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Health Assignment: A Summary Of Health Policies


Task: For this assessment you will prepare a policy brief on the global health issue that you have been exploring in assessment 3. The policy brief is a document which outlines the rationale for choosing a particular policy alternative or course of action in a current policy debate. The purpose of the policy brief is to convince the target audience of the urgency of the current problem and the need to adopt the preferred alternative or course of action outlined.

Use the format outlined in the document ‘Guidelines for Writing a Policy Brief’ developed by the Community- Based Monitoring System(CBMS) Network Co-ordinating Team in the Philippines. These guidelines clearly outline both the steps taken and a clear format for presenting a policy brief. The guideline has been posted in VU Collaborate. Additional resources that will support and advise you when writing your policy brief are also posted on VU Collaborate.


Executive Summary
Obesity and other deadly chronic diseases are some of the most important contributors towards the poorer health condition at Australia. Out of the other leading factors that has resulted in the overall growth of the health risk relating to obesity unhealthy diets and the lack of physical activities are the crucial ones. The overall cost that has been estimated for overweight and obesity is more than 56 billion which makes it financially unviable for most of the family’s residing at Australia. This particular food and health assignment focuses on the objective of creating policy briefing that deals with the extent of obesity and that of actions undertaken by the government to overcome the same.

Obesity is being considered one of the burning topics globally that has impacted upon large amount populations living in different countries and parts of the world. It is one of the major factors that have resulted in the generation of long term distress, reduction in the amount of human capital and thereby attracting other forms of life threatening diseases for an individual. Although many of the renowned health specialists from all around the globe are of the view that the reason behind the emergence of increased rate of obesity are many and can be associated with different kinds of medical factors (Buchmueller and Johar, 2015). Apart from other developed countries in the global arena Australia is having the highest rate of prevalence of adults and children who are over weighted physically or are suffering from obesity. In accordance to the statistical report that has been submitted by WHO amongst all other English speaking countries in the world Australia stands in the third position of being affected due to obesity. It is being observed in this food and health assignment that one of the core reasons that have resulted in the upsurge of the level of obesity is the poorer eating habits of the population of the country, secondly lower percentage of labour force and engagement in physical activities are some of the other contributory reasons that have resulted in the same. In the recent years the rates of obesity and overweight in Australia have increased particularly amongst the adult population of the country (Cheng et al., 2016).

Some of the vigilant trends that have been witnessed within the country is the fact that population belonging from the lowest socio economic groups are more prone to health issues such as Obesity in comparison to higher socio economic groups. Along with the increase of the age of an individual the risk of being overweight gets also risen up (Munt et al., 2017). For instance four out of five people aging about 45 and above are obese in nature which accounts for almost 79.4%. As per the findings generated by Roy Morgan Research conducted at 2016 almost 11 million Australians are suffering from Obesity. Unless and until strong and stringent policies are not being resorted to by the government then it has been estimated by the experts that by the year 2025 almost 83% of males and 75% of females above the age group of 20 will be victims of obesity (Allman-Farinelli et al., 2016). Such estimation depicts the fact that the quality of life of the Australian population will get heavily jeopardized with due to the serious health conditions and the never ending trap of chronic diseases. In addition to this the National health survey that was being conducted by Australian Bureau Of Statistics for the annual year 2017-2018 demonstrated that almost two thirds of the adult population of Australia which accounts for almost 67% are obese in nature. The concerned survey as referred in this food and health assignment also stated that almost one half of the young population that is 24.9% belonging from the age group of 5-17 years are obese in nature thereby showcasing that the percentage has increased to new heights in relation to the previous years (Moodie et al., 2016 ).

With the objective of combating the reasons behind the raise in the level of obesity in Australia the department of health has implemented various forms of initiatives some of which are community wide approaches as well.

Causes and Impacts of Obesity
Out of the varied range of factors and reasons that are concomitant to the health issues relating to obesity the most crucial one is the fact about lesser amount of engagement in physical activities. In order to retain the healthy weight an individual is required to get involved with physical activities and thereby reducing the intake of foods that are poor in nutrient quantity. The majority of the population in Australia specifically the younger generation are more inclined towards the nutrient deficit foods and beverages. The National Health Survey that was being conducted within the year 2014-2015 it was being found out that the adults in Australia binge on an average of 35% on junk and sugary ingredients of foods and alcohol. In respect of children 40% of their diet comprises of foods that are low in protein and essential nutrients and maximum numbers of households are expending almost 58% of their food budget on unhealthy foods (Crino et al., 2016).

