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Communication Skills for Nurses and Midwives

Table of Contents


Critical discussion.

1.1. Australia’s achievement in fighting obesity.

1.2. Challenges encountered by Australia in combating obesity.

1.3. Future steps required for mitigating the disease.

Comparing and contrasting Australia’s and India’s primary health nurse function.


Reference list

Introduction to Obesity and Overweight

Obesity and overweight seem to be a major issue concerning most of the Australian population. It leads to several health issues further contributing to ill-health within the domain of Australia. The disease mainly results from the excess weight of the body. It leads to several issues within the human body including the disease of high blood pressure, psychological issues, sleep apnoea, cardiovascular diseases and eventually leading to the disease of cancer. In addition to this, being overweight also reduces the chances of managing or controlling chronic disorder further leading to the situation of death. The Australian report of 2015 states that 8.4% of Australia’s burden for that year resulted from obesity and overweight (The department of Health, 2020).

The study aims at examining the current condition of Australia in terms of managing the disease of obesity and overweight. In this respect, the achievement of the nation in terms of fighting with the disease of obesity will be analysed. In addition to this, challenges that have been encountered by Australia in doing so along with the future steps that can be taken by the country in combating obesity will also be discussed in this study. Besides, the healthcare function of Australia will be compared with India to analyse the effectiveness of the system within the country.

1. Critical Discussion on Obesity and Overweight

1.1. Australia’s Achievement in Fighting Obesity

As per the reports of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Health Survey, 67% of the population depicting 12.5 million of people indicating the two-third of the country, mostly the adults suffered from obesity in 2017-2018 (The department of Health, 2020). The figure seems to rise from the scenario of 2014-2015 depicting a total population of 63.4% affected by obesity (The department of Health, 2020). The analysis seems to be depicting the fact that over the years, the number of population affected by the obesity disease is increasing rapidly. However, tacking the aspects of obesity requires wide approaches among the nation. In this respect, Australia’s Department of Health has already implemented a wide range of measures for preventing health issues and tackle the aspects of obesity in the nation. The measures involved in providing the Australian population with the desired information related to top health. As per the opinion of Swinburn (2020), effective health information helps in creating awareness among the population regarding the health implications. Hence, it is also likely to help the population deal with the disease properly.

Rate of obesity in Australia

Figure 1: Rate of obesity in Australia

(Source: The Department of Health, 2020)

On the other hand, the mentioned step also helps the population to take proper decision based on the health condition within the domain. As per the statement of Pettman et al.(2019), proper health decision can help the population in coping with the disease of obesity and can also be mitigated without seeking any medical help. Other than that, it also helps in implementing sustainable changes in the behaviour that creates a positive impact on the individual further creating an approach of taking care of the family members and own self (Sacks et al. 2019). In addition to this, the health department of the country also suggested the population to undergo exercise regularly and adopt the habit of eating healthy (Health direct, 2020). Also, several committees have been set up by Australia, in order to prevent obesity and monitoring all the aspects related to obesity closely. Other than that civil society has also been established by Australia working in for actions in order to mitigate the actions.

1.2. Challenges Encountered by Australia in Combating Obesity

Combating diversity within the Australian domain faces certain challenges that prevent the country from the management of obesity disease. The three main factor that acts as a challenge in combating diversity within the domain of Australia includes nutrition and food, physical activities, and the obesogenic environment (Macri, 2016). Diets in terms of low vegetables and fruits account to 1.4% and 2.0% of the total disease (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020). However, excessive intake of energy from drink and food can contribute to an imbalance within the dietary system that further leads to the aspects of weight gain. On the other hand, as per the reports of 2015, 30% of the adults aging from 18 years to 64 years were active (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020). Hence, physical inactiveness seems to be creating a major challenge in this aspect.

Apart from that, most of the environment within Australia is obesogenic, encouraging the eating of unhealthy food and obesity as most of the environment of the country is related to the huge number of advertisement related to the promotion of junk food. Additionally, the cost of technology along with changes in the demographic aspect, funding of the health care centres within the domain and the issues of equity and inequality in the health also reflect high challenges in terms of combating diversity (Macri, 2016).

