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The ultimate goal of medical practice is to support the health needs of more people. This fact explains why the Healthy People 2020 program has been taken seriously in the United States by different communities and local governments. However, there are numerous conditions and illnesses that continue to affect many American citizens. One of these diseases is obesity. This condition has become an epidemic that affects children, teenagers, and adults. Many researchers have acknowledged that obesity is a major health crisis that should be taken seriously than ever before. This issue is selected because it claims the lives of many people across the globe. When more people are sensitized about obesity, it can be easier for them to deal with it and lead longer and quality lives. The audience for this handout includes every citizen in the country.
Obesity remains one of the most visible public health challenges in the United States. Nevertheless, the disease has been ignored by many health professionals, citizens, nutritionists, and practitioners. The condition is known to cause serious psychological and social complications. By 2000, the number of people affected by obesity had increased to around 300 million (Ford, Patel, & Narayan, 2017). Many individuals in both the developing and the developed world suffer from this condition. Many scholars acknowledge that more people will be affected by the condition in the future. The seriousness of this condition can be confirmed by the increasing number of obese children across the globe.
In 2016, around 39 percent of individuals aged between 18 and 65 years of age were overweight (Starr, McDonald, Weidner, & Bales, 2016). Being overweight is also a major risk factor for obesity and other health complications such as stroke. Around 14 percent of the global adult population is obese (Ford et al., 2017). These statistics show conclusively that obesity is a condition that should be addressed using evidence-based strategies.
Some of the leading causes of obesity include physical inactivity, sedentary lifestyles, intake of high-energy foods, and processed foods (see Fig 4). Additionally, obesity is believed to affect the lives of many people from different racial backgrounds. It is also a risk factor for a wide range of illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension. BinAfif et al. (2017) argue that there are numerous health consequences associated with obesity such as premature deaths and chronic diseases.
Key Terms and Definitions
Body mass index (BMI): Measure of an “individual’s body weight in relation to height” (MacLean et al., 2017, p. 9).
Epidemic: A widespread prevalence of an illness or condition in a given society and at a particular time.
Calorie: A unit of energy in a given quantity/amount of food (Terrace & Oniscu, 2016).
Solutions and Strategies
The complexity of obesity calls for a multifaceted approach if positive gains are to be realized. On top of the campaigns and programs implemented by local governments and organizations, every individual can consider a number of efforts to deal with this condition (Bartges, Kushner, Michel, Sallis, & Day, 2017). The best strategies to prevent this condition include:
- Weight assessment: Every person should monitor his or her body mass index (BMI) frequently. A healthy BMI should be below 25.
- Healthy weight: Individuals should be keen to balance their calorie intakes and check weight frequently
- Exercises: It is appropriate to engage in physical activities. Such exercises will help individuals manage their BMIs and weight.
- Role of parents: Guardians and parents should encourage their children to engage in healthy behaviors such as engaging in physical activities. The rationale for this argument is that obesity is currently affecting many children.
- Community efforts: Members of the community should collaborate and implement powerful campaigns to educate more people about the benefits of healthy eating habits and exercises. Every individual should be encouraged to monitor his or her BMI regularly.
Sources of Valuable Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): This health protection organization offers timely and evidence-based information that can be used to monitor, prevent, and treat different conditions such as obesity.
World Health Organization (WHO): This organization’s website offers timely updates, statistics, and information for dealing with diseases. People can visit the site to learn more about this health condition.
The Obesity Society: This source offers information about obesity prevention, treatment, and research.
The Obesity Medicine Association: The organization’s website offers timely information that can be applied in different settings to prevent and treat obesity. The site also offers adequate updates for reversing this condition.
Obese individuals who embrace the ideas, guidelines and information presented in this handout can manage the condition successfully. Healthy eating behaviors, exercises, and weight management can empower more people to deal with obesity. Community members should collaborate to implement powerful campaigns to reverse the problem of obesity. Such efforts will reduce most of the deaths associated with diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension.
Bartges, J., Kushner, R. F., Michel, K. E., Sallis, R., & Day, M. J. (2017). One health solutions to obesity in people and their pets. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 156(4), 326-333. Web.
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