Obesity in children
Received Date: Jan 01, 2021 / Accepted Date: Jan 15, 2021 / Published Date: Jan 22, 2021
Citation: Brohi S. Obesity in children. J Health Pol Manag. 2021;4(1):10-12.
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There is a consistent rise in the use of sugar among children throughout the last decade. It is affecting the health of the children and producing more severe health hazards, including particularly diabetes and obesity. According to Barnett and Kumar, around 40% people of the children are overweight and 10% having diabetes type 1 in the UK. Even though the governments and different organizations are still attempting and making efforts to establish and implement certain policies which can safeguard and protect the children, there are no fruitful and productive results have been achieved yet
Nursing; Patient; Safety; Leadership; Healthcare
It is recommended that improvements and modification are necessarily being performed so as to enhance the health and wellbeing of the children. This assignment primarily focuses on the issues regarding the health of the children especially related to the sugar and its hazardous side effects . The sugar policy in terms of the food processing industries and soft drinks industries are critically evaluated. Similarly, the impacts and results of those policies on the children health and wellbeing are also discussed. The lacking areas in terms of the implementation of the policies or relating to the improvement perspective are also highlighted. The recommendations for these policies are mentioned as well so as to bring more improved and effective results.
Health Related Issues for Children
There are numerous health hazards that can affect children wellbeing and cause various harms to children. This is the serious issue which is growing day by day. It has been observed that different diseases are affecting and the lifestyle of children .These diseases include bronchitis, chickenpox, scarlet fever, measles, whooping cough, meningitis, urinary tract infections, obesity, and diabetes. However, obesity and diabetes are the major diseases that are affecting the children health rapidly. Obesity in children has been known as one of the serious matter in the twenty-first century concerning children’s health as stated by World Health Organization (WHO) . Children who are obese require more medicinal care and might come across with various treatment limitations. Consequently, there are more chances of permanent disability, ill health, and premature death later in life, while other serious illness include mental disorder, hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, sleep apnea and breathing issues, high LDL and low HDL Cholesterol.
As far as diabetes type 1 is considered, it is a deficiency of glucose homeostasis well-known by self-immune destruction of the insulin generating stomach glands of beta cell that develops in reduction of insulin production in the body due to excessive glucose in the bloodstream. In general, the children body is not able to produce insulin and so it cannot reach to the body’s cell where the fuel of the blood is glucose. It is still not known and explained and nobody is certain regarding the damage of insulin producing cell, though sum suggests it is because of infrequent response to cells . This may be activated by an infection or other contaminations. There are numerous other symptoms and indicators that are frequently very visible and grow very rapidly, classically over a few months. These signs are rapidly shown once the diabetes is cured and treated. Diabetes can develop at any age but commonly occurs before the age of 35, especially during teenage. The range of the result reads from 10 to 20 per cent of children with type 1 diabetes. For controlling blood sugar levels in Type 1 diabetes it is necessary that insulin is injected in the blood stream by different method which includes though a pump, or syringe.
Policies to Cure Children Health
It is predictable that problem of health and its relevant circumstances are costing the NHS £ 6.1 billion per year at the moment. The total cost is merely around £ 27 billion per year.
An action plan was proposed in August 2016 by government of UK, for the guidance of food processing units. Its first and major step was to introduce healthy and low sweet foods and drink those children utilizes. There are some important achievements since it has been published specifically in the production of eatable items. Though the plan was again reviewed and later published in June 2018, with insisting suggestions by official departments supporting to invest about £ 5 million throughout the period of five years to decrease the level of sugar in diet and other beverages .
The plan further emphasizes to improve the health of the children especially of underprivileged areas by 2030. Since the diseases in children of lower income families is more likely to be twice as compared to higher income families. On the other hand, they are not even serious regarding the quality of foods and drinks they utilize. Healthy and less sugary foods are not accessible to them rather they are provided with the foods that are high in sugar because of living in remote and poor areas. By consuming all these contaminants, causes different types of diseases to occur. Similarly, they cannot afford proper treatments and medications for their respective diseases, resulting ultimately in death.
It is therefore necessary to provide investment to the facilities which will bring awareness to these poor people areas so that they can plan their lifestyle accordingly. They should be provided with healthy and fresh foods and drinks particularly that are less in sugar and glucose, appropriate medicines and treatment technologies. Even if the sugary drinks are available to them, they should be made quite expensive including taxes so that poor people are inevitably stopped from it. Considering all these issues and their respective solutions, it was decided in the plan to invest £ 26 million for the period of around three years for the immediate execution of such actions.
The proposal also suggests advertising and promoting the programs regarding the adverse effects of consuming sugar and its consequences in later adulthood. As a matter of fact, there are many physical and physiological permanent diseases and disorders as discussed above that can prove dangerous and hazardous to the children and their parents as well. Therefore, it is mandatory to introduce such programs so that people can avoid and stop the sugar intake in adolescence and can tackle the difficulties relating with childhood obesity and diabetes and its relevant treatments. As per plan, £ 372 million was decided to invest by the government for the advertisement of the programs .
Different departments were also appointed to invest to the activities which involve children and their interests. For instance, HM Treasury would invest to the soft drinks industry. Department of Education would invest school foods and sports. Department of Digital and Media would invest for the Nutrient profiling model. As per this plan, Government and concerning departments are to be expected to have the major influence on improving children health.
