an average Australian person consumes approximately 9 grams of salt per day. As a method of reducing salt intake, the campaighn advises people that instead of using salt, they should use fresh dried herbs like garlic and ginger to flavor food.While buying processed foods, people should also ensure that they buy foods which per 100g of the product the salt contained is less than 120mg.
Cut back on alcohol
According to Livelighter (2012) its part and parcel of Aussie social culture for individuals to come together as family or friends and share a bottle or two bottles of alcohol.Apart from the normal social and health problems associated with alcohol, most alcohol products are high in energy(kilojoules) that can lead to being obese and overweight. Livelighter (2012) also illustrates that the more a person drink the more his or her body requires minerals and vitamins. On the other hand, alcohol does not have any nutritive value in the human body. Livelighter also illustrates that a standard alcoholic drink unit contains 290 kilojoules. Additionally, some alcohols are sweetened with sugars further adding the kilojoules content in them. In addition, most people mix alcohol with softdrinks further increasing the amount of kilojoules in the drinks. With such livelighter campaigh advocates that people should not drink more than two units of alcohol on any day. As a tradition in most places most people consume alcohol with other beverages like softdrink as mixers. It also common for people to consume alcohol after consuming snack foods, meat, potato chips or other foods further increasing the amount of kilojoules they consume increasing the risk of contracting obesity .
Watch the fats you eat
According to Livelighter (2012) people should check the amounts of fats they consume. According to the website no all fats are bad. Fats are divided into two classes namely saturated fats which are unhealthy and unsaturated fats that are beneficial to human body. According to Murphy (2012) human body requires some fat inorder to function normally. Apparently eating too much fat is very risky for the human body. Saturated fats are usually found in animal fats and these fats contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is a harmful compound to the human heart and increases obesity. Examples of products with saturated fats are dairy products like cheese, eggs, meat, yoghurt and ice-cream. Other products containing saturated fats are biscuits, cakes, pastries, coconut oil and palm oil. Another type of fats known as trans fats. Trans fats are also saturated fats which are unhealthy.
On the other hand according to Livelighter (2012) beneficial fats or unsaturated fats are essential to human body as they reduce choresterol levels in human body.Additionally, these fats provide the body with fatty acids that human body cannot create on itself. Unsaturated fats are further divided into two categories namely polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats are usually found in foods like margarine, sunflower oil oily fish and some nuts like brazil and pine.On the other hand monosaturated fats are found in some nuts like almonds, peanuts and cashewnuts, avocados and some cooking fats. According Livelighter (2012) people should consume moderate amounts of beneficial fats in their diet and very little amount of saturated fats. Inorder to reduce unhealthy fats in the diet campaign advices people use margarine instead of butter, nuts rather than biscuits and trimming fats from meats. On the other hand when shopping people should buy low fat products and this information can be obtained from products labeling. In this regard, according to livelighter campaighn the recommended products that people should buy should have less than 3g of fat in every 100gms of the product.
Go for 2 fruit and 5 veg
According to Livelighter (2012) people should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables because vegetables are low in fats and a good source of nutrients. A person who consumes fruits and vegetables protect his body from diseases and maintains a healthy weight. Apparently most Australians consume only a half of the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day. According to health standards set by livelighter campaign adults should consume atleast five vegetable serves and two fruit serves per day. To obtain maximum health benefits from vegetables and fruits people should eat both cooked and raw vegetables.
Cut back on sugar
In keeping Livelighter (2012) many people like to consume sweet things which are sugary. Apparently consumption of too much sugar leads to weight gain and obesity. Sugars are found naturally in foods like dairy products and fruits. Additionally, sugars can refined and added to foods like soft drinks, biscuits, fruit juices, chocolates, cakes, ice creams and lollies. In that regard livelighter campaighn recommends people to limit consumption of processed foods as well as refined foods. Processed foods give a quicker source of energy although they don’t have any other nutrients that the body requires. Acording to Livelighter (2012) instead of people consuming processed sugars it is advisable to acquire sugars from natural sources like cereals and whole grain breads. In addition the campaign people that when buying sugary foods it is advisable to buy products which have less than 5g of sugars per 100gm of the product. Apparently, some packaged products have natural sugars and may contain more sugars than the recommended amount
Choose healthy snacks
Livelighter (2012) advices people to choose only healthy snacks whenever they feel like consuming a quick snack. Between the main meals people might be tempted to consume some form of a snack because they are hungry, stressed or bored and this habit can ruin a person’s eating healthy endeavors.Most snacks are processed foods which contain excess fats and sugars and consuming snack increases kilojoule intake that causes healthy related problems like obesity.With such livelighter campaign advices people that whenever they feel like eating a snack they should first drink water because they could actually be thirsty. On the other hand, if one has to actually eat a snack he should eat fresh or dried fruits rather than lollies, vegetables instead of potato chips, unsalted nuts instead of roasted and salted nuts and fruit salad instead of a chocolate bar. In addition livelighter campaign argues that there are many convenient and healthy snack choices such as low-fat yoghurt, fruit toast, air popped popcorn and rice cakes. These products are healthier and easy to grab when hunger strikes.
Engaging in physical activity
In keeping with Livelighter (2012) in order for a person check his weight the energy in the body must be burned. In order to achieve this objective every person must engage himself actively physical activity. In addition, apart from burning the kilojoules physical activity reduces the risk of contracting many other diet related problems like obesity and being overweight. According to the campaign 30 minutes of moderate physical activity in as most days of the week is adequate to keep a person weight in check. When a person checks his or her weight he avoids obesity problems, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, some cancers and osteoporosis. In addition, in keeping with Livelighter (2012) if a person anticipates to loose some kilo’s he should engage in physical activity for 45-60 minutes per day. Livelighter campaign illustrates that physical activity does not necessarily mean that an individual should attend a gym. There are plenty of physical activities like walking to work, gardening, cycling, window shopping and using the stairs rather than the lift.
