Childhood Obesity in the UK: Exploring Legal and Public Health Approaches

According to Gillborn et al. (2020), the document entitled (Treat child obesity as neglect say doctors) specifies the significance of utilisation of a legal approach concerning the issue of obesity amongst children who could be below 12 years of age from the perspectives of multiplicity of paediatricians who have been surveyed concerning their experiences regarding such an issue. However, according to Blackburn and Stathi (2019), in spite of the fact that the British Medical Association has made the decision of forming a motion of discussion related to childhood obesity in the annual conference and the occurrences of parental overfeeding has been outlined by the opinion of eminent and experienced paediatricians to be the outcomes of parental negligence towards the appropriate measures of maintaining the health of their children, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has declined to consider such an approach that the instances of parents contributing to the obesity of their children through overfeeding should be equated with child protection issues and thus, a legal angle of approach to such problems could be explored, so as to consider such issues to be integral to public health related challenges. From a definitive perspective, Mulderrig (2017) has analysed the apparent contention in the perspectives applied by the paediatricians and the RCPCH so as to relate to the evident necessity of having to implement a multipronged approach towards resolving the existing issue of obesity and overweightness amongst the UK populace, involving all of the age groups, however, especially youth and children. In the second document (Storing up problems: the medical case for a slimmer nation), the arguments towards development of the most extensive understanding of the cultural and social factors which contribute to the progressive enhancement of obesity amongst children have been evaluated from the utilitarian perspective under the study produced jointly by RCPCH, Royal College of Physicians and the Faculty of Public Health. According to Mulderrig (2019), the emphasis has been on the sustainable management of the problems through behavioural change prospects recognition. The recommendations have pertained to a collaborative approach in between the governmental and community levels so as to have the dual pronged approach of formulation of health administration policies and social encouragement of behavioural transformation through healthier environments.


Burrows, Leahy and Wright (2019) have observed that the technical specifications regarding the dimensions of measurements pertaining to Obesity, through the application of BMI, mentioned in the first document involving the medical terms related to Obesity, have been associated with the crux of the exploratory investigation of the fundamental inquest regarding improvement of the general health of the UK populace through making them shed excess weight, which has been the focal point of the second document (The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance). According to Rudolf et al (2019) the leading obesity experts have been observed to have vested interests in determination of a flawed orientation towards interpretation of Obesity as a disease without involving the human factor to it in the form of improvement of the conditions of obese personnel, as it has been outlined by NAAFA. The logic which underscores such perceptions has been also highlighted as the derivation of data from very low calorie diet intake based. The contention has been about the preponderance of the pathological conditionality based interpretation of Obesity rather than addressing it as a cultural phenomenon. Kumaran, Sakka and Dias (2017) have focused on the historic evidences outlined by the document in the measure of the inherent ulterior agenda of the NIH conference (1985) which institutionalized the cultural bias against Obesity.

According to Mulderrig (2019), the document titled (A return to the ration book is the answer to obesity by Janet Street-Porter) has been instrumental to highlight the behavioural and living conditional complications within the contemporary western societies which have contributed to the progressive increment of obesity in children, primarily due to the preponderance of processed food. The emphasis has been on the arbitrary imposition of rationing systems through which availability foods with hyper-concentrated fat could be constricted. This hypothesis, though improbable as a logical solution to the problems of obesity, Visscher et al (2017) have related the observations made by Janet Street-Porter to the necessities of improvement general health and quality of living of UK populace as has been stated in the Extract from Obesity and Public Policy: Thinking Clearly and Treading Carefully by Michael Gard. The emphasis has been on the implementation of a sequential health management process where identification of groups who could be vulnerable to health complications on the basis of their access constriction to physical activity and qualitative food and focusing on improvement of the material conditions of the general populace would formulate the health benefit realisations process as opposed to the narrative which involves only weight loss as an instrument to resolve obesity.

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Reference List

Blackburn, M. and Stathi, A., 2019. Moral discourse in general practitioners’ accounts of obesity communication. Social Science & Medicine, 230, pp.166-173.

Burrows, L., Leahy, D. and Wright, J., 2019. Cruel optimism? Socially critical perspectives on the obesity assemblage. In Critical Research in Sport, Health, and Physical Education: How to Make a Difference (pp. 200-212). Routledge Abingdon UK.

Gillborn, S., Rickett, B., Muskett, T. and Woolhouse, M., 2020. Apocalyptic public health: exploring discourses of fatness in childhood ‘obesity’policy. Journal of Education Policy, 35(1), pp.3-22.

Kumaran, A., Sakka, S. and Dias, R.P., 2017. Obesity in children: recent NICE guidance. Archives of Disease in Childhood-Education and Practice, 102(2), pp.84-88.

Mulderrig, J., 2017. Reframing obesity: A critical discourse analysis of the UK’s first social marketing campaign. Critical Policy Studies, 11(4), pp.455-476.

Mulderrig, J., 2019. Analysing orders of discourse of neoliberal rule: health nudges and the rise of psychological governance. In Critical Policy Discourse Analysis. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Mulderrig, J., 2019. The language of ‘nudge’in health policy: Pre-empting working class obesity through ‘biopedagogy’. Critical Policy Studies, 13(1), pp.101-121.

Rudolf, M., Perera, R., Swanston, D., Burberry, J., Roberts, K. and Jebb, S., 2019. Observational analysis of disparities in obesity in children in the UK: Has Leeds bucked the trend?. Pediatric obesity, 14(9), p.e12529.

Visscher, T.L., Lakerveld, J., Olsen, N., Küpers, L., Ramalho, S., Keaver, L., Brei, C., Bjune, J.I., Ezquerro, S. and Yumuk, V., 2017. Perceived health status: is obesity perceived as a risk factor and disease?. Obesity facts, 10(1), pp.52-60.

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