The Relationship of Self Esteem, Body Image and Eating Attitudes

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Marvan Awang
CASP ‘The role of physical activity and the prevention of obesity and other chronic diseases’

What is physical Activity and Exercise?
Hills and Byrne (2004) give a brief description of Physical activity as bodily movement by the skeletal muscle that is a positive result in the expenditure of energy. It is clearly stated throughout the literature that lack of physical activity increases the risk of many chronic diseases such as obesity, CHD, diabetes, some cancers and osteoporosis (Tammelin 2003, Telama et al 2005) with physical activity bringing benefits to individuals health (Department of Health, 2004). Dutton et al (2008) reported that in 2000, 15.2% of all deaths where accountable from physical inactivity and poor diet. The NHS produced findings for Liverpool stating millions of pounds have been spent on physical activity projects to help bridge inequalities as well as serving the purpose of health benefits (National Health Service, 2007). However Adams and White (2005) stated that in the United Kingdom, around 70% of adults generally not participating enough in physical activity. Allende and Rayner (2007) estimate that the cost of obesity has increased from £480 million in 1998 to around £1.1 billion in 2004. Public health attenion for this epidemic needs more manageable initiatives to help address the increasing prevalence of obesity and overweightness and reduce associated healthcare costs that are spiralling out of controll (Allende and Rayner, 2007).

Incidence of physical activity:
Harrison, McElduff and Edwards (2006) carried out a cross sectional study in the North-west of England on 15, 461 adults to assess the levels of physical activity in the general population and those deemed as ‘healthy’, also to identify specific factors that are connected with participation in physical activity through a 50-item self-completion postal questionnaire. Participants were 18 or above, were residents within two specific local authorities and were registered with a general practitioner. The research sample was selected by the researchers through primary care registers systematically, covering letters were sent with each questionnaire along with reminders for non-respondents, with the questionnaire being sent in Urdu and Gujarati (the 2nd most popular language in the area). The physical activity level of the participants was measured using the Godin and Shephard instrument, due to its previous validation. The study gave an in-depth description of how the results were obtained along with details of specific analysis and tables of results to back up their findings. The results found that less than one-third of the participants took part in adequate amounts of physical activity for health protection. Females, ethnic minorities, obese and participants who didn’t eat 5 portions of fruit/vegetables a-day showed lower levels of physical activity, with lower levels of activities being apparent amongst each increased quintile of social deprivation, and current smokers. One of the main findings was that lack of physical activity was associated with overall poor health in individual’s as-well as a history of or current chronic diseases. The researchers discussed the strengths and limitations to the study, which included a large population sample and response rate as well as the use of recognised analysis methods.

Physical activity, obesity and disease:
Barsi (2003) explains that if individuals do not utilise energy efficiently it will then be stored as fat which then increases an individual’s risk of ill health. Levels of physical activity of any sort have been set for individuals to be moderately active for a duration of 30 minutes minimum (optimum beneficial level) a day to be fully appreciating the health benefits (Boyle and Langman, 2000, Card and Logan 2003).

Eyler et al (2003) carried out a study relating to physical activity and the prevention of cardiovascular disease, in 4122 females with low income...
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