This essay "Primary Health Care and childhood obesity" outlines the five primary healthcare principles could provide guidance to nursing practice to bring about the desired positive change in health outcomes for children in Australia towards reducing the challenge of childhood obesity for society. Over the past several decades the cost of food relative to the income levels has dropped, thus making food easier to afford. This should be a good thing, but the issue is that the changing food intake styles have resulted in the diets being energy rich and poor in nutrition. Nourishment in present times for many individuals and families has become more of a source of pleasure and an indicator of social status than as a means of providing the body with the necessary and required nutrients. Another social factor that has contributed to childhood obesity is the general trend in society for reduced physical activity. Parents no longer encourage children to go out and play during free times and the children are quite happy to sit at home and watch television or play computer games. In communities there is less on making available physical activity avenues and influencing the members of the community to spend a little time on physical activities for health and well-being (Dehgan, Akhtar-Danesh & Merchant, 2005).
Ethnic, cultural and racial practices contribute to the social practices of the frequency and type of feasts, meal frequencies and timings, the role and meaning attached to food and types of food consumed and the body image.
In Australia there is a wide variance in these social practices between the Anglo/Caucasian children and other ethnic types, with particular emphasis on the Middle Eastern and Pacific Islanders. For example, among this ethnic grouping bigness in size makes for better masculinity in boys and reflects social class mores in girls. The consequence of this is seen in the much higher prevalence of childhood obesity among this ethnic grouping at 20%, when compared to the 5-7% prevalence among Anglo/Caucasian children (Odea, 2008). The final social factor is the inequality in the provision of healthcare services, wherein the communities that are more prone for obesity in children do not receive adequate healthcare support and remain oblivious to the dangers of childhood obesity and the ways of preventing it (Goroll & Mulley, 2009). Interaction of Social Factors and Complexity of Childhood Obesity The social factor of nutritional intake patterns lead to higher intake of energy rich