Top-Rated Free Essay

Obesity

Topics: Obesity, Nutrition / Pages: 4 (890 words) / Published: Apr 11th, 2014
Rising numbers of obese adults and children in America have become a national worry and by 2030, half of the country’s adult population is estimated to be obese. Not discounting the rest of the world, countries from the Pacific islands and Gulf region are also known for their overweight population. Generally, statistics in 2008 confirmed that one-third of the world’s adult population were obese, doubling the numbers from 1980. Waist lines rose alongside economic development, which meant more people lacked exercising as the nature of jobs and lifestyle evolved. Increased income encouraged the purchase of a wider range of food products and coupled with the influx of heavily processed food, these contributed to the rise of obesity rates in developed nations. Conversely for developing countries, undernourished mothers produced babies who are genetically prone to obesity, and in countries like Mexico where the source of water is unreliable, the population turned to soft-drinks, making them the leading consumer of Coca-Cola in the world today. Be it certain cultures or traditions of specific society considering obese as signs of prosperity or affection, obesity is undoubtedly a grave problem not just to oneself, but to the country as well. Low productivity, higher risks of long –term illnesses and increasing medical expenses are just some of the few costs of obesity. If left unattended, global numbers will double by 2030, and this will have a great impact on societies, governments and in particular, the food and pharmaceutical industry. All in all, the solutions to tame this outbreak involves tough considerations and sacrifices from many layers of the community.

Obesity is now ranked fifth in the leading causes of death worldwide according to a recent study conducted by the Health Promotion Board (2013). Although in 2010, according to the Health Promotion Board (2012), the obesity levels in Singapore was lower than the average of 17% of other developed countries. This is still of great concern in Singapore as a report by Singapore Heart Foundation (2011) shows that 10.8 per cent of Singapore population is obese, and 30.4 per cent of deaths in 2010 were caused by cardiovascular disease link to obesity. This is resultant from a significant increase in obesity rates amongst Singaporeans between the year 2004 to 2010 as seen in the last National Health Survey (2010).

This begs the question of whether the different stakeholders have done enough to address this issue. We may have seen many initiatives taking place, but despite the efforts of the government in creating awareness about the risks of obesity through schools, schools adopting healthy lifestyle activities and fast food giants advertising content information, it seems that our community at large is still apathetic to the obesity problem.

Schools, up to the Secondary levels, have always been centric to the government in propagating the risks and problems of obesity. Childhood obesity is a major concern not only in Singapore but internationally, hence the government introduced programmes such as the Trim and Fit Programme (TAF) and the Model School Tuck-Shop Programme (MSTP). In a case study published by the National Bureau of Asian Research (2008) titled “Obesity Prevention and Control Efforts in Singapore”, TAF accounted for a drop in overweight students by 18 per cent, and MSTP had made it possible for students to gain access to a wider choice of healthier foods. I believe however, that these programs only serves as a guide for students while they are still schooling, after they leave school, the change in environment may lead to erosion in their awareness about obesity.
Aside from schools, fast-food giants have also played a part by publishing nutritional information on websites and paper trays, and altering the way their menus are being promoted. Although these are essential information that assists in making the right choices, they may not have gained traction with many consumers. In an article by Anthony Bond (2012), Olympic Officials are considering whether to stop McDonald’s as their official sponsor, due to obesity concerns, as it undoubtedly sends a conflicting message to consumers in its position as an official sponsor of an international sporting event.

To conclude, I believe that more can be done. There are still segments of Singaporeans where the government and school programs are not reaching out to. Most measures taken by the government prep for the age group of 6 to16 years old have had its desired effect. Beyond that, the problem has worsened. Therefore, the government can widen its outreach program to ages beyond 16 such as introducing TAF to tertiary institutions and holding more talks and workshops about healthy eating habits for working adults.

References
Bond, A. (2012, July 09). Olympics officials question if McDonald’s should continue sponsoring the Games due to obesity concerns. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail. co.uk/news/article-2170810/
Health Promotion Board. Singapore. (2012, October 27). Singapore Comes Together to Celebrate 20 Years of Healthy Lifestyle. Retrieved fromhttp://www.news.gov.sg/public/ sgpc/en/media_releases/
Health Promotion Board. (2013, January 03). Public Consultation on the Proposed Strengthening of Food Advertising Guildelines for Children. Retrieved from http://hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/article?id=HPB042403
Ministry of Health. (2010). National Health Survey. Epidemiology and Disease Control Division. Retrieved from http://www.moh.gov.sg/content/dam/moh_web/ Publications/Reports/2011/
Singapore Heart Foundation. (2011). Deaths from Cardiovascular Disease. Retrieved from http://www.myheart.org.sg/article/about-the-heart-and-heart-disease/
Soon, G., Yang, H. K., Mun, L.W., & Pin, W. L. (2008). Obesity Prevention and Control Efforts in Singapore. Case Study 2008, 9-10.

References: Bond, A. (2012, July 09). Olympics officials question if McDonald’s should continue sponsoring the Games due to obesity concerns Health Promotion Board. (2013, January 03). Public Consultation on the Proposed Strengthening of Food Advertising Guildelines for Children Singapore Heart Foundation. (2011). Deaths from Cardiovascular Disease. Retrieved from http://www.myheart.org.sg/article/about-the-heart-and-heart-disease/ Soon, G., Yang, H. K., Mun, L.W., & Pin, W. L. (2008). Obesity Prevention and Control Efforts in Singapore

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