1.3. Future Steps Required for Mitigating the Disease

Based on the above analysis it can be stated that obesity is considered to be a vital disease within the domain of Australia that is creating major trouble in Australia. The above analysis also depicts that several measures have been taken by Australia that did not achieve much success in controlling the diseases and have been prevailing the cause of concern within the domain. As per the mentions of Ferguson et al. (2020), failing to mitigate the disease can take the shape of the huge issue within Australia that will be impossible to control at the last stage. As per the current report it can be stated that Australia seems to be left behind in the control of obesity. In another instance, it can be observed that with the assistance of 50 organisations that includes the organisation of cancer, diabetes and others, the country has dealt with the disease of obesity (ABC News, 2017). Therefore, in order to control the aspect of obesity, the country needs to take certain steps.

Steps for controlling obesity in the future

Figure 2: Steps for controlling obesity in the future

(Source: George, 2019)

Implementing a tax on the drinks containing sugar

Sugary drinks that mostly include cold drinks or the soft possess the tendency to get consumed by the population. As stated by Booth et al. (2018), mostly, in the summer season, the drinks acquire the highest demand from the customers. As per the reports, many countries within the world have applied the strategy of putting a high amount of tax on unhealthy food (ABC News, 2017). From the evidence, it can be observed that a high amount of tax on the unhealthy food tends to reduce the pattern of consumption thus promotion healthy habits among the consumers (ABC News, 2017). Besides, the report also states that the intervention of public health can also be used for the purpose of raising money. Hence, implementation of Sugar tax can be effective in reducing the consumption of the sugary drinks that contributes to the major reason behind obesity.

Restricting the advertisement of junk food on the radio and TV

As per the reports, restriction of the advertisement of the junk food on the television as well as radio can be effective in reducing the consumption of junk food. Most of the junk food craze has been influenced by the advertisement telecasted in the T.V. it is because, as per the reports of the World Health Organisation in 2009, it has been found that the children desiring for junk food are strongly influenced by the advertisement (ABC News, 2017). In this respect, as pointed out by George (2019), banning of the advertisement ion the television can be effective in reducing the craze for junk food and can also be effective in reducing the aspect of obesity.

Restricting the sponsorship of junk food in the sport

Most of the Australian people are highly engaged with the activities of sports and thus, the sponsorship of the junk food in the sport indirectly encourages consuming unhealthy food leading to obesity. As opined, restricting sponsorship is likely to restrict the consumption of junk food in sports. Hence, it can be effective in controlling obesity.

2. Comparing and Contrasting Australia’s and India’s Primary Health Nurse Function

Role of nurses is almost similar irrespective of different countries. As per the opinion of Wong et al. (2016), the primary role of the nurses involves taking care of the patients within the centre. It also covers providing encouragement to the patients in order to respond to the treatment that is being provided to the patient. Based on the Australian guidelines, nurses play a crucial role in the management of obesity within the domain of the nation (Kawafha, 2020). In this respect, advocacy is the primary step in the maintenance of obesity within the nation. As per the mentions of Hinnant Subramanian and Jenkins (2017), advocacy helps in the proper implementation of the healthcare programs in terms of fighting with obesity. Besides, community nurses also play an important role in the identification of the main concern that tends to get related to the aspects of obesity. As opined by Pearce et al. (2019), identification of the main concern helps the nurses in dealing with the issue effective further implementing proper steps for its mitigation.

On the other hand, the role of nurses in India in terms of maintaining obesity also involves advocacy further moving to the care of the patient (Smith, 2020). It mainly involves the aspects of issue identification along with the covering the issue to implement proper care. Comparing the primary step of nurses of Australia as well as India, it can be stated that both the countries are highly involved with the patient advocacy in treating obesity. As mentioned by Renzaho (2017), patient advocacy involves suggesting proper care and implementing a proper procedure for preceding the treatment further. Therefore, both the countries seem to be implementing this step in their treatment procedure so that the patient can be treated based on the desired requirements.

Other steps that are being included by Australian nurses in treating obesity involve educating the patients and their family members regarding the various effects and impact of obesity. Comparatively, the Indian nurses also seem to be involving the educational aspects within the treatment. It is because, as per the opinion of Dosani, Lind & Loewen (2019), proper education to the parties along with the family members can be effective in creating awareness among them and can also be effective in handling the disease effectively. However, as of India, education is only provided to the patients along with its caretaker and family members. On the other hand, Australian, nurses are not limited to providing a dedication to the patients and their family members (Fruh, 2017). The nurses of Australia involves in the effective step in educating the school, colleges, firms and others to keep then aware if obesity, this leads to the prevention of the disease before it takes the form of something dangerous. However, Indian nurses are lagging in terms of educating the whole society and are limited to the particular community for providing proper education regarding obesity.

Conclusion on Obesity and Overweight in Australia

From the overall study, it can be depicted that obesity is one of the major prevailing diseases within the domain of Australia, since a very long time. The nation is suffering under the impact of obesity. Considering the current situation of Australia, it can be inferred that the country is involved in the implementation of a certain program and have already established certain communities that are working for the betterment of obesity and mitigate the disease from the nation. However, challenges in terms of technological cost, improper medical facility along with physical inactivity and others seems to be the major challenges that tend to create difficulty in combating obesity from Australia. In addition to this, roles that are being played by the Australian and Indian nurses seem to be slightly different from each other. Both of the nurses are involved in providing patient advocacy along with proper treatment and care to the patient further educating them.

Reference List for Obesity and Overweight in Australia

ABC News, (2017). Four things Australia could do to tackle the obesity crisis, ABC News.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, (2020). A picture of overweight and obesity in Australia, Australian Government.

Booth, S., Begley, A., Mackintosh, B., Kerr, D. A., Jancey, J., Caraher, M., ... & Pollard, C. M. (2018). Gratitude, resignation and the desire for dignity: Lived experience of food charity recipients and their recommendations for improvement, Perth, Western Australia. Public health nutrition, 21(15), 2831-2841.

Dosani, A., Lind, C., & Loewen, S. (2019). Concept Mapping: An Innovative Tool to Teach Critical Community Health Nursing Using the Example of Population Health Promotion. Witness: The Canadian Journal of Critical Nursing Discourse, 1(2), 30-48.

Ferguson, E. C., Stewart, E. K., Hannah, C., & Elder, C. J. (2020). Obesity: unrecognised or avoided? We are missing opportunities to ‘make every contact count’. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 105(3), 310-311.

Fruh, S. M. (2017). Obesity: Risk factors, complications, and strategies for sustainable long‐term weight management. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 29(S1), S3-S14.

George, A. (2019). Not so sweet refrain: sugar-sweetened beverage taxes, industry opposition and harnessing the lessons learned from tobacco control legal challenges. Health Economics, Policy and Law, 14(4), 509-535.

Health direct, (2020). Obesity prevention, Health direct.

Hinnant, A., Subramanian, R., & Jenkins, J. (2017). The media logic of health journalism: Strategies and limitations in covering social determinants. Australian Journalism Review, 39(2), 23. 

Kawafha, M. M., (2020). The Role of Community Health Nurse in Obesity Policy Development. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 7(8): 237-246.

Macri, J. (2016). Australia's health system: some issues and challenges. Journal of Health & Medical Economics, 2(2).

Pearce, C., Rychetnik, L., Wutzke, S., & Wilson, A. (2019). Obesity prevention and the role of hospital and community-based health services: a scoping review. BMC health services research, 19(1), 453.

Pettman, T. L., Armstrong, R., Johnson, S., Love, P., Gill, T., Coveney, J., ... & Allender, S. (2019). Evaluation outcomes of a knowledge translation platform: a structure for support and exchange in prevention. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice.

Renzaho, A. M. N. (2017). Dissecting and customising the Childhood Obesity Prevention Advisory Council (COPAC): the development and application of a community engagement framework to improve childhood obesity prevention among migrant populations. Global health action, 10(1), 1321822.,5&as_ylo=2016&scillfp=11636974563148594179&oi=lle

Sacks, G., Vanderlee, L., Robinson, E., Vandevijvere, S., Cameron, A. J., Ni Mhurchu, C., ... & L'Abbé, M. (2019). BIA‐Obesity (Business Impact Assessment—Obesity and population‐level nutrition): A tool and process to assess food company policies and commitments related to obesity prevention and population nutrition at the national level. Obesity Reviews, 20, 78-89.

Smith, Y., (2020). Roles of a Nurse, News Medical.

Swinburn, B., (2020). Progress on obesity prevention over 20 years in Australia and New Zealand, Willey online library.

The department of Health, (2020). Overweight and Obesity, The department of Health.

Wong, C., Harrison, C., Bayram, C., & Miller, G. (2016). Assessing patients' and GPs' ability to recognise overweight and obesity. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 40(6), 513-517.

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