Obesity in Australia – Metabolic Problems Example

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"Obesity in Australia" is a great example of a paper on Metabolic Problems. Australia is currently experiencing an increase in its obesity levels. This has been attributed to the inability of most citizens in Australia from engaging in physical activities. In addition, there are three determinants that have been cited as increasing the possibility that an individual will become obese (Britt, 2013). These include genetic factors, the type of food that an individual eats, and stress-related factors. There is a need for interventions to help reduce the prevalence of obesity in Australia.

Downstream interventions include individual initiatives towards solving the problem and upstairs interventions which will require the involvement of the government and other affiliate institutions in establishing laws that protect society from the possibility of obesity. Trends and prevalence of obesity in AustraliaAccording to recent statistics, obesity rates in Australia are at an exponential stage. This means that the lifestyle disease needs to be addressed as a threat to the health status of the Australian community. These statistics indicate that the obesity levels in Australia are at the same level as that of the US though slightly below that of New Zealand (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012).

The 2011/12 study on obesity in Australia revealed that about five million Australians above the age of 18 are obese (Britt, 2013). This accounts for 35% of the Australasian adult population. In terms of gender, about 3 million men were obese which accounts for 42% of the male population above the age of 18 years. About 2 million worn were obese and this accounts for 28% of the female population above the age of 18years (Britt, 2013).

These statistics reveal that about one in four Australians are obese. In terms of children, the studies revealed that about 25% of this population was obese (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012). The rise in obesity rates in the country is an indication that the government of Australia has the responsibility of subsidizing the cost of health care for those seeking treatment on obesity-related issues. The direct cost of obesity is therefore significantly higher and this explains why the Australian government has been spending more than $10 billion annually on obesity-related illnesses (Colagiuri et al, 2010). Determinants of obesityObesity can result from genetic factors, stress-related factors, and the type of food that an individual eats.

It is possible for genes to cause obesity in disorders such as Prader-Willi Syndrome. It is a fact that overweight and other obesity-related complications are conditions that are more likely to occur on individuals with a family history of obesity compared to an individual without a family history (Gindle, 2014). The hereditary nature of obesity is highly dependent on the phenotype studied.

This is because the trends in obesity are relatively higher in phenotypes associated with adipose tissue distribution (Britt, 2013). It is important to note that adiposity increases as an individual age and it highly affects the possibility that an individual will adopt a hereditary trait. Food is a major cause of obesity considering that this condition arises when an individual consumes more calories than he is able to burn. One of the major foods that contribute to high levels of calories in individuals is junk foods (Gindle, 2014).

These foods contain high-fat content that is deposited in different parts of the body. Junk food is largely modern processed foods that result from products of chicken and beef that are grown through calorie fattening foods (Chang & Johnson, 2014). Stress is also a determinant of stress in different individuals. This is because stress when combined with a positive energy balance can contribute to increases in the risk of obesity (Kristen, 2014). The relationship between the two factors is highly mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis which instigates changes in local cortisol metabolism in the adipose tissue (Bose et al, 2010).

This decreases the ability of an individual’ s body to burn calories hence increasing fat deposits in the body. Such individuals have the risk of developing different heart-related complications (Kristen, 2014). Being the main determinants of obesity, food, genes, and stress can also be interlinked to assess their cumulative role in causing obesity. Individuals with a family history of obesity possess the genetic susceptibility of gaining weight because of stress (Kristen, 2014). This means that the type of food an individual consumes his or her genetic susceptibility and psychosocial stress factors often act in combination to increase the possibility that an individual will experience weight gain and the probability of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Stress factors are related to a reduction of metabolic rates in individuals (Britt, 2013). When such individuals consume food rich in calories and fat content there is a high possibility that the calories will be deposited in the body in the form of fats. In addition, the possibility that such an individual will develop obesity-related complications is highly related to the family history of the said person in relation to obesity.

A combination of stress and behavior has often been linked to the possibility of developing obesity-related conditions (Kristen, 2014). Different individuals develop different behavioral traits when experiencing a stressful situation. Genetically there are individuals who engage in the consumption of fatty foods whenever they are stressed (Bose et al, 2010). Such individuals are more susceptible to obesity-related complications because they subject their bosses to a lot of fats with limited amounts of exercise that could help in burning the fat and converting it to useful energy (Bose et al, 2010).

When stressful situations degenerate into binge eating, there is a high possibility that the foods consumed will be relatively harmful to the percentage due to high calorie and at levels. Obesity begins to develop when an individual fails to realize the essence of healthy eating habits (Britt, 2013). Two strategies of addressing obesityDownstream intervention is considered one of the most effective strategies in addressing the problem of obesity in Australia. This approach will enable an individual to understand his or her family history in relation to obesity-related complications (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012).

The ability to understand the genetic history often enables the said individuals to engage in healthy eating habits as a way of minimizing the possibility that he or she will develop obesity-related diseases such as cardiovascular health complications (Britt, 2013). Healthy eating habits from an individual perceptive must involve tracking one’ s eating habits and cutting down on portions when consuming the same food. Other than healthy eating habits, it is also important for the Australian population to develop individual initiatives aimed at promoting physical activities (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012).

These activities may include physical exercises in terms of engaging in sporting activities, brisk walking can also help in reducing the problem of obesity. Those with a genetic susceptibility towards obesity must always be encouraged to seek medical intervention for advice on their lifestyle (Britt, 2013). There is also the upstream strategy that requires government intervention on obesity-related complications. One of the ways through which the government can help in the reduction of this disease is through the institutionalization of physical activities as part of the school curriculum (Britt, 2013).

The inclusion of these activities will encourage children and the youth to engage in physical exercise as this helps in minimizing the possibility of gaining more weight. in addition, the government also has the responsibility of providing medical facilities with the necessary financial resources and human resources to help individuals with obesity-related complications (Chang & Johnson, 2014). In addition, the government of Australia also has the responsibility of minimizing advertisement on fats foods to children and the introduction of laws that will require different companies in the food industry to label their foods in terms of the ingredients used in the production process (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012). ConclusionObesity is both a genetic and a lifestyle disease whose prevalence in Australia has been characterized by an increase in the intake of junk food, failure by the Australian population to engage in physical activities, and stress-related complications.

Individuals have a responsibility in reducing the prevalence of this disease by engaging in physical exercises, seeking medical intervention, and developing healthy eating habits.

the government also has the responsibility of institutionalizing physical activities in schools, developing laws that require the labeling of ingredients used in food production by the food industry, and equipping medical facilities with the appropriate resources for obesity-related complications.


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Gindle, S. (2014). Morbid Obesity. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge

Kristen F. (2014). Genes Can Cause Stress-Induced Weight Gain, Disease. Community Table:

Sydney, Australia

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