Responsibility for health

Description Background Within public health, growing rates of overweight and obesity worldwide are generally considered to be a health crisis. This prompts questions about the causes of this public health issue, and thus how it can be addressed. There is much societal debate about whether obesity is primarily the result of biology, individual lifestyle choices, or determined by social factors, making obesity a whole-of-society concern. This assessment task requires students to critique the determinants of obesity, in terms of the relative contribution and relationship between social determinants, and individual lifestyle choices. Purpose: Demonstrate understanding of the evidence and key debates on determinants of a specific health issue, particularly in relation to personal and social responsibility for health. Instructions Your task is to write an academic essay that addresses the question: Is obesity determined by individual lifestyle choices and/or broader social determinants? This essay requires you to consider social determinants of health, which can include social, economic, environmental and political factors that impact on health risk (or protective) factors such as diets and physical activity levels. If you wish, you can choose to focus on the determinants of obesity in a specific country. Your essay should: 1. Include an introduction that briefly outlines your main argument in response to the essay question, and what you will cover in your essay. 2. Briefly outline the nature and scale of the obesity issue and its key behavioural risk factors: unhealthy diets and physical inactivity. 3. Most of your essay should be dedicated to clearly outlining your arguments on the relative importance of different determinants of unhealthy diets and physical inactivity, and any relationships between determinants. You may use specific examples to illustrate your argument, if you wish. Your arguments must be supported by citing academic literature and/or official statistical resources (ABS, WHO etc) as appropriate. 4. Outline the implications of your argument, in terms of whether it is a personal and/or social/government responsibility to address obesity risk factors. 5. Include a brief conclusion that concisely summarises your key points and main argument.

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