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Childhood obesity

Activity 1: Childhood obesity

Childhood obesity affects the physical and psychological health of obese or overweight children. Such children face many complications like affected peer relationships, reduces self-confidence, sleep disorders that ultimately resulting in their improper school activities. They grow up into obsess adults with associated health issues like diabetes or cardiovascular problems (Chan, 2014). According to the World health organization (2020), in 2019, more th38.9 million children aged 5 years were overweight or obese. Under the age of 5, 38 million children were overweight or obese in 2019. In 2016, more than 340 million children under the age group of 5-16 years were overweight or obese. It was found that worldwide the cases if childhood obesity is creasing very quickly especially in low and medium-income countries. According to the (AIHW) Australian Institute of health and welfare (2020), in Australia from 2017 to 2018, 24% of children under the age group of  5–14 years were obese (7.7%) and overweight (17%). Children living in a remote area or regional area were more likely to be obese or overweight (29%) than children living in major cities (23%). The fundamental cause of overweight and obesity is an energy imbalance between calories expended and calories consumed. The energy-dense foods that are high in sugars and fats are increasingly eaten by the children causing them to be overweight and obese. An important factor is a sedentary lifestyle resulting in physical inactivity and an overweight child. This issue can be resolved by restricting unhealthy food items from being marketed, reducing the salt, sugar, and fat content of processed food, increasing the availability of healthy food in the market, or supporting physical activities at schools/workplaces.




Activity 2: Nutrition in Adulthood

Answer a. Rose has a blood pressure of 140/90mmHg, a height of 173cm, weight: 76kg, and waist circumference: 89cm. These measurements show that she had high BP, the normal values are 120/80mmHg, she is also an overweight woman with a body mass index (BMI) of 25.4kg/m².

Answer b.

Answer c. The strategies on the dietary management of hypertension include increasing potassium intake, reducing sodium intake, limited alcohol or no alcohol consumption, eating more fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, and adopting a Mediterranean diet or dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) diet (Bazzano et al., 2014). 

Answer d. The tea and salt of Rose’s diet increase her blood pressure resulting in hypertension. However, she takes beef, potatoes, and tomatoes in her diet, these help in reducing hypertension. She also takes a date in her diet that is rich in magnesium and reduces BP thus lowering hypertension.


Activity 3: Nutrition and aging

Answer a. Protein intake is very important in the elderly because it helps in preserving the muscle mass and keeps them healthy as protein is part of the immune system.

Answer b. According to an Australian family physician (2015), the protein intake for the elderly - consume 1.0–1.2 g/kg body weight (BW) protein daily to maintain muscle mass and body functioning.

Answer c. Reference daily intake in adults is less than that of the elderly because the elderly need more protein and nutrients to prevent their hospitalization, normal body functioning, and muscle mass.

Answer d. Breakfast – eggs, yogurt, potatoes, oatmeal, or whole-grain toast. Lunch – chicken and rice soup, steamed rice, or Caesar salad. Dinner – boiled eggs, vegetable salad, grapefruit, or black coffee.

Answer e. A highly active elderly person should take at least 1.2 – 1.5 g of protein/kg of their body weight. Such individuals have comparatively high protein needs and should ensure the same. They should take soya, pea, or rice diets rich in protein and protein smoothies as well.

Answer f. According to Baum et al. (2016), Australian family physician (2015), Wolfe (2012), and many other articles stated that protein needs are high in the elderly with above-stated information as well.


Activity 4: Nutrition in non-communicable disease

Answer a. Jim is a 54-year-old male, weighs 113 kg, and is 181cm tall. This shows that his body mass index is 34.5kg/m² and he is obese. He has slightly elevated blood pressure (135/90) and smokes 10 cigarettes per day, living a very unhealthy lifestyle. He is living a sedentary occupation that prevented him from exercising. In diet, he does not eat breakfast, at lunch he takes chips and in dinner, he takes a lot of beers. He lets a completely unhealthy life with an upset diet and lifestyle. He is an alcoholic addict with physical inactivity and stressed life. The good part of his diet includes eggs, vegetables, milk, and rice but these are not enough to provide him the required amount of nutrients. His unhealthy lifestyle will soon make him sick and prone to diseases but the intake of a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle can prevent the consequences.

