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Junk food in the form of chips, dips, burgers, fries, sodas, candies and ice cream have become such a part of America’s culture that the most prevalent cultural distinction for American today is that of the “Junk Food” culture. In nearly every town, city and state groceries, shopping malls and fast food restaurants carry some form of junk food that is rapidly consumed by a voracious public that enjoys the taste and convenience of such products.
Unfortunately, this cultural distinction is actually slowly killing the American population due to the resulting effects such food types have one the body. Chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease have become endemic and as such calls into question what processes can be implemented among members of the local population so as to prevent the spread of such types of chronic diseases at the local level.
The article “Obesity in America” (2006) explains that any community based strategy on chronic disease prevention must start with the development of awareness among members of the local community regarding the process by which chronic diseases develop among members of a local community.
As Obesity in America (2006) explains, all too often people are under the assumption that they are either “too healthy” or that communicable diseases only occur in areas that are unsanitary which results in a certain degree of complacency which leaves them vulnerable to the spread of diseases within an enclosed community.
This often results in the spread of virulent diseases such as dengue fever (through insect bites), hepatitis (through the sharing of utensils), diabetes and various chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes through processes that could have been prevented if people actually took the time to become more aware regarding what methods to undertake to ensure their safety.
It is thus suggested by Obesity in America (2006) that local health officials should implement a variety of disease awareness campaigns in the form of public service announcements through local radio and TV stations, present various methods of disease prevention at school auditoriums for a variety of grade levels as well as local awareness campaigns via banners placed in shops, malls and bus stops (Obesity in America, 2006).
By implementing this particular type of awareness campaign it becomes far more likely that people would become aware of the various types of chronic diseases out there and take steps to ensure that they are not placed in a situation where they could possibly become a victim.
Promoting Physical Activity and Healthier Lifestyle Choices
In his study examining the correlation between lifestyle choices and the spread of chronic diseases, Chappell (2010) determined that the level of an individual’s physical activity, the type of food he/she ate and their lifestyle choice (i.e. being a smoker or not) factored heavily into their development of chronic diseases over a period of 15 years.
For example, America has an obesity problem that much is certain, nearly 33% of adults within the U.S. are obese which represents a 60% increase over a 20 year period with the rate for child obesity not far behind at nearly triple what it was 30 years ago.
What these figures represent is nearly 300,000 deaths a year from obesity related illnesses and maladies, billions of dollars spent on health problems such as high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure etc.
From the perspective of Chappell (2010) obesity is a chronic disease that has come about as a direct result of decrease physical activity, unhealthy food choices and a popular culture fueled obsession over the eating. It is based on this that Chappell (2010) recommends a community level strategy of healthy lifestyle choices by creating local incentives for weight loss such as gift certificate, tax reductions and a variety of other processes meant to encourage people to become more physically fit (Chappell, 2010).
Chappell, K. (2010). SAVING OUR CHILDREN FROM THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC IN BLACK AMERICA. Ebony, 65(7), 78. Retrieved from www.EBSCOhost.com
Obesity in America. (2006). Large portions, large proportions. Harvard Men’s Health Watch, 10(6), 1. Retrieved from www.EBSCOhost.com