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Childhood Obesity And Health Inequalities Health And Social Care Essay

Childhood obesity is distributed disproportionately in different regions. Socio-economic status, racial groups, (lobstein et.al., 2006) being more common in lower expectary and morbidity are common in lower. Socio-economic group in developed countries like U.K (Wilkison.R & Marmot R) considering these several factors. Sociological models strives to explain health inequalities in society which contributes to childhood obesity.

The second back report (exworthy 2003) identified inequalities in health and the (Acheson 1988a) concluded that socio-economic inequalities and this explore a mode with individual life styles, socio-economic status (Dahlgreen social determinants & whitehead 1991) with several model which explains the health inequalities includes-

Individual behavior- lifestyle & culture. In this individual behavior the food habits of the children plays an important role in children from lower-income groups are more vulnerable to obesity due to high calorie, high-fats in cheaper foods and limited physical activity ( Kumanjika 2008). In westernization or modern social trends snacking, beverages, fast foods in restaurants and restricted physical activity by parents contributes for prevalence of childhood obesity in higher income groups. In support for this explanation about physical activity level or sedentary activity levels by children have declined in U.K activity & inactivity acts as domains to represent the prevalence of obesity (Gortmaker et., al)

This individual behavior is chosen to avoid unhealthy food habits, inactivity in children and to adopt healthy habits to overcome ill-health. This individual behavior model provides explanation on life style or culture of the parents\children and this avoids focus societal factors for childhood obesity. Mostly it is individualistic and change in behavior should not itself health inequalities for enough to explain childhood obesity. Other social factors are to be considered which contributes for another model-

The materialist\ Structuralist: This model focuses on social factors and poverty as the main factors for ill health relating to child hood obesity – In U.K children from low socio economic groups have slightly higher odds than children from higher income groups (Stamatkis et. Al., 2005).Statically evidence shows that children from lower income groups accounts for (31%) to the child hood obesity (Wardle et al.,2006). This explanation supports poverty, as the main cause for ill health in children of the lower social groups. The morbidity rates are stable from 19th century in low socio economic classes and even started unexpectedly increasing from last years of 20th century (Mackenbach.P.J 2006).

The government stated no existence of poverty in Britain as consumer durable ownership is even high in low income groups (Goodman et. al., 1997).This statement failed by Breadline Britain Surveys which evidenced 20% households are below poverty line (Gordon 1997). This explanation contributes information to government to focus on low social classes to improve the living standards to overcome ill health in children. This explanation is supported by: Marmot review report- The social gradient of health inequality evidences if lower socio economic status the poorer is the health with inter related factors like- unemployment, housing etc.,(Marmot Review Report 2010). This explanation specifies that lack of resources, low wages, poverty are responsible for ill health in children and these factors are out of control by the individual and to improve wages, resources to the working class emphasis on politics i.e., government is made which adopts a model Neo-Materialist model and this model emphasize on social, political, economic factors which affects the health and these are out of control of individual and includes outcomes from organizations like schools, fast food chains etc.,(White.K 2010). This laid to an approach by government in providing low fat snacks meals in schools. This materialistic model explanation is significant to explain about the capitalist country like U.K. The government is with increasing inequalities in health and income levels (Mackenbach P.J. 2006). This indicates that policy making by the government should look after the wages\taxes of the working class. This explanation is supported by the fact that U.K poverty is reversed to 1930s from 1980s (Gordon 1997). And widened income levels in U.K from 1980s (Wilkinson R.G).

This materialistic model has been expanded to life course approach model- as the childhood obesity is underlying risk factor for chronic diseases like cardiac diseases, diabetes mellitus , hyper tension etc., ( Gortmaker.S.L et al., 1993) supported by childhood obesity continuous to adult and is affected by socio economic circumstances (Viner M.R, Cole.T 2005).

The materialistic model explanation indicates that individual health or behavior is strongly influenced by factors beyond the individuals control and this adopts a socio economic model (Acheson 1998a) lack resources in the society like unemployment, higher prices, low wages, lack of houses etc., are the social determinants which contributes to ill health (Wang 2004). This provides explanation on relationship between individual and their surrounding studies suggests that social circumstances play an important role in individual behavior. Children from low socio economic status are more vulnerable to obesity due to faulty, cheaper food high calorie diet and limited physical activity. This lack of resources by parents of low income class obstructs children form healthy diet, physical activity and this support that the ill health, obesity is influenced by social circumstances rather than individual. The material resources is supported by: Marmot Review Report- The annual estimated cost of health inequalities is between £36 billion to £40 billion and is with social justice for overcoming health inequalities (Marmot Review Report 2010). This supports that justice in material resources to lower income class overcomes health inequalities in further generation of children.

The socio economic model explores in considering psychosocial factors for child hood obesity which is supported by children with obese mothers, lower cognitive stimulation, lower income levels are with increased risk for obesity. This psychological factors focus on low self-esteem, children with unhealthy behavior.

Social processes that are involved in childhood obesity are concluded by formulating hypothesis – Relative poverty effects on children child hood obesity, Living standards, family influence on childhood obesity, comparison of status by children in society.

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