Answer b. As Jim is leading a completely unhealthy lifestyle this makes him prone to many non-communicable diseases like hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. He is having high blood pressure and feels stressed this will result in his hypertension in the future (Li et al., 2018). His BMI calculations are similar to that of an obese person, if this continues then soon he will be overweight which is associated with cardiovascular health problems. He takes sugar and chocolate brownies in the diet but does not perform exercises or physical activity putting him at risk of developing diabetes (Murphy, 2019). Moreover, a stressed person performs smoking b and intake of alcohol like Jim does, resulting in him prone to liver damage and respiratory disorders. Alcohol can also lead to mood swings, impulsive behavioral disorders, slowed reflexes, heart diseases, strokes, and digestive problems. It can also cause cancer of mouth, liver, esophagus, colon, and throat (Crews et al., 2016).


Activity 5: Nutrition in special needs groups

According to AIHW (2020), the vast health and life-expectation have inequality between non-indigenous Australians and indigenous Australians. This inequality includes poorer health, higher rates of infant mortality, lower levels of employment and education, and shorter life expectancy. The indigenous population suffers from malnutrition, cancer, kidney problems, and many others. The factors contributing to the health gap between non-indigenous Australians and indigenous Australians: high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, alcohol, and low fruit and vegetable intake (AIHW, 2020).

Indigenous Australian population

Non-indigenous Australian population

According to AIHW (2020), the life expectancy of indigenous male populations from 2010-2012 is 69.1

The life expectancy of indigenous male populations from 2015-2017 is 71.6

The life expectancy of indigenous female populations from 2010-2012 is 73.7

The life expectancy of indigenous female populations from 2015-2017 is 75.6


According to AIHW (2020), the life expectancy of non-indigenous male populations from 2010-2012 is 79.7

The life expectancy of indigenous male populations from 2015-2017 is 80.2

The life expectancy of indigenous female populations from 2010-2012 is  83.1

The life expectancy of indigenous female populations from 2015-2017 is 83.4






Australian Family Physician. (2015). The 2013 Australian dietary guidelines and recommendations for older Australians. Retrieved from https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2015/may/the-2013-australian-dietary-guidelines-and-recommendations-for-older-australians/

Australian Institute of health and welfare. (2020). Australia's children. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/australias-children/contents/health/overweight-and-obesity

Baum, J. I., Kim, I. Y., & Wolfe, R. R. (2016). Protein consumption and the elderly: What is the optimal level of intake?. Nutrients8(6), 359. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8060359

Bazzano, L. A., Green, T., Harrison, T. N., & Reynolds, K. (2014). Dietary approaches to prevent hypertension. Current Hypertension Reports15(6), 694–702. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11906-013-0390-z

Chan, M. (2014). WHO on child obesity and nutrition. Retrieved from https://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/research-videos/2014-05-30-who-on-child-obesity-and-nutrition.html

Crews, F. T., Vetreno, R. P., Broadwater, M. A., & Robinson, D. L. (2016). Adolescent alcohol exposure persistently impacts adult neurobiology and behavior. Pharmacological Reviews68(4), 1074-1109. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1124/pr.115.012138

Li, Y. D., Lin, T. K., Tu, Y. R., Chen, C. W., Lin, C. L., Lin, M. N., Koo, M., & Weng, C. Y. (2018). Blood pressure reactivity and recovery to anger recall in hypertensive patients with type d personality. Acta Cardiologica Sinica34(5), 417–423. https://doi.org/10.6515/ACS.201809_34(5).20180330A

Murphy, T. (2019). Diet composition and perceptions around food in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus following a long-term low carbohydrate high fat diet. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/31053

WHO. (2020). Obesity and overweight. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight

Wolfe, R. R. (2012). The role of dietary protein in optimizing muscle mass, function and health outcomes in older individuals. British Journal of Nutrition. DOI:10.1017/S0007114512002590

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