Impact on Global Healthcare and Health and Social Care Practices


Obesity in children is one of the major global health issues in the modern era. Among different contemporary global health issues that are listed in Healthy People 2020, obesity is one of the most dreaded health conditions. The World Health Organisation defined obesity as the health condition in which excess fats are accumulated into the muscles and body tissues thereby increasing the body mass of an individual (Aggarwal and Jain, 2018). Children are more likely to be vulnerable to the risk of obesity worldwide because of their sedentary lifestyle, irregular eating habits, too much consumption of junk foods and lack of exercise. The recent healthcare database from the WHO shows that the rate of the global prevalence of obesity has become 3 folds from 1998 to 2017 and this rate is expected to increase by 4 folds in 2050 in children. More than 39% of global children under 5-years are highly vulnerable to obesity (Faienza et al. 2020). In this context, the selection of childhood obesity as a global contemporary health issue is highly relevant to the current health care context which will provide evidence-based information to health care providers regarding the risk factors, causative factors and the effective management and prevention of obesity in children. This assignment will discuss how childhood obesity impacts the global healthcare system. By demonstrating the relevant theories and practices this assignment will discuss how the global health and social care practice is influenced by childhood obesity.

Critical discussion on impacts of childhood Obesity on global health:

Theme 1: Childhood Obesity and its risk factors:


Obesity in children is a very common contemporary global health issue that impacts adversely o the global health and social care practice. The WHO reports mentioned that worldwide t prevalence of childhood obesity increases by 3 folds since 1975. Globally, 39 million children under 5 years living with obesity in 2020 (Huang and Wong, 2019). A person is considered obese while his or her BMI is over 30kg/m2. BMI is defined as a person's body weight divided by the square of a person's height. Unhealthy eating habits in children lead them to develop high risk of obesity (Klingelhöfer et al. 2021). Most of the children do not follow a healthy and systematic dietary routine rather than they are used to consuming foods that are enriched with fats and cholesterol (Morales Camacho et al. 2019). Most of the children eat oily junk foods, packaged foods and frozen foods at the time of lunch, evening snacks and diner. As mentioned by Narzisi and Simons (2020) ,many parents in the UK who do not take proper care of children’s eating due to their jobs and bring chokolates, coke, chips and junk foods while returning home which impact adversely on children’s health and wellbeing. Other potential risk factors of childhood obesity are the sedentary and irregular lifestyle of children, lack of parental care, lack of physical activities and exercise and poor dietary routine.

Theme 2: The impacts of childhood obesity on contemporary global health:

While it comes to determine the impacts of childhood obesity on global healthcare, it is important to consider all the possible ways in which obesity impacts the entire global health and social care system (Narzisi and Simons, 2020). Childhood obesity impacts global health economically, physically, psychologically and socially. NHS faces huge financial burden each year to prevent and manage childhood obesity in the England ((Nehus and Mitsnefes, 2019). Childhood obesity also impacts the sociocultural perspectives which determine the availability of social and health resources to children which suffer from obesity. Obesity impact advrasely on the global health in relation to interfere with the emotional, and psychological health of people (Pereira et al. 2018). Children who suffer from obesity generally suffer from depression, emotional distress, poor decision making, poor cognitive skill and lack of problem solving ability. Moreover childhood obesity impacts adversely on the personal development of children.

Subtheme 1: Obesity in children enhances risk to global burden of mental illness:

Obesity also impacts global health and social care by developing the risk of different mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, frustration, loneliness, mood swing and behavioural disorders (Nga et al. 2019). By impacting global mental health obesity poses adverse impacts on the psychological and emotional wellbeing of children. Evidence suggests that across the world more than 45% of children who live with obesity suffer from different mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and feeling of sadness (Pereira et al. 2018) Recent research shows that the feeling of body shaming is one of the major global contemporary issues that is strongly associated with overweight and obesity in children and teenagers. Globally many children suffer from body shaming which leads to eating disorders. Eating disorder is also a common contemporary problem in the world that occurs due to body shaming and overweight in children and young people (Ravuvu and Waqa, 2020). Under this eating disorder, children and adolescent skip their meals and eat a small portion of foods that interfere with the gastrointestinal system thereby affecting the digestive system and metabolic capacity.