Why livelighter campaign is adequate in eradicating obesity
In keeping with Peter (2012) the livelighter campaign can go a long way in curbing the obesity issue. If Australian’s closely check the amount of food they eat in their everyday life this could be a positive way of eliminating the obesity problem. Baur & Magnusson (2012) also illustrates that avoiding sugary foods is also a positive move in curbing the obesity menace. As illustrated earlier consumption of sugars increases dietary related problems like obesity among other problems. It is also true that if a person consumes food but sits down most of his time he is likely to develop obesity. In order to overcome this problem the campaign advices people to at least stand up as standing is a form of exercises. In addition, Gumbiner (2001) illustrates that consumption of salts is not directly associated with obesity. Apparently, consumption of excess salts cause problems to people because it brings about other ailments like kidney and liver diseases. In that regard, if an obese person reduces the amount of salt he consumes, he will only manage the obesity issue rather than both the salt related problems and the obesity. In keeping with Bray et.al (2004) when a person reduces the amount of alcohol he or she consumes, the risk of developing obesity is reduced drastically. On the other hand, the campaign is realistic when it advices people on the types of fat they should consume ( Gard and Wright, 2005).When people consume saturated fats in large quantities obesity is a problem that will never cease. Apparently, the livelighter campaign is tackling the obesity issue when it educates people on the types of fats to consume and the fats to avoid. In keeping with Browning and Thomas (2005) consumption of fruits and vegetables is essential in human body. People who consume fruits and vegetables are said to eat healthy since fruits contain essential vitamins and minerals that the body requires to function normally.
In keeping with Crawford (2010) the livelight campaign faces the obesity issue well when it advises people to eat only healthy snacks. Normally, most snacks are classified as junk food, and junkfood has left many Australians obese. When people are advised on the best snacks to eat, the campaighn can be said to face the obesity issue in the right way. Finally when the livelight campaign advises people to engage in physical activity, that’s a right move in the eradication of obesity. Idle people are usually affected heavily by obesity problem whereas active people are less prone to the problem.
Those at risk of contracting obesity
According to Young (2012) obesity is widely prevalent among all Australian children and adults. Apparently Murphy (2012) illustrates that obesity affects more men and women from disadvantaged socioeconomic groups. With such, the aboriginal, Islander peoples and Torres Strait are some of the disadvantaged communities where obesity problem is a major issue. According to…among the aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander’s high body mass and tobacco use are the major problems. With such, Murphy (2012) illustrates that in 2004-2005, 60 % of indigenous Australians adults aged 18 years and above were overweight, and among this figure 31% were obese.In keeping with Peter (2012) indigenous Australians are more likely to become obese than the non-indigenous groups.
Obesity is a serious problem in Australia and if the Australian government does not support the livelight campaign most of its population will become overweight or obese. In keeping with Baur and Magnusson(2012) Australia is ranked as one of the fattest nations in the world. Being overweight or obese is associated with many health problems like stigmatization, heart diseases, diabetes and the inability to attend to normal personal duties with ease.
Apparently, to tackle obesity problem no magic is required. The solution is eating healthy foods and being physically active. Livelight campaign is recommendable because it presents both logical and cheap methods of addressing the obesity problem. The methods employed by livelighter are also sensible and recommendable. The images they use in their advertisements are real images that show how the actual obesity problem is disastrous to the human body. With such, is arguable that livelighter offers provides essential information, offers healthy alternatives, and equips people with tools that will enable them to avoid overweight related problems.
In order to supplement livelight campaign is important to come up with a school syllabus that will be used to teach young children about obesity and healthy eating. If children are taught about obesity and healthy eating at a tender age they are likely to evade diet related problems when young and when they grow up. In addition, through health education children will be empowered as well as teach their parents on the importance of healthy eating.
The only problem faced with livelight campaign is ensuring that the vulnerable groups get the message. On the other hand, despite advocating for healthy eating some of the vulnerable groups cannot afford the right type of food because of poverty. In addition, some of the vulnerable groups lack education that can assist them in realizing the importance of living healthy.
onclusively obesity is a major problem in Australia that requires all stakeholders to come up together and in order to address the problem. Livelight campaigh is necessary and if Australians practice what the campaign advocates obesity and weight related issues in Australia will decrease tremendously. As the livelight campaign illustrates obesity is not curable by medicines, what is required is eating the right food and being active. To address this problem physical activity and eating the rights are the two core methods of eradicating obesity. Apart from eating right alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking must be avoided at all costs. Apparently for alcohol, when taken in moderate quantities it essential to human body, but cigarettes must be avoided completely. With such, educating people is the only effective solution that can assist in eradicating obesity. This is because it’s only through education that people will know what to eat and what to avoid in order to stay healthy.Andersen, R. (2003). Obesity : etiology, assessment, treatment, and prevention. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
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Gard, M. & Wright, J. (2005). The obesity epidemic : science, morality, and ideology. London New York: Routledge.
Gumbiner, B. (2001). Obesity. Philadelphia: American College of Physicians.
Lewis, M. (2003). The people's health. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
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Peter, G. (2012). Australia's health 2012 : in brief. Canberra, ACT: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Young, E. (2012). Food and development. New York: Routledge.