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Name: Tutor: Course: Date: University: Community Health & Social Care Introduction Scotland is among the nations with the highest incidences of obesity in OECD countries and runs third after United States and Mexico. In Scotland, more than a million adults and over 200,000 children are obese…
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On the other hand, 15.1% of children in Scotland were obese, and 31.1% were overweight in the year 2008 (Acton 2011, p. 7). In 2007/2008, it is estimated that persons affected by obesity in Scotland consumed a national budget of more than 457 Euros. As a result of the increasing incidences of obesity and overweight cases, the cost is predicted to increase further to an estimate of 0.9-3 billion Euros by 2030. These statistics provided fact based evidence to the Scottish government prompting it to declare obesity an epidemic. Following this declaration, a lot has been done by the Scottish government and stakeholders in the health sector to combat the obesity epidemic. Government and local authority initiatives include the establishment of key policies and guidelines focusing on creating a population made of persons with normal BMI (Donnelley 2010, p. 5). In any country, a healthy population is vital for the purpose of attaining a flourishing economy. Countries with large populations of people suffering from chronic medical conditions are likely to have a slow economic growth. The Scottish government has pointed out that obesity and overweight pose a real risk to the wellbeing of its population and the entire economy. Therefore, attainment of a sustainable economy in Scotland faces serious challenges in the future due to the rising incidences of obesity (Noya & Clarence 2009, p. 47). ... Obesity reduces the quality of a person’s life and makes a person vulnerable to a lot of serious medical complications. Persons suffering from obesity are highly vulnerable to medical complications such as osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases and certain cancers. With such medical complications within a society, health facilities experience a serious strain as well as high mortality rates (Andersen 2003, p. 18). The World Health Organisation points out that the number of people who are obese is higher than the number of overweight people across the world. Drastic change in lifestyle is the main contributing factor to this phenomenon, where many people have tuned to sedentary lifestyles. This lifestyle does not demand a lot physically. In today’s modern world, majority of people are using personal cars, washing machines, lifts and computers, making them less physically active most of the time. Leisure times such as watching TV while eating foods that have high calorie levels increases further a person’s risk of being obese (Ostman & Britton 2008, p. 71). The environment we are living in is playing a key role in encouraging people to eat more and do less exercise. Therefore, the global obesity epidemic is influenced by environmental or social factors. Examples of such environments prevail when food manufacturers encourage people to take energy dense drinks and snacks through advertisements on TVs. The two main ways through which the occurrence of obesity can be reduced are through improving diet and engaging in a lot of physical activities. In Scotland, similar issues are evident as the main causes of the obesity epidemic in the country (Gard 2010, p. 37).
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