The plan also proposed that government and local bodies would have to merge so as to work on same platform. For this, five official authorities from a group of 12 would be selected to produce their proposals. They would bring their ideas for three years from spring 2019. For this purpose, they would be provided funding of around £ 100,000. The program plans to practice accordingly and produce simple solutions to the issue.
For describing the policy of subsidy, it was made clear to invest the insurance money to the planners of sporting measures. They will be circumscribed in bringing only fresh, healthy and less oily eatable items for the students and children. Moreover, schools play an essential role to encourage an effective and healthy environment for youngsters. Funding’s in breakfast clubs, physical exercises and school sporting events especially cycling, walking and swimming would be from the revenue generated by the taxes of soft drinks industries .
As per the revised plan, department of education would be given £ 575 million to spend on child health and wellbeing programs. As a result, the department of education made £ 100 million from the taxes of new funds given in 2018-19. This fund helps the schools to recover and increase the accessibility of services for physical activity, fresh eating, and mental peace. The fund should be invested to the extra-curricular activities .
Sugar Tax Policy for Children Health
There were various policies as discussed above to eliminate diseases from children. However, the taxes imposed on sugar industries and those food processing units which utilized the sugar as a whole, produced such sound and effective results that caused the prevailing diseases ratio among children to decline and fall rapidly. PHE recommended to reduce 20% sugar from the products relating to sugar and it predicted that this reduction action will surely bring 200,000 lesser loads of sugar consumed in 2020 .
According to the government of UK, the tax on soft drinks industry levy is about 24 p on those drinks which contain 8 gram of sugar per hundred ml. Similarly for 5-8 grams of sugar per hundred ml there would be 18p . These taxes would be directly payable by producers to HM Revenue and Customs. This policy was imposed on all the food and drink sectors containing sugar. Taxes on sugary drinks will obviously reduce consumption of sugar and would definitely prevent diabetes and obesity among children specifically. It is evidently proved that taxes imposed on sugary drinks, increased the prices by 20%, and ultimately reduced the consumption by 20% as well. The most noticeable point is that it is estimated that UK government would produce around 20 billion dollars for the sake of healthcare necessities by imposing a tax of 1 cent per ounce on every sugary drinks throughout the next ten years .
The purpose of the taxes on the soft drink industry is to foster the companies and industries to reproduce their soft drinks considering the lower consumption of the sugar. As soon as the levy was announced, the profit of the industries however, reduced from 520 million dollars to 240 million dollar. Because of this policy, about 50% of the producers reproduced their drinks so as to avoid any legal action against them. It was also suggested by the government, to keep the amount safe and secure for the school funding even if the levy declines from the original .
Impacts of the Policy on the Health of the Children
As soon as the policy was imposed in the sugar consumption industries, it was surprisingly observed that there was the great reduction in the business of the sugar. However, as the sugar was abandoned, huge amount of the money was saved. Because of this, the saving was utilized in different areas which further prevented from various children health related issues. For instance, the revenue generated by the savings, was used in producing awareness sessions among children as well as parents. These sessions were organized in such a way that helped the audience of those programs to avoid such sugary products .
Accordingly, these revenues can be used in improving treatment methods and medications that can be helpful in preventing the diseases. Some of the treatment procedures are that much expensive that requires new variety of technologies and methods that cannot be performed without suitable and appropriated techniques . For this purpose, these tax policies would produce such benefits and savings that would help the healthcare experts and specialists to adopt those procedures and treatment methods. Similarly, the medicines also use some sweets and glucose related substances, which have greater side effects on the patients of diabetes and obesity. This would also be avoided in the same way .
The companies are also producing such sugar free items that can balance the level of sugar and controls the glucose level in the blood. When the policy from the NHE and WHO departments would be implemented in these food processing units, they will then avoid producing such sugary item rather they would produce the balanced diet products that may not cause any dangers and threats to the health of the children. These units and industries are required to produce those products which can neglect the harms and risks for the children health .
Further Improvements in Policies
The mentioned policies regarding the serious health of the children are quite impressive and productive. Even, they are producing very remarkable and noticeable results and causing the patients to improve and recover more rapidly than earlier. However, some the areas are still needed to be further improved and edited so as to eradicate those health hazards that are still left among children . These improvements are that the sugar tax policy should also be applied to the pharmaceutical industries that produce those medicines which are carrying high level of blood. Because when these medicines are provided to the patients, they induce side effects inside the patient, resulting him to increase his sugar level. That’s why, after many treatments, most of the people become obese in the hospital. It is therefore, necessary for the pharmaceutical companies to consider these issues and do not produce such medicines which have greater side effects on the patients of diabetes and obesity .
One more improvement needed to be applied is on those industries and producers who are neglecting these guidelines and ignoring the orders of the government. Rather they are continuously producing such sugar related products that are still causing various diseases among children. The law and order enforcing agencies are needed to be in action against those producers who are producing such products. There should be punishment for them and they should be expressed in front of every people so that those who are still involved in this activity might get rid of it .
The essay is documented in such a way that helps the people to understand the issues relating to the health of the children because of the consumption of sugar. There are numerous diseases that are resulting just because of the consumption of sugar. Government has taken serious action against those producers and companies who are strictly involved in the product containing sugar at high level. Various policies have been produced which are aiming to reduce these overgrowing diseases among children. The most important policy among them is the implementation of the taxes on the departments and industries which are using greater amount of sugar in their product. Because of these taxes, amazing and surprising decrease in the sugary products has been observed and therefore, less people are prone to obesity and diabetes and other health related diseases. However, some of the areas are still needed to be improved which have been highlightedabove.
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