Health Disparities on Obesity and Overweight

Obesity commonly known as overweight is a characterized by excessive accumulation of fat that might hinder proper health (Campos, 2004).In humans a simple index of mass for height (BMI) is usually used to classify overweight and obesity. This involves dividing an individual’s total weight in kilograms by total height in meters of an individual (kg/m2) (Folsom, Stevens, Schreiner & McGovern, 1998). A BMI more equal to 25 is considered overweight while a BMI more or equal to 30 is considered overweight. Body Mass Index (BMI) provides very essential information concerning population expression of overweight and obesity as a similar formula is used in calculating the BMI for anybody disregard of age, sex or race (Stevens, Cai, Thun Williamson & Wood 1999).

Descriptive epidemiology and Etiology

The most critical cause of overweight and obesity is a lack of proper balance between intake of calories and calories utilized in the body. This is more pronounced where individuals consume foods rich in energy, excess fats, salts and sugars, but low in minerals vitamins and other minute nutrients. Additionally, the condition is worsened when there is an increased intake of the aforementioned food stuffs and a decrease in physical exercises.

It is well-known that obesity is caused as a result of discrepancy between the level of consumed and lost calories. A change in diet and physical activities is more likely to happen as a result of lifestyle changes. Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for non transferable ailments such as heart disease, increased blood sugar, musculoskeletal complications and some cancers. The risk for these complications increases with an increase in the body mass index. In children, excess weight is associated with an increased chance of; becoming obesity, increased blood pressure, disability or even death.

Health Disparities

Kumanyika (2005) claims that obesity is “among the modifiable risk factors associated with leading causesof ‘excess’ deaths.

What research questions that have not been studied that may provide new, insightful information regarding obesity

  1. What causal factors might be more intensified in high risk populations? Potential levers within these settings? (Kumanyika, 2005).
  2. Which aspects of community, school, and home environments, if modified, would have the greatest impact on obesity prevention?

Public Policy

Why Obesity is animportant public health problem

Obesity is an important health problem because everybody is at risk irrespective of race or color.

Some Social, Politicaland Economic Barriers that Impede Obesity Prevention and Health Promotion for Obesity

Parents and guardians who have extreme habits and behaviors that might lead to increase in weight could unintentionally pass these habits to their young ones. Consequently, obesity in children and young adults might increase if parents fail to take the necessary steps to address their own weight regulation issues. Furthermore, most people in the low and middle income countries are threatened by obesity and overweight. This is particularly more dominant in urban areas. In these countries, children are highly vulnerable to inadequate child nutrition (Troiano&Flegal, 1998). At the same time, these children have a high exposure to cheap food stuffs thathave more fat, sugar and salt contents, foods with immense amounts of energy, but deficient in micronutrients and vitamins.These poor diets combined with restricted physical activities have led to the steady increase in obesity in children and young adults (Ogden, Flegal, Carroll, & Johnson, 2002).

How I Would Disseminate Information about Obesity to a Target Group

Personally, apart from educate people about the importance of proper diets and regular exercise.I would establish initiatives for the prevention, monitoring and management of individuals with noncommunicable ailments. This would be accomplished through conducting campaigns via locally available channels of communication such as local village meetings, peer group evaluations and posters.

How a Health Administrator’s Policies to Obesity Impact the Health Status of the Target Population

Overweight, obesity and other related complications (non infectious ailments) are highly preventable. It is advisable to have the necessary supportive mechanisms and environments, which assist in influencing people’s choice of healthier food stuffs and regular physical exercises so as to reduce the occurrence of obesity. With the aim of promotion of appropriate diets and popularization of physical activities, the mentioned strategies should be focused on the task which encourages every stakeholder to take specific actions at the local.

References

Campos, P. (2004). The Obesity Myth: Why America’s Obsession with Weight is Hazardous to your Health. New York: Gotham Books.

Flegal, K. M., Carroll M. D., Ogden C. L. & Johnson C. L. (2002). Prevalence and Trends in Obesity Among US Adults, 1999-2000. JAMA.2002;288(14):1723–1727.

Folsom, A. R., Stevens J., Schreiner P. J. & McGovern P. G. (1998).Body Mass Index, Waist/Hip Ratio, and Coronary Heart Disease Incidence in African Americans and whites.Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study Investigators.Am J Epidemiol.1998;148(12):1187–1194.

Kumanyika, S. (2005).Obesity, Health Disparities, and Prevention Paradigms: Hard Questions and Hard Choices. Preventing Chronic Disease: 2005 October; 2(4): A02.

Kumanyika, S. (2005).Reducing Obesity in ethnic Minority Populations: Concepts and Controversies.Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Ogden, C. L., Flegal K. M., Carroll M. D. & Johnson C. L. (2002). Prevalence and trends in overweight among US children and adolescents, 1999-2000.JAMA.2002;288(14):1728–1732.

Stevens, J., Cai J., Thun M. J., Williamson D. F. & Wood J. L. (1999).Consequences of the use of Different Measures of Effect to Determine the Impact of Age on the Association between Obesity and Mortality.Am J Epidemiol.1999; 150(4):399–407.

Troiano, R. P. &Flegal K. M. (1998).Overweight Children and Adolescents: Description, Epidemiology, and Demographics. Pediatrics.1998;101(3 Pt. 2):497–504.

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