Subtheme 2: Childhood obesity enhances the economic burden on global health:

The economic burden on global healthcare is the major impact that is posed by obesity. Due to childhood obesity, there is an increasing rate of healthcare cost globally each year which makes it difficult for the global healthcare authority and medical board to increase their spending to other healthcare aspects (Wang et al. 2018). The data from who shows that NHS spend more than £5.1 billion each year on obesity. Due to the ever-increasing number of childhood obesity worldwide, this number is going to be increased in each year. The global economic burden due to obesity poses adverse impacts on the ability of the global health and social care authority to improves the healthcare burden each year for coping with other global health issues such as dementia, bipolar disorders, cardiovascular illness and COPD (Aggarwal and Jain, 2018). A recent report from the who says that the healthcare cost due to obesity will rise by 20% during 2050 (Weihrauch-Blüher and Wiegand, 2018.). In this context, national and international healthcare authorities need to work in collaboration to develop public awareness against childhood obesity. This can be possible by conducting a proper health promotion campaign against childhood obesity and providing proper health education to parents regarding how to improves the lifestyle, diet and regular routines of their children to protect them from the risk of obesity.

Childhood obesity reduces the quality of life and productivity of children globally (Huang and Wong, 2019). Children which are diagnosed with obesity are less productive and active than those who are not obese. Due to the excessive weight of obese children, they become exhausted after doing small tasks. Obesity also reduces the mental strength and self-confidence of children while it comes to take part in any kind of activity (Aggarwal and Jain, 2018).

Theme3: Global initiatives in managing and preventing childhood obesity worldwide:

For prevention and effective management of obesity in children, different actional ad policies have been taken globally. The World Health Organisation has set SMART goals for reducing the global prevalence of childhood obesity worldwide (Morales Camacho et al. 2019). Health awareness campaigns against childhood obesity are conducted by the local and national governments of almost all developed and developing nations, the campaign aims to increase public awareness regarding the prevention and management of obesity. On the other hand, developing online posters and leaflets against obesity is also a useful method in improving the knowledge of parents and children regarding the definition, cause and risk factors of obesity (Narzisi and Simons, 2020). The health promotion campaign is an amazing initiative which is constructed by different developed and developing countries under which children and the parent are provided with proper health information regarding the healthy dietary routine, good lifestyle and healthy living standard which are important for weight reduction and protection from the risk of obesity (Nehus and Mitsnefes, 2019). Weight management training to children is another useful aspect which will train children regarding how to maintain the standard body mass by regular exercise, fitness training and proper healthy eating.

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From the above-mentioned discussion, it can be concluded that obesity is the major global health issue that poses adverse impacts on global health and social care. Childhood obesity impacts global health and social care in many ways such as pose the burden of chronic diseases, raise healthcare costs, reduces living standards and productivity of children, impacts mental health. Obesity is strongly associated with increasing the risk of different chronic health conditions in children such as type 2 diabetes, CVD, coronary arterial disease, pulmonary illness and sleep apnoea. The worldwide prevalence of obesity increases at a faster rate which impacts adversely on the lives and productivity of children. In each year, NHS spends a sheer amount of money to prevent and manage childhood obesity in children. Additionally, global healthcare authority faces ever-increasing healthcare cost due to increasing prevalence childhood obesity globally. Different initiatives are taken to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity globally such as health promotion campaign awareness campaigns, weight management programs and online posters and leaflets for increasing public awareness regarding obesity management.

Reference list:

Aggarwal, B. and Jain, V., 2018. Obesity in children: definition, etiology and approach. The Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 85(6), pp.463-471.

Di Cesare, M., Sorić, M., Bovet, P., Miranda, J.J., Bhutta, Z., Stevens, G.A., Laxmaiah, A., Kengne, A.P. and Bentham, J., 2019. The epidemiological burden of obesity in childhood: a worldwide epidemic requiring urgent action. BMC medicine, 17(1), pp.1-20.

Faienza, M.F., Chiarito, M., Molina-Molina, E., Shanmugam, H., Lammert, F., Krawczyk, M., D’Amato, G. and Portincasa, P., 2020. Childhood obesity, cardiovascular and liver health: a growing epidemic with age. World Journal of Pediatrics, pp.1-8.