Apart from the reason of being indulged in unhealthy food habits as observed in this food and health assignment, the Australian populations are also facing issues relating to high body mass index that assists in the process of raising the rate of obesity. Due to the impact of the raising level of obesity and issues relating to overweight the individuals are also getting overburdened with chronic or cardiovascular diseases and that of type 2 diabetes. Moreover the recent researches that are being conducted by the International Agency for research on cancer depicted that heath risks occurring due to obesity is very high in nature and thereby making the body more prone to 13 different forms of cancers including breast and colon. Since the present scenario that has been presented through statistical reports till date shows that obesity and overweight has become one of the serious concerns for the Australian population. Other than the physical impacts that would be witnessed by an individual one would affected economically as well (Clarke et al., 2016). With the economic aggression occurring in all other developed countries of the world the cost that would be incurred on behalf of obesity has also increased. With the objective of combating the rising abnormalities in health condition of the population comprehensive nature of government action is required. The policy and actions that are being incorporated by the Australian Government are some of the best practices within the global arena but still there lies certain gap in certain areas of implementation as a consequence of which they are lagging behind (Phulkerd et al., 2015).

Current actions and strategies adopted
Policies and Steps undertaken by the National Government
In order to overcome the issue relating to obesity and the increased advent of diseases faced by the population the national government has underpinned the following policies:

  • Improvement of the food labelling aspect with the incorporation of the scheme Health star rating and other incidental regulations relating to health claims.
  • Abolishment of any form of extra charges in the name of GST on the foods that are of basic nature to the general population
  • Conducting the task of monitoring the body weight of the population on a regular basis
  • Based on the nature of the food the dietary guidelines are also being implemented with the sole purpose of reducing the amount of expenditure in unhealthy food items
  • Ensuring the fact that the every school and educational institutions are implementing stringent policies in order to ensure food safety of the younger population.

Policies and steps undertaken by the State government
Although the rules and strategies that have been developed by the national government of Australia have been implemented variedly in different states and territories but it acts as a benchmark for the same. The state oriented policies that have been drafted includes within its ambit:

  • The regulations relating to labelling of the food menu’s and the ingredients involved within the same.
  • Appropriate level of training and regulatory systems required for the purpose of rendering support to schools and other organisations so as to assist them in providing healthy foods
  • Development of agencies that are independent in nature and are indulged in the process of health promotion.
  • Taking in to consideration the health population of the community while developing any form of policies for the same.
  • Collaborating with the community stores in order to increase the availability of healthy foods to the population and thereby reduce their access to unhealthy foods and beverages in general
  • Undertaking the responsibility of regular monitoring of the nutritional status and the rates of obesity within the children and younger age group of the population

This particular assembly was being assigned the role of developing strategies that would assist in combating the chronic diseases resulting from Tobacco, obesity and alcohol (Lobstein et al., 2015). Undertaking the designated responsibility provided for the same in the year 2009 the taskforce presented the final report that would pave the way for painting Australia as one of the healthiest country by the year 2020. The report included within it a roadmap of at least 27 actions that are targeted towards reduction in the level of obesity and thereby control the same. Based on the actions that were being recommended by the then current government in that regard, the extent of development has been very minimal and disappointing in outcome. Starting from 2010 till date none of the governments in power have attached preventive health the foremost priority which should Since the problem relating to obesity and overweight has been faced by the Australian Government from a very long time in order to deal with the same in the year 2008 National Preventive health taskforce has been developedhave been done. In addition to this the existing initiatives that were being undertaken by the government by creating Australian National Preventive Health Agency were also being abolished along with the interventions that were being implemented by the same. In addition to this the Global Action Plan that has been submitted by the World Health Assembly states about the removal and prevention of non communicable diseases for the year 2013-2020 which should be abided by the developed and other developing countries of the world. This particular plan as observed in this food and health assignment targeted at the audience that are suffering from the impacts of obesity all around the globe and thereby urges the adoption for Obesity Prevention strategy at different levels of the government. Secondly the plan also administered the necessity of broadcasting advertisements that would assist in the process of reducing the accessibility of the children towards unhealthy foods and beverages (Romieu et al., 2017).

