Write about obesity and how it affects public health in England.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

First of all, you might want to start your essay by defining obesity. After all, in order to be able to discuss the effect of obesity on public health in England, it is important to know at what point a person is medically considered to be obese. The National Health...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

First of all, you might want to start your essay by defining obesity. After all, in order to be able to discuss the effect of obesity on public health in England, it is important to know at what point a person is medically considered to be obese. The National Health Service in the UK uses a person’s BMI score in order to establish whether a person is obese or not. According to this, a person is classed as obese if they score between thirty or more points, with more than thirty-nine points being classed as severely obese.

Following this, you might want to state some statistical data in order to show what the current situation with regard to obesity in England is. In 2017, for example, sixty-three percent of people in England were classed as overweight or obese. You could also look into the differences between male and female with regard to this percentage. Furthermore, it might be interesting to compare the obesity rates of adults with the obesity rates of children. Following this, it might be worthwhile to look at current trends. According to Public Health England data, for example, the “rate of increase has slowed down since 2001.”

In the final part of your essay, you could then look at the wider health implications caused by obesity. For example, you could explain how obesity is linked to other health issues, such as diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. You could then point out how this affects health care in England in general: obesity, and the illnesses caused by obesity, clearly result in a greater burden on the health service in England. This impacts severely on the financial resources available to the NHS (National Health Service).

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

First, you should gather some facts and data about obesity, which is becoming a growing health problem in many developed countries. For instance, according to Sky News, “two thirds of adults in the UK are either overweight or obese— with one third of these obese.” Sky notes that adult obesity rates are twenty-nine percent in England and Scotland, compared to twenty-seven percent in Northern Ireland.

There are correlations between obesity, household income, and aging. Sky notes that

the gap between richest and poorest is thirteen percentage points: thirty-four percent of adults in households with the lowest incomes are obese, compared with twenty-one percent of the highest incomes.

You might want to include in your essay that Britain is not alone regarding obesity. For UK statistics, the NHS (National Health Service) is a good source. To put the UK in the context of global trends, the World Health Organization (WHO) is a good source. According to WHO:

  • Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
  • Forty million children under the age of five were overweight or obese in 2018.
  • Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5–19 were overweight or obese in 2016.

Obesity is also linked to medical problems and diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type two diabetes, and some cancers. Sky notes that in Britain

there were four times as many admissions with a primary or secondary diagnosis of obesity in 2016/17 compared with 2009/10. Obesity's link with diabetes is significant: the NHS spends £8.8bn a year on treating type two diabetes—nearly nine percent of its budget.

In your essay, you might want to discuss the causes of this phenomenon, which include changing diets and declining levels of physical activity. You might want to suggest ways nurses can help educate people about increasing daily activity and lowering the amount of packaged food consumed.

Once you have gathered the statistics, determine your topic, and as with any assignment, craft an introduction of how you intend to structure your essay; write the body of the essay addressing the definition of public health and how it relates to obesity. Address health inequalities such as the correlation between obesity and income (noted above) and public health policy (the NHS should be a good resource). Your conclusion should summarize your main findings.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on