Huang, W.Y. and Wong, S.H.S., 2019. Prospective associations between weekend catch-up sleep, physical activity, and childhood obesity. Childhood Obesity, 15(1), pp.40-47.

Klingelhöfer, D., Braun, M., Quarcoo, D., Brüggmann, D. and Groneberg, D.A., 2021. Epidemiological Influences and Requirements of Global Childhood Obesity Research. Obesity Facts, 14(4), pp.382-396.

Morales Camacho, W.J., Molina Díaz, J.M., Plata Ortiz, S., Plata Ortiz, J.E., Morales Camacho, M.A. and Calderón, B.P., 2019. Childhood obesity: aetiology, comorbidities, and treatment. Diabetes/metabolism research and reviews, 35(8), p.e3203.

Narzisi, K. and Simons, J., 2020. Interventions that prevent or reduce obesity in children from birth to five years of age: A systematic review. Journal of Child HealtNehus, E. and Mitsnefes, M., 2019. Childhood obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Pediatric Clinics, 66(1), pp.31-43.

Nga, V.T., Dung, V.N.T., Chu, D.T., Tien, N.L.B., Van Thanh, V., Ngoc, V.T.N., Phuong, N.T., Pham, V.H., Tao, Y., Linh, N.P. and Show, P.L., 2019. School education and childhood obesity: A systemic review. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, 13(4), pp.2495-2501.

Pereira, M., Nogueira, H. and Padez, C., 2018. Association between childhood obesity and environmental characteristics: Testing a multidimensional environment index using census data. Applied geography, 92, pp.104-111.

Ravuvu, A. and Waqa, G., 2020. Childhood Obesity in the Pacific: Challenges and Opportunities. Current Obesity Reports, pp.1-8.

Wang, V.H., Min, J., Xue, H., Du, S., Xu, F., Wang, H. and Wang, Y., 2018. What factors may contribute to sex differences in childhood obesity prevalence in China?. Public health nutrition, 21(11), pp.2056-2064.

Weihrauch-Blüher, S. and Wiegand, S., 2018. Risk factors and implications of childhood obesity. Current obesity reports, 7(4), pp.254-259.

The poster has presented the following themes:

Obesity is the health condition in which excess body fat is accumulated inside the body tissues and cells thereby increasing body mass. Childhood obesity becomes a major health concern that poses adverse impact on contemporary global health. Childhood obesity increases the mortality and morbidity globally which poses questions on usefulness of the health and social care system in a country.

There are several risk factors that trigger obesity in children. These risk factors are unhealthy eating, poor parental guidance regarding eating and food habit, unhealthy lifestyle, lack of physical activities, lack of playing and meeting with friends, poor and inappropriate dietary intake and excessive use of mobiles and PC which reduce outdoor games for children. Unhealthy lifestyle and poor eating and lack of physical exercise are the major factors which enhance the body fat in children thereby enhancing their risk to develop obesity and overweight.

Childhood obesity impacts global health in different ways such as economically, physically and psychologically. Childhood obesity enhances the healthcare cost globally which poses restriction on government to invest money in other field. NHS has to spend a sheer amount of fund each year for effective prevention and management of childhood obesity. Childhood obesity poses adverse impacts on financial condition of country, as government needs to spend sheer amount in hospital admission, medication, therapies, campaigns and official conference to prevent obesity in the children. The huge expenditure in health sector to manage childhood obesity impacts adversely on different sectors such as manufacturing, retail and electronic sections. Childhood obesity also enhances the global burden of mental illness. Children who suffer from obesity and overweight are more likely to have risk of depression, anxiety, low self-confidence and lack of self-esteem.

UK government has taken effective initiatives in preventing and managing the risk of childhood obesity. The health awareness campaigns are conducted in terms of enhancing awareness of pubic regarding the cause, risk factors and prevention as well as management of childhood obesity children. Through distributing the poster on childhood obesity, parents are informed regarding ways and strategies that are needed to follow to reduce the risk of obesity. Through educating children and parents regarding the importance of healthy diet, systematic lifestyle and regular physical activities it is possible to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity on the UK.

Impact of childhood obesity on global health and social care:
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