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Public Health Concern: Obesity in Young People Essay

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Updated: May 5th, 2021

Project Rationale

Obesity is one of the health issues affecting many people in different parts of the world. In the United States, 2 in every three adults are either obese or overweight (Allman-Farinelli, 2014). Over 30 percent of the global population is also obese (Ickes, McMullen, Haider, & Sharma, 2014). Extreme obesity is a major challenge affecting around 5 percent of the people across the globe. Most of the strategies implemented in an attempt to deal with this condition have been focusing on adults. Consequently, the youth is a population that has been ignored. Mayor (2013) indicates that 1 in every 6 chidlren is obese. Individuals aged between 6 and 20 years have been ignored by different campaigns focusing on the problem of obesity. This gap explains why a new study aimed at understanding youth obesity in needed. The study is important because it will outline new strategies for dealing with this public health concern.

Review of the Literature

A study by Allman-Farinelli (2014) indicated that individuals aged between 15 and 25 were prone to obesity. This was the case because of the transition from their teenage to adulthood. The group was no longer embracing the idea of work-life balance. Cheyne, Mejia, Nixon, and Dorfman (2014) believe strongly that many young adults take the issue of weight lightly. Many young people engage in partying events and activities. This practice has been associated with overeating and consumption of unhealthy food materials.

Cheke, Simons, and Clayton (2016) indicate that the cultural attributes and behaviors embraced in different communities have exposed many youths to obesity. For instance, some youth people eat specific foods without focusing on their nutritional values. Changing sociological practices have transformed the manner in which people embrace healthy lifestyles (Cheyne et al., 2014). In different growing economies, many young people have been experiencing rapid economic status growth or shift (Osei-Assibey et al., 2013). This rapid shift is associated with different misbehaviors and drinking habits that have led to the obesity problem. Lack of adequate education on health promotion practices explains why the problem has become a reality.

Obesity is no longer taken seriously in many countries. Many youths are coexisting with their obese friends and relatives (Sharman & Nobles, 2015). This paradigm shift has led to a misperception whereby obesity is no longer taken seriously. Consequently, more young people have ignored some of the best practices to tackle the condition (Chinedu & Emiloju, 2014). Parents have been allowing their children to consume fast foods. These individuals grow up knowing that such foