Obesity & Ottawa Charter

8 Pages   |   1,531 Words

Obesity & Ottawa Charter

Developing Personal Skills 

Table of Contents

Introduction. 2
Applying the action plan to address nutrition related issues. 3
Combating childhood obesity through development of personal skills. 3
a.      Providing information. 3
b.      Providing education for health. 5
c.      Enhancing life skills. 5
Conclusion. 6
Bibliography. 7
 

Introduction

Issues concerning health have continued to receive growing attention across the world as leaders get more concerned about the health status of individuals. This is one of the concerns that led to the Ottawa Charter, with a meeting which was held on November 21st, 1986. This conference was held as a response to expectations which were growing around the world to facilitate a fresh public health movement. Its discussions majorly focused on the needs of industrialized countries but also taking into account concerns of the same kind from all other regions (Raphael 2004)[1]. Its major focus was on health promotion by enabling people to have increased control over their health thereby improving it. This resulted into the coming up of fundamental resources and conditions for health which include peace, shelter, education, food, income, stable eco-system, social justice, equity and sustainable resources. Furthermore, five action plans were also put forward to facilitate the process of health promotion. They include building a healthy public policy, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, developing personal skills and reorienting health services (Acheson 1998)[2].
 
[1] Raphaël, D. 2004, Social determinants of health: Canadian Perspectives. Toronto: UTP.
[2] Acheson, D. 1998, Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health Report: The Stationery Office. London.
 

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Applying the action plan to address nutrition related issues

All the mentioned action plans can be successfully implemented to ensure that there is promotion of health by addressing nutrition related issues. One of such health issues is obesity especially among children.

Combating childhood obesity through development of personal skills

Cases of childhood obesity have been on the increase which has attracted concern from world leaders in order to combat the issue. This is because childhood obesity normally leads to other complicated health issues such as diabetes and heart attacks during adulthood (Ridde 2007)[1]. The essence here is that if childhood obesity can be addressed in time, then cases of diabetes and coronary diseases will significantly reduce in the long run. Through development of personal skills, childhood obesity can be addressed through the following ways;

a.Providing information

Many parents and other family members may be unaware of what obesity is. Initially, having a child who is overweight was considered to be a sign of prosperity and good health by many, little did they know that it is a nutritional problem that calls for urgent attention. Therefore, many parents used to overfeed their children and creating environments which predispose the child to obesity related factors. Lack of information therefore was a major factor which contributed to obesity among children as parents did not know that excess body weight during childhood was an early sign of obesity (Kelleher 2007)[2].
Information concerning childhood obesity should be made public and accessible to all. For instance, when expectant mothers visit clinics, such information should be passed to them since other obesity causing factors depend on the nature of the pregnancy. Such people should be advised on what kind of foods to eat and other relevant information which will help to avert cases of children being born overweight hence predisposing obesity. Furthermore, when mothers have already delivered and start to attend clinics, the weight of the child should be checked relative to their height so as to ascertain early enough if the child has obesity and what can be done to avert it (Epp 1986)[3].
Therefore, there should be increased awareness especially to parents by informing them that cases of childhood obesity are increasing and that they should be mindful of their children’s health. Armed with such information, parents and other concerned members of the family will help to ensure that their children do not develop obesity during their infancy. If such information is not provided, parents will have the wrong perception of associating increased child weight with prosperity and good health. This was the case in earlier times where good health was associated with increased child weight (Kickbusch 1986)[4].

b.Providing education for health

Information can be made available to parents and other concerned stakeholders but if there is no sufficient education about it, most of the efforts will turn out to be fruitless. Parents should be educated on the need to check childhood obesity for the good of their own children.
Such educational forums can be through providing reading literature relating to obesity via magazines, newspapers and the mass media in general. Basing on the powerful effects of the mass media, relevant stakeholders can sponsor programs to be aired on television which educates parents about the causes of obesity, early signs of obesity and what can be done in order to avoid it. Such programs would enlighten the public, coupled with the fact that most homes have access to television (Braveman 2006)[5].
Conferences and seminars can also be organized especially for parents with obese children. This will attract interest from such parents who after knowing dangers associated with obesity; they will do all it takes to know what can be done to remedy the situation. In such seminars, parents can be advised on the best feeding habits for their children, engaging their children in little exercises, reducing the amount of hours children are exposed to television and among other factors (Mackenbach 2005)[6].

c.Enhancing life skills

Enhancing life skills will increase the options available to individuals so that they can be able to exercise increased control over their health. People should be enabled to learn through their entire life and to be prepared to go through the different stages so as to cope and finally deal with obesity. This can be done at school where children who are obese can be told on what they should do so as to shed excess weight. Physical education can be part of the school curriculum which will help much to deal with cases of obesity. Even the kind of foods offered in school should be low in cholesterol and fat content. At home, such children should be encouraged to exercise more and reduce the amount of time they spend viewing television (Baquet 2002)[7].
Furthermore, voluntary bodies should also come in handy to ensure that such children are exposed to an environment that will facilitate the shedding of excess body weight and fat which can predispose them to complicated medical problems during their adulthood. Such voluntary bodies can organize training and other educational forums meant to prepare such individuals on what to do so as to deal with obesity (Marmot 2005)[8].

Conclusion

The Ottawa Charter aimed at promoting health where participants committed themselves to doing the same. The five action plans when put together were expected to  yield better results where people would have improved healthcare aimed at reducing prevalence of some diseases and in turn mortality rates. Childhood obesity is an issue that has continued to raise concern because of the effects that it can bring to the children affected during their adulthood.  Addressing such an issue can be done using one of the action plans, developing personal skills. This can be through providing relevant information and coming up with education programs aimed at promoting health.

Bibliography

Acheson, D. 1998, Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health Report: The Stationery Office.
London.
 
Baquet, C. 2002, “What is a “health disparity”? Public Health Rep, 117(5), 426-434.
 
Braveman, P. 2006, “Health disparities and health equity: concepts and measurement,” Annu Rev
Public Health, 27, 167-194.
Epp, J. 1986, Achieving Health for All: a Framework for Health Promotion. Ottawa: Minister of Supply and Services Canada.
 
Kelleher, K. 2007, “Personal communication,” Health Equity Network Email list, 09/03/07.
 
Kickbusch, I. 1986, “Health promotion: a global perspective,” Canadian Journal Public Health,
77(5), 321-326.
Mackenbach, P. 2005, Health Inequalities: Europe in Profile. London: An independent expert
report commissioned by and published under the auspices of the UK Presidency of the EU.
 
Marmot, M. 2005, “Social determinants of health inequalities,” Lancet 365 (9464), 1099-1104.
 
Raphaël, D. 2004, Social determinants of health: Canadian Perspectives. Toronto: UTP.
 
Ridde, V. 2007, “Reducing Social Inequalities in Health: Public Health, Community Health or
Health Promotion?”  Promotion & Education, XIV(1), In press
 
[1] Ridde, V. 2007, “Reducing Social Inequalities in Health: Public Health, Community Health or
Health Promotion?”  Promotion & Education, XIV(1), In press
[2] Kelleher, K. 2007, “Personal communication,” Health Equity Network Email list, 09/03/07.
 
[3] Epp, J. 1986, Achieving Health for All: a Framework for Health Promotion. Ottawa: Minister of Supply and Services Canada.
[4] Kickbusch, I. 1986, “Health promotion: a global perspective,” Canadian Journal Public Health,
77(5), 321-326.
 
[5] Braveman, P. 2006, “Health disparities and health equity: concepts and measurement,” Annu RevPublic Health, 27, 167-194.
[6] Mackenbach, P. 2005, Health Inequalities: Europe in Profile. London: An independent expert
report commissioned by and published under the auspices of the UK Presidency of the EU.
[7] Baquet, C. 2002, “What is a “health disparity”? Public Health Rep, 117(5), 426-434.
 
[8] Marmot, M. 2005, “Social determinants of health inequalities,” Lancet 365(9464), 1099-1104.

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