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HMG7220 Culture and Society in Public Health : Significance of the Hea

  • Create a new or choose an existing health policy which addresses an important health issue, excluding policies on seat belts, smoking or helmets
  • Provide a brief description of your health policy e.g. policy title and purpose 
  • Explain why this policy is important for health using evidence from the literature 
  • Explain how this policy could be implemented. Include in your discussion the mechanisms required to ensure compliance with your policy e.g. how it might be enforced, encouraged through education etc. 
  • The word limits for each sections are guides only based on marking weightings, 



In the assignment, I aim to reflect on a particular health policy of Australia that addresses a specific health issue. In the segment, I intend to explore a cardinal health problem countenanced by a majority of the Australian population. Apart from smoking or consumption of alcohol, obesity is a crucial health issue faced by the mass at large. Australia records the fifth most obese population between 15 and 50 years old in the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). In Australia, the proportion of obese population began to accelerate from 19.8% in 2000 to 28.3% in 2011 (OECD Health Policy Overview, 2017) Consequently, obesity should be brought into the ambit of the public health policy. At the same time, obesity is tantamount to precarious health problems like type diabetes. It is a presage of persistent and incurable disease.  

Policy Title: Prevention of Obesity

Obesity is a crucial health problem that spawns other crises like type two diabetes, high cholesterol, body aching, cardiac diseases and low menstruation (for women

). The physicians and nutritionists believe that obesity is wrought by anxiety, hyper-tension, insomnia, consumption of alcohol and work stress. Due to over-eating, dissipation of trans-fat, sugary food and irregular diet, people become obese. In the segment, the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) adumbrates the public health policy of Australia (OECD Health Policy Overview, 2017).

The public health policy of Australia covers a wide gamut of preventive measures for certain health issues. As far as obesity is concerned, the health policy includes significant measures (Bleich et al. 2013). The health policy executes health propagation messages for the intake of healthy diet. It promotes physical exercise and activities through mass media and institutions. It aims to provide monetary incentives, like raising the cost of food, bolstered by increasing fat or sugar content. The health policy endeavors to restrict the exposure of children to junk foods and packaged beverages. The health policy attempts to give a composite food information related to the brands and packaging. In this way, it helps the consumers gain substantial information regarding food substances (Brand-Miller et al. 2017).The health policy encourages the primary care physicians to monitor the cases of obese patients. At the same time, they help the patients comprehend the essential facts about basic illness related to obesity. The primary physicians describe the health benefits in outline. They prescribe a healthy and balanced diet to the obese patients that help them control the disease. The primary care physicians of Australia are proficient. They are accustomed to treating the obese patients that permeate the landscape of Australia.

Significance of the health policy

The obesity pandemic throws a gauntlet to the majority of the Australian population. It is believed that height and weight have been accelerating since the mid 18th century. Due to economic growth in many OECD countries, the rate of Body Mass Index (BMI) is increasing. In Australia, the proportion of obese patients began to increase at a rapid pace. In the 21st century, an attempt is made to establish a clear link between unsaturated (trans) fat, mainly hydrogen oils and pernicious cardiac issues. It is believed that obesity is caused by excessive intake of trans fat or insoluble fiber foodV(OECD Health Policy Overview, 2017). At the same time, it is a challenge to carve out a healthy physical regimen for the obese patients. It is significant to maintain a balanced dietary schedule for the obese patients in Australia. The people belonging to sedentary lifestyle are prone to health risks like a cardiac failure, type two diabetes, thyroid and irregular blood circulation.

The OECD countries attempt to improve the quality of diet. The public health policy (mentioned above) is significant. It helps to maintain a healthy and perfectly stable condition for the obese patients. The balanced food and intake of low carbo diet are essential for curtailing excess fat and cholesterol. With the help of proper diet and physical activity, the problem of obesity can be regulated. The OECD countries make an initiative in improving the diet of the obese patients (Swinburn and Wood 2013).

The Australian medical care aims to treat the health problem with caution and adequate measures. With the consultation of the top physicians, the health policy is crafted and executed. The public health policy helps to combat the dangerous effects of the obesity in Australia. Therefore, the public health policy is important and effective (Swinburn and Wood 2013).

The developed countries like U.S.A, United Kingdom, and Australia witness an accelerating rate of obesity among the young population. The young school-going people have developed an unhealthy habit of eating junk pastries and beverages. This unhealthy food habit takes a serious toll on the children. Many children die at a young age because of the problem of obesity (Pettman et al. 2016). The Australian government makes an initiative to spread messages of a healthy diet and proper work routine among the young population. The Sydney and Melbourne health care institutes provide a comprehensive outline of this matter to the Australian citizens (Robert et al. 2015).

Implementation of the health policy

The OECD, in collaboration with WHO, evaluated the health impacts related to varied strategies. The organization aims to prevent persistent diseases like obesity. It is believed that the chronic disease obesity is connected with improper diet, sedentary lifestyle and alcoholism. Unhealthy life schedule and work stress can lead to obesity and chronic illness (Partridge et al.2015).

Preventive measures can foster productivity and prosperity. In the past five years, the Australian medical care deliberates on the making of an effective diet plan that improves the quality of life. The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) tries to make healthy diet and proper physical activity. The Australian government creates a blueprint of a healthy diet that addresses the school and college going people. The high school going children are susceptible to obesity and other health problems. Therefore, the government, in collaboration with the Australian medical care, chalks out a health-giving dietary plan. The medical care and the Australian dieticians recommend the consumption of protein-rich diet and dietary supplements that ensure firm physical statute. It is indispensable to add high protein shakes and soluble fiber food in the diet (Laws et al. 2015). At the same time, the medical experts suggest the usage of tonned and skimmed milk for proper nourishment. In addition, physical activity and free-hand exercises can lead to the better lifestyle.

The preventive measures, adopted by the Australian government, are instrumental in revitalizing the health condition of obese people. These people need adequate nourishment that derives from protein and carbohydrate rich diet. The food substances like protein supplements in the form of shakes and malt-based drink are highly effective. The protein foods like egg white, cottage cheese, oats, chicken breast, almonds, toned milk, and broccoli should are incorporated in the diet. The primary care physicians make an attempt to regulate diabetes and cholesterol level, wrought by obesity. They prescribe a proper diet plan for the middle-aged people and school going children (Ernst 2015). It is believed that these categories of people are susceptible to obesity. Therefore, the preventive measures should be implemented that regulate the disease.  

The medical care of Australia is effective and helps to mold a perfect living for the citizens of Australia. The obese patients are the main targets of the Australian health society. Due to inordinate eating and consumption of junk food, the problem of obesity raises an ugly head. The problem is entrenched in the Australian society and culture. Obese people have developed a psychological syndrome. Due to excessive weight, they began to face serious issues like hair loss, acne, lethargy, and insomnia. IT people are more susceptible to this chronic disease like obesity (Bray and Bouchard 2014).The IT people remain in acute stress and hyper-tension. By nature, they are nocturnal and anxiety prone. They do not maintain balanced diet and work schedule. Therefore, they can easily become obese. Due to the consumption of sugary and fat food, they begin to develop the vestiges of obesity and other chronic diseases.


Bleich, S.N., Segal, J., Wu, Y., Wilson, R. and Wang, Y., 2013. Systematic review of community-based childhood obesity prevention studies. Pediatrics, 132(1), pp.e201-e210.

Brand-Miller, J.C. and Barclay, A.W., 2017. Declining consumption of added sugars and sugar-sweetened beverages in Australia: a challenge for obesity prevention. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, p.ajcn145318.

Bray, G.A. and Bouchard, C. eds., 2014. Handbook of obesity: clinical applications. CRC Press.

Ernst, M.A.B., 2015. Prevention of obesity in childhood.

Laws, R., Campbell, K.J., Pligt, P., Ball, K., Lynch, J., Russell, G., Taylor, R. and Denney-Wilson, E., 2015. Obesity prevention in early life: an opportunity to better support the role of Maternal and Child Health Nurses in Australia. BMC nursing, 14(1), p.26.

OECD Health Policy Overview. (2017). Health policy in Australia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017].

Partridge, S.R., Juan, S.H., McGeechan, K., Bauman, A. and Allman?Farinelli, M., 2015. Poor quality of external validity reporting limits generalizability of overweight and/or obesity lifestyle prevention interventions in young adults: a systematic review. Obesity Reviews, 16(1), pp.13-31.

Pettman, T., Bolton, K., Love, P., Waters, E., Gill, T., Whelan, J., Boylan, S., Armstrong, R., Coveney, J., Booth, S. and Swinburn, B., 2016. A snapshot of the scope of obesity prevention practice in Australia. Health promotion international, 31(3), pp.582-594.

Roberto, C.A., Swinburn, B., Hawkes, C., Huang, T.T., Costa, S.A., Ashe, M., Zwicker, L., Cawley, J.H. and Brownell, K.D., 2015. Patchy progress on obesity prevention: emerging examples, entrenched barriers, and new thinking. The Lancet, 385(9985), pp.2400-2409.

Swinburn, B. and Wood, A., 2013. Progress on obesity prevention over 20 years in Australia and New Zealand. Obesity Reviews, 14(S2), pp.60-68.

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