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Dans Obseity

In: Social Issues

Submitted By montagues
Words 1331
Pages 6
An overview of social policies in the UK for obesity

In recent years the emphasis on obesity as a health crisis has become more apparent than ever. Obesity can be defined as, ‘… a condition in which weight gain has reached the point of seriously endangering health,’ (National Audit Office, 2001, pg.7) Obesity is calculated using BMI, (body mass index) which takes into account the height and weight of the individual.The issue causes concern for the health sector as it leads to illnesses such as cardio vascular disease and type 2 diabetes resulting in a further strain on hospitals. Globally in 2005, there was said to be an estimated 1.6 million overweight adults and a further 400 million that were obese (World Health Organisation, 2005). If data from the UK is isolated the statistics are alarming. In 1980, 40% of the population were overweight, and less than 10% were obese. Currently, 66% are overweight and more than 20% are obese (Wilkinson and Pickett 2010). According to Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives It is predicted that by 2050 60% of the population will be obese (Department of Health, 2008). Although figures are clearly rising it is also important to note that obesity is socially constructed. Not to say that obesity isn’t a problem but the idea that the classification of being clinically obese is constantly being redefined, and therefore has been altered over the years meaning that more people now fit into the category. In 2008, Gordon Brown introduced a policy to tackle the obesity crisis, known as ‘Healthy weight, healthy lives.’ Over 20 years the aim is to reduce obesity by 2000 levels. In order to do so he proposed to increase access and opportunities to enable people to make healthy choices. An issue raised with this policy is that help is often needed to make the right choices, for example finding out the reasons behind one’s obesity can...

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