Overweight and obesity

Greater Geelong Community Health Needs assessment: Overweight and obesity
Obesity is a major health challenge that is facing Australians. Overweight and obesity is defined
as the accumulation of adipose tissue (Dickie et al., 2014). Overweight and obesity is identified
as a secondary disease for almost all non communicable diseases including cardiovascular
disease, Diabetes Type 2, musco-skeletal disorders, psychosocial disorders and cancer.
Overweight and obesity is ranked among the leading cause of disability and mortality (Jimenez-
Pavon, 2013). This paper reviews the prevalence of overweight and obesity across Greater
Geelong population. The aim of the paper is to assess the health needs, which is vital for
targeting strategic interventions and for evaluation process.
Community health assessments
The overall objective of the Geelong governance is to ensure that the healthcare programs as
well as the strategies integrated meet the community local demands. The community assessment
conducted by Needs Assessment Project Group (NAPG) is established to undertake
comprehensive assessments of the community needs (Health Together Geelong, 2014). The
NAPG provided a comprehensive overview of the health status of the Greater Geelong
population in terms of dietary patters, physical activeness, substance use and the community age
trends (Health Together Geelong, 2014). The community assessment was conducted on 436
residents in the Geelong community, who were randomly selected. The health surveys were
conducted based on community assisted telephone interviews (CATI). Supportive information
was obtained from the Victorian Health Information Surveillance systems (VHISS), a website
that displays the health indicators (Health Together Geelong, 2014).
From the analysis, it is evident that the obesity and overweight rates in the Geelong community
is increasing at alarming rates. The assessment indicated that 56% adults of the Greater Geelong

Greater Geelong Community Health Needs assessment: Overweight and obesity
community are either overweight or obese. This indicates that about 90,000 adults in this
community are either overweight or obese (Health Together Geelong, 2014). The overweight
and obesity is higher in adult females than males Greater Geelong. The demographic pattern
indicates that unhealthy weight is most common in the suburbs as compared with that from
central Geelong. This is attributed to factors such as poor infrastructures that can facilitate
transportation of fresh foods outlets to these regions (Health Together Geelong, 2014).
Additionally, the issue of overweight and obesity are lower in areas where the socio economic
status is low, especially in areas such as Norlane, Whittington and Corio. However, the obesity
and overweight incidence rates are higher in suburbs with higher SES. However, when evaluated
separately, it was found that the levels of obesity are high in both high and low SES. Notably,
evaluating the impacts of overweight and obesity can mask the differences that prevail between
SES (Health Together Geelong, 2014). Thus, obesity is linked with low SES whereas overweight
is associated with high SES. Moreover, it was found that the Greater Geelong community dietary
programs are unhealthy. From the assessment, only 7.1% of the adults feed on the recommended
levels of vegetables and fruits. The data suggested that less than 6,000 people met the
requirement of the appropriate dietary requirements (Hamer et al., 2014). Additionally, higher
proportion of the population of the Greater Geelong community engaged in other risky behaviors
such as tobacco use and consumption of alcohol. These risky behaviors reduced the ability of the
individuals to remain physically active, or even to observe their recommended nutrition
requirements (Adair et al., 2013).
Impact of health conditions on communities
The impact of these health conditions mentioned above included high rates of obesity and
overweight across the Greater Geelong community. The assessment indicated that approximately

Greater Geelong Community Health Needs assessment: Overweight and obesity
56% of people aged 18 years and above is overweight or obese. The analysis also indicated that
overweight and obesity rates for males in the Greater Geelong were higher than other states, and
that the rates had increased by 4 % within a period of 4 years. The trends were similar in
females, but the rates had decreased by 5% among the females. Poor feeding habits, particularly
poor intake of food and fruits is ranked among the top ten risk factors that would lead to global
mortality rates (Health Together Geelong, 2014).
Other impacts identified from the analysis include psychological distress where 59.2% of the
populations are diagnosed with psychological distress associated with obesity and overweight.
This contributes to high alcohol consumptions among the obese and overweight individuals,
where the average percentage of adults consuming alcohol is reported at 52.4%. Other possible
complications include increased burden of cardiovascular, diabetes type 2, cancer, orthopedic,
renal failure, and disability rates (Grundmann et al., 2013). The economic impact of obesity and
overweight in Greater Geelong counties cannot be overlooked, with over $1.3 million being
consumed efforts, and programs aimed at intervening on the risk factors that contribute to
increased obesity and overweight prevalence’s.
Social determinants of health complications in the society
The health and well being of Geelong community is influenced by the population interactions
with their social, economic and physical environments, which vary across the geographic
locations and ages (Tamura et al., 2014). These determinants are varying according to the
development stages i.e. infancy, childhood, adolescence and childhood. Social determinant have
a great impact on the population health (Xiao- Hui, Et al., 2014). It is vital to understand these
factors so that they can be applied during decision making on the interventions that can be used
to advocate for certain issues and policies (Reiner et al., 2014).

