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Health issue on Assignment

Health issue on Assignment

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO)(2023), being overweight or obese is characterised by abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that poses a threat to one’s health. A Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is considered obese. Unfortunately, this issue has reached epidemic proportions, with more than 4 million people succumbing to the condition in 2017, as stated by the Global Burden of Disease report(Keaver et al., 2020).  Living overweight or obese can have a significant impact on your quality of life and can lead to mental health issues, such as depression and a decrease in self-esteem. Moreover, it can increase the risk of severe health problems such as stroke, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer (National Health Service,2023)(NHS). It was found that almost two-thirds of adults (63%) in England had a body mass index (BMI) of over 25, which is classed as being overweight or obese (BMI of over 30) in 2015(Brooks, 2023). The proportion of people categorised as obese increased from 13.2% of men in 1993 to 26.9% in 2015 and from 16.4% of women in 1993 to 26.8% in 2015. Although the trend is still upward, the increase rate has slowed since 2001. The prevalence of obesity is similar among men and women; however, men are more likely to be overweight(Gov. UK, 2017).

Rates of overweight and obesity are increasing in adults and children. The prevalence of overweight or obese children and adolescents aged 5-19 years globally increased more than four-fold from 4% to 18% between 1975 and 2016(WHO, 2023). It is concerning to note that a significant proportion of adults in England are either overweight or obese. As of 2019, 64% of adults in England were classified as heavy, with 28% being obese and 3% being morbidly obese (King’s Fund,2021). Moreover, there is a growing disparity between obesity rates among women from the most and least socioeconomically deprived areas. The gap has increased from 11 percentage points in 2014 to 17 percentage points in 2019. Similarly, for men, the deprivation gap has risen from 2 points in 2014 to 8 points in 2019(ibid). Many individuals who are overweight or living with obesity desire to lose weight but find it challenging. Despite their efforts, they struggle to resist the constant reminders to eat – from TV advertisements to high-street stores. Supermarkets also complicate it by enticing customers with special offers and promotions for foods that are not on their shopping list but are hard to resist(Gov. UK, 2020). Rates of obesity are increasing, leading to more significant costs for the NHS. The NHS spent £6.1 billion in 2014/15 on obesity-related ill health, with projections estimating an increase to £9.7 billion annually by 2050(King’s Fund, 2021).


According to Gov.UK 2017, Many people struggle to eat healthily due to an environment that encourages unhealthy choices, leading to weight gain and obesity; maintaining a healthy lifestyle has become increasingly difficult due to the environment, especially the easy access to calorie-dense food. The rise in obesity rates can be attributed to the growing consumption of cheap out-of-home meals, which are available at all times of the day. According to PHE’s 2014 estimates, there are over 50,000 fast food and takeaway outlets and fish and chip shops in England (Gov.UK, 2017). According to Traka et al. (2020), Over a quarter (27.1%) of adults and one-fifth of children consume food from out-of-home outlets at least once a week. These meals are usually linked to higher energy intake, greater fat levels, saturated fats, sugar, and salt, and lower levels of micronutrients. Access to affordable healthy food, like fresh fruits and vegetables, is unavailable in some areas where people live. Additionally, food advertisements promote unhealthy options such as high-fat snacks and sugary drinks. Limited access to recreational areas such as parks, sidewalks, and affordable gyms makes engaging in physical activities challenging. (National Institute of Child Health and Development, 2021)(NIH). Marti et al. 2004, state that Both genetics and environmental factors contribute to the obesity pandemic, including cultural and social influences on food intake, as well as decreased physical activity in daily life. It is believed that genes can play a role in a person’s tendency to gain weight. While some scientists suggest that specific genes may make a person more susceptible to obesity, it is also thought that external factors such as a high-calorie diet and low physical activity are necessary for a person to gain excess weight (NIH, 2021).

POLICY: Tackling obesity). The Government invented this policy in July 2020, with seven(7) main proposals for tackling obesity.

Bardach method…

Step 1: Define the context

 The policy is tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives (gov. UK,2020).  The policy seeks to find the

State the problem:

Most adults and children aged 2 to 15 are living with obesity in the UK, and the Government came up with 14 obesity strategies in the past 30 years. However, the amount of people living with obesity has not decreased (Theis & White, 2021). In the UK, most people who are obese are more likely to be from deprived areas; the number of adults living with obesity has increased from 15% in 1993 to 27% in 2015  (Rutter, 2018).                     

Path 3

Introducing a new campaign to encourage individuals who are overweight to take steps towards a healthier weight. Evidence-based tools and apps are available to advise on losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.2. More people will receive weight management services through the NHS to support their weight loss goals. 3. Conduct a public consultation across four nations to gather feedback and evidence on our current ‘traffic light’ labels to help individuals make healthy food choices.4 Legislation is being introduced to require calorie labelling in out-of-home food businesses with over 250 employees.5 and consulting on our intention to make companies provide calorie labelling on alcohol.6 The government plans to introduce a law prohibiting the promotion of foods high in fat, sugar, or salt (HFSS) through volume-based discounts like buy-one-get-one-free. Additionally, such foods will not be allowed to be placed in strategic locations intended to encourage their purchase, whether in physical stores or online, in England.7. Ban advertising of HFSS products on TV and online before 9 pm. Consult on total online restriction.

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