Policy needed and Recommendations
As Australia is being considered to have one if the highest rates of obese population within the global scenario and the implications of the policies enacted are not positive in nature hence prioritizing of health planning is necessary. In order to accomplish the goal of preventing and controlling the NCD’s within the country’s population the local along with other socioeconomic factors had the desired potential to achieve the same. The government is required to build environments that would assist in the process of influencing the behaviour of the population in respect of eating habits and thereby render a collaborative effort in inhibiting healthy activities for the adults as well as younger population. Secondly there is a need in the process of alignment of the planning policies and the goals it would target upon along with the emerging health related challenges of the population (Phulkerd et al., 2015). Higher the rate of consistency between these two variables faster would be the achievement of the concerned target. In addition to this the aspect of obesity prevention should be considered as a national priority and there should be assignment of a national taskforce including legit funding mechanisms for the purpose of conducting regularized monitoring. So as to receive better outcomes of the policies, implementation of strategies those are comprehensive in nature thereby assessing the nutritional needs of the population (Clarke et al., 2016). Providing the desired level of support and power to the local governments with the objective of empowering the same is necessary as they have the potential to influence the placement of fast food outlets and thereby limiting the supply of unhealthy junk foods to any age group of population. Enhancing the support and reach of community based interventions with the objective of establishing food environments that are healthy in nature (Moodie et al., 2016).

At the end of this briefing in this food and health assignment it can be very well construed that Australian Governments are required to look on to aspect of introducing mechanisms and policies that are comprehensive in nature and thereby reach up to the root cause of the increasing rate of obesity. In addition to this in this food and health assignment they should also invest on to objective of growing the level of research on the emerging health problems and that of NCD’s amongst the Australian population so that more advanced measures can be adopted. Health assignments are being prepared by our experts from top universities which let us to provide you a reliable university assignment help service.

Allman-Farinelli, M., Partridge, S.R. and Roy, R., 2016. Weight-related dietary behaviors in young adults. Current obesity reports, 5(1), pp.23-29.

Buchmueller, T.C. and Johar, M., 2015. Obesity and health expenditures: evidence from Australia. Economics & Human Biology, 17, pp.42-58.

Cheng, H.L., Medlow, S. and Steinbeck, K., 2016. The health consequences of obesity in young adulthood. Current obesity reports, 5(1), pp.30-37.

Clarke, B., Swinburn, B. and Sacks, G., 2016. The application of theories of the policy process to obesity prevention: a systematic review and meta-synthesis. BMC Public Health, 16(1), p.1084.

Crino, M., Sacks, G. and Wu, J.H., 2016. A review of population-level actions targeting reductions in food portion sizes to address obesity and related non-communicable diseases. Current nutrition reports, 5(4), pp.323-332.

Lobstein, T., Jackson-Leach, R., Moodie, M.L., Hall, K.D., Gortmaker, S.L., Swinburn, B.A., James, W.P.T., Wang, Y. and McPherson, K., 2015. Child and adolescent obesity: part of a bigger picture. The Lancet, 385(9986), pp.2510-2520.

Moodie, A.R., Tolhurst, P. and Martin, J.E., 2016. Australia's health: being accountable for prevention. Medical Journal of Australia, 204(6), pp.223-225.

Munt, A.E., Partridge, S.R. and Allman?Farinelli, M., 2017. The barriers and enablers of healthy eating among young adults: a missing piece of the obesity puzzle: a scoping review. Obesity reviews, 18(1), pp.1-17.

Phulkerd, S., Lawrence, M., Vandevijvere, S., Sacks, G., Worsley, A. and Tangcharoensathien, V., 2015. A review of methods and tools to assess the implementation of government policies to create healthy food environments for preventing obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases. Implementation Science, 11(1), p.15.

Romieu, I., Dossus, L., Barquera, S., Blottière, H.M., Franks, P.W., Gunter, M., Hwalla, N., Hursting, S.D., Leitzmann, M., Margetts, B. and Nishida, C., 2017. Energy balance and obesity: what are the main drivers?. Cancer Causes & Control, 28(3), pp.247-258.


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