Greater Geelong Community Health Needs assessment: Overweight and obesity
One of the social determinants that influence obesity and overweight in Greater Geelong is
poverty. This influences the ability for the population to access basic resources such as shelter,
food and other social amenities (Wasenius, et al., 2014). People living in the suburbs have the
highest level of obesity because of the high rates of unemployment, limited infrastructure and
poor environment. The issue of poverty also influences behavioral problems, where low SES is
found to engage in substance use such as alcohol and tobacco use (Zbigniew Et al., 2013). Low
SES is also associated with increased psychosocial disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Economic equality i.e. the gap between the rich and the poor in the region is high. Social status
is associated with the determinants of people’s health where those with less social standing are
twice more likely to be obese and overweight than those with higher social standing. This
observation is across the society strata i.e. rich or poor (Ryan et al., 2014).
The psychosocial circumstances are associated with obesity and overweight. Society with
prolonged anxiety, self esteem, social isolation, insecurity and reduced control of individual’s
lives has tremendous effects on a person’s life (Brazeau, A.S., Et al., 2012). Individuals that are
stressed are more prone to health complications such as diabetes type 2, heart attack, stroke,
aggression and depression (Hu et al., 2010). The foundations of health care and education at
early life is also a social indicator of health. Poor development of a child from fetus stage is
associated with high risks of obesity, and is more common in low income households that high
income households (Kaizu et al., 2014). Research indicates that infant development stage, and
early childhood stages are critical stages that are very vulnerable during their physical, mental
and emotional changes (Miriam et al., 2012). For instance, obese child could with insecure
emotions and reduced stimulation level is associated with poor academic achievements (Heather
et al., 2012).

Greater Geelong Community Health Needs assessment: Overweight and obesity
Health programs and recommendations for obesity
Healthy Together Geelong (HTG) is the health program utilized by the Greater Geelong
community to address the aforementioned key healthcare challenges. This program is jointly
funded by the state government and the Australian government in a National partnership
agreement preventive Health (NPAPH). This is a partnership between the city of Greater
Geelong, Bellarine community and Barwon Health. HTG is working in these partnerships to
ensure that their objective of reducing the increase of chronic diseases is achieved; and that there
is a lasting improvement in the community health and their wellbeing.
HTG is funded by the state government, where $5.25 M has been saved is the period of 2011 to

  1. The programs have recruited 12 highly experienced individuals, which plan and
    implement strategies where Geelong community can learn (Marquis et al., 2014). The main
    challenge is that the funding seems to be rather inadequate to address these community
    challenges, and to fully support programs that support services that will support future local
    health preventive programs. Additionally, there is no outlined mechanism to achieve their
    outcome (Blomster et al., 2013). There is a need exact policies and strategies geared towards
    achieving their goal of reducing obesity by 5.5 %. These strategies include measures such as
    subsidizing organic food, improving infrastructure and social amenities to ensure healthy
    lifestyle (Brumby et al., 2013).
    The papers have described the needs required by the Greater Geelong community to address key
    lifestyle issues that are related to obesity and overweight. Therefore, it can be concluded that
    high quality of health care should address the aforementioned inadequacies. The interventions
    should establish effective intellectual and social stimulation to promote the cognitive

Greater Geelong Community Health Needs assessment: Overweight and obesity
development of the Greater Geelong community. This is because good health habits are
associated with appropriate dietary, sensible and regular exercises, which in turn are regulated by
positive aforementioned social determinants including improved economic equality, education
program, reduced poverty levels and improvement of the community social status.

Greater Geelong Community Health Needs assessment: Overweight and obesity
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Brazeau, A.S., Et al. (2012). Physical activity level and body composition among adults with
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Greater Geelong Community Health Needs assessment: Overweight and obesity

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Greater Geelong Community Health Needs assessment: Overweight and obesity
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