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Applying Health in All Policies to Obesity in South Australia

Discussion on Obesity in Adolescents of Australia

The assessment of above-taken articles from different journals has presented the various issues on which the systems of the country have to form comprehensive policies actions and accountability mechanisms. The four categories are examined to mote down the errors or failures in implementation systems such as shortcomings in the strategy design, inconsistent accountability and governance, investment failures, and underestimating the need for government to counter the needs of market failures.

Shortcomings in Strategy Design

The articles explain that failures in strategy are due to the choice of different actions by narrow downing the scope to find it less impactful and thus are the small-scale actions. This can be explained with an example that different informational and educational approaches are followed to target the attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge of individuals by making informed choices. The power of commercial and environmental determinants of obesity is neglected for the individuals. Expectations from children who are in secondary schools in shifting the trend by following physical activity programs so that it could result in a sift to BMI to solve the problem of obesity. This disease is considered as a pandemic that has been spread all over the world, but the failure in systems to achieve unrealistic goals falls into this category. This also leads to neglecting of obesity prevention and other health benefits educational programs of different physical activities. Thus, the educational institutes have the major role to play in obesity prevention and launching a suitable program with a comprehensive portfolio (Carter, Moodie & Markwick et al., 2009).

Investment Failure

This is the major failure due to which the policies and targets are not achieved. Investment failure occurs when the policies are:

  • Lightweight: The elimination of most effective strategies from policies, and/ or
  • Unbalanced: laying overemphasis on the less effective strategies, and/ or
  • Short term: Use of inadequate means of resourcing for the chosen policy implementation.

In the multi-strategy complex interventions, it is difficult to have a sufficient population impact from investments. The policymakers must understand the actual meaning of research and find out evidence to make the investments in a useful manner. This will help in ensuring the mechanisms to evaluate knowledge and efforts towards policies made to reduce the impact of obesity (Coffield, Metos & Utz et al., 2011).

Inconsistent Accountability and Governance

Lack of consistency in accountability and governance is there due to various reasons, including:

  • Lack of organization and coordination that are followed to ensure the regular strategies are followed to review the scope of the overall obesity implementation plan, data monitoring, and synthesis to form decisions based on policies as introduced into the system, and continuous monitoring of policy implementation in the country.
  • Non-active involvement of technical experts.
  • Non-governmental support at various levels for policy implementation and evaluation.
  • Lack of transparency in the system
  • Non-commitment of renowned organizations for continuous improvement.
  • Failures in addressing the conflicts of interest of the public in policy formulation and implementation.
  • Noninclusion of civil society.

Underestimating the Need for Government to Counter the Needs of Market Failures

There are three main causes of market failure in the system such as asymmetric information, externalities, and power of the market. The trend of current market demands for short-term and long-term behavioral preferences. The short-term behavioral preferences include under activity and overconsumption, and long-term behavior preferences include active living and healthy consumption. From the studies, it has been found that where there are a single parent or alone children the problem arises there is that long-term effect is not found to be effective (Hawkes, Smith & Jewell et al., 2015). The additional impacts involve social costs and their benefits in the form of consumption. The individuals in studies reflected that they cannot spend private costs for individual consumption. Here, the government system needs to be corrected to alter this market failure. Interventions by the government should be done to establish mechanisms that support physical infrastructure for walking, playing, and cycling. Without following all these patterns it is difficult to tackle the problem of obesity and commercial determinants of health as if they are necessary to reduce childhood obesity (Newman, Ludford & Williams et al., 2015).

Conclusion on Obesity in Adolescents of Australia

Despite many action plans development, the steps have not been followed to tackle the effect of epidemics that needs substantive, comprehensive, and intensive efforts. It is very difficult for governments to select menu plans for obesity t have an effective implementation. Success will not only be achieved by a comprehensive manner of policy to prevent all the four points discussed as shortcomings in the strategy design, inconsistent accountability and governance, investment failures, and underestimating the need for government to counter the needs of market failures.

Recommendation on Obesity in Adolescents of Australia

The recommendations will include weight management steps such as using the standard measure such as BMI to classify the adolescents who are obese. Waist circumference is also the measure to find out that the individual is obese or not. The measures should be followed by adolescents who are obese and are ready to have lifestyle changes. Adolescents must be told that they are obese are at high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The health benefits should be conveyed to the adolescents that as an example of diabetes, it is a hereditary disease. Physical activity will help the individuals in prevention, improved control of diabetes, and delayed progression of the disease (Newman et al., 2015). Adolescents who have sleep disturbances must do some physical activities that are helpful in weight reduction. Physical exercise is also helpful for the persons suffering from musculoskeletal problems, urinary inconsistence, or gastroesophageal reflux. Weight loss helps in improving quality of life, depression problems, and self-esteem. The strong recommendations for obese adolescents are to follow the measures that support behavioral change, reduced energy intake, and increased physical activity. The dietary interventions should be followed in such a way that they are as per the requirements of an individual. The self-management approach for weight management programs needs to be followed to develop appropriate programs. Lifestyle changes and programs should be focused on adolescents, parents, caregivers, and families. Weight management programs are best to be planned to enroll the students and have frequent contact with them (Newman et al., 2015). The recommended lifestyle will help the obese children to manage their weight by following increased physical activity, reduced energy intake and sedentary behavior to have support in changing behavior. For the adolescents who have not got success from the interventions in producing weight loss can go for laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding from specialist teams. The ideal BMI is said to be in 25.0 – 29.9, and if an individual is >30.0 then he/ she is considered as obese. Thus, the weight-loss interventions help the individual maintain their ideal weight by following different strategies as explained in the document. This will also involve a self-management approach and having contact with healthcare professionals to maintain motivation and behavior change.

References for Obesity in Adolescents of Australia

Carter, R., Moodie, M., Markwick, A., Magnus, A., Vos, T., Swinburn, B., & Haby, M. M. (2009). Assessing cost-effectiveness in obesity (ACE-obesity): an overview of the ACE approach, economic methods, and cost results. BMC Public Health9(1), 419. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1471-2458-9-419

Coffield, J. E., Metos, J. M., Utz, R. L., & Waitzman, N. J. (2011). A multivariate analysis of federally mandated school wellness policies on adolescent obesity. Journal of Adolescent Health49(4), 363-370. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.01.010

Hawkes, C., Smith, T. G., Jewell, J., Wardle, J., Hammond, R. A., Friel, S., ... & Kain, J. (2015). Smart food policies for obesity prevention. The Lancet385(9985), 2410-2421. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61745-1

Newman, L., Ludford, I., Williams, C., & Herriot, M. (2016). Applying health in all policies to obesity in South Australia. Health promotion international31(1), 44-58. https://academic.oup.com/heapro/article/31/1/44/2355630

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