Obesity amongst children in Australia and New Zealand is particularly high (Wang & Lim, 2012). Environmental factors induce dietary patterns and physical activities that lead to physical disabilities in children. There is various impact of weight on children’s ability to perform basic roles. Researchers had conducted various studies to analyse comparative variance between children those who were overweight and non-overweight. Significance discrepancy in results was obtained that reflected a critical area of study (Smibert et.al., 2010). The scope of this study encompasses health promotion of obesity in children along with identification of KOALA Program that aimed at analysis of lifestyle of overweight children.
Health Promotion of Obesity
Children obesity is a major health concern across Australia and New Zealand. It is considered a condition in which excess body fat affects health of a child’s wellbeing. It is nearly impossible to determine body fat directly; hence it is best assessed by BMI. Childhood obesity is regarded as a serious health concern. Recently there is a rise in childhood obesity rates affecting majority of the population that is contributed by unhealthy diet (De Onis, Bl?ssner & Borghi, 2010). Implications of childhood obesity are not only psychological but also physical in nature. Dr. Gary Leong establishes that children, who are obese, have reached alarming levels in Australia. With current trends continuing it has been estimated that more than half of Australia’s children will be overweight. Such explosion in being overweight will lead to emerging of Type 2 Diabetes in young adults or adults.
Research indicates children, who are obese are prone to less activeness and coordination in their activities. They tend to have lower strength capabilities with little static and dynamic balance. An important indicator that can affect health programs in obesity is BMI (Body Mass Index). With multifarious health impacts associated with obese children there can be morbidity that arises at a very young age. There is a growing concern amongst health practioner and GP in Australia to undertake measures to curb obesity amongst children. Obese children experiences higher degree of psychological and emotional traumas from their peers. They are also known to face discrimination within their own family, leading to development of low self-esteem. Physical conditions can often lead to being life-threatening as indicated by sleep problems, cancer, high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes along with other disorders. In various cases liver diseases, menarche or early puberty might set in. Long-term health impacts from obesity might be greater as they grow into adults. There are various causes attributed to reasons for childhood obesity.
The topic has attracted immense interests from me due to the nature of the topic itself. Firstly, the subject allows diversified areas of study by connecting childhood obesity with morbidity during adulthood. Secondly, there is a plethora of situations that might arise in case childhood obesity is not connected to its reason for best possible treatment (D’MELLO et. al., 2011). Most importantly, this subject is of interests because it allows reversing of effects, meaning it is easier to deal with childhood obesity rather than treating an adult with morbidities. Type 2 diabetes is easier dealt with during childhood period rather than in adulthood. Therefore, it can be said this topic offers versatile range of opportunities to undertake analysis, which is the reason for the selection.
KOALA is an abbreviated form for Kinder Overweight Activity Lifestyle Actions. The program aims at analysing childhood obesity factors by various means encompassing environmental, behavioral and genetic (Lee, et. al., 2010). Various researches were conducted with children for understanding risks they are exposed to, for development of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes. The program conducted several studies to make various conclusions from the same. They identified not only genetic factors being crucial rather family lifestyle for prevention of long-term health problems. An intensive therapy approach was targeted at these children for controlling factors related to obesity amongst children. The study aims at controlling children between 6 to 10 years of age and is incorporated by Mater Children’s Hospital along with The University of Queensland. Various leading medical professionals are involved in the domain with accomplishment of raising $266,792 grant. The aim of the program was to pilot a social change that could transform the entire obesity landscape in Australia.
Evaluation of KOALA Program using Cognitive Social theory
Cognitive social theory provides an important method that can impact changing of lifestyle amongst children. The theory is related to observing others while interacting socially through experiences and outside media influences (Pulgar?n, 2013). The theory enables a guiding behaviour arising from observation of sequence of events. It derives from the fact that observing a model can also reflect towards behavioral performances. It is a way of learning that engages behavioral outcomes amongst others. In the KOALA program, aim of the professors was to apply a behavioral pattern for motivating improvement in health and fitness of the whole family. The primary aim of the program was to link numerous GPs by means of South-East Area Alliance of General Practice (Brisbane), the Heart Foundation and Diabetes Australia. All the GP was indicated to make community intervention such as to trigger changes in behavioral patterns. The program applied cognitive social theory by means of targeting a select few then aiming that overall health and wellness will spread across various communities. The program aims at initially identifying trends as pre-clinical biomarker for complications that a rises from obesity. Then it designs programs for targeting long-term health problems that are connected with obesity. The scope of this program is aimed at intervention methodology that can prevent long-term health impacts from obesity. The mode of transformation aimed towards the entire society was the preliminary goal for this project. Therefore, cognitive social framework provides a guiding methodology for accomplishment of such goals.
De Onis, M., Bl?ssner, M., & Borghi, E. (2010). Global prevalence and trends of overweight and obesity among preschool children–. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 92(5), 1257-1264.
D’MELLO, G. I. S. E. L. L. E., Chia, L., Hamilton, S. D., Thomson, W. M., & Drummon, B. K. (2011). Childhood obesity and dental caries among paediatric dental clinic attenders. International journal of paediatric dentistry, 21(3), 217-222.
Lee, K. E., Seddon, J. M., Corley, S. W., Ellis, W. A., Johnston, S. D., de Villiers, D. L., ... & Carrick, F. N. (2010). Genetic variation and structuring in the threatened koala populations of Southeast Queensland. Conservation Genetics, 11(6), 2091-2103.
Pulgar?n, E. R. (2013). Childhood obesity: a review of increased risk for physical and psychological comorbidities. Clinical therapeutics, 35(1), A18-A32.
Smibert, A., Abbott, R., Macdonald, D., Hogan, A., & Leong, G. (2010). School, community, and family working together to address childhood obesity: Perceptions from the KOALA lifestyle intervention study. European Physical Education Review, 16(2), 155-170.
Wang, Y., & Lim, H. (2012). The global childhood obesity epidemic and the association between socio-economic status and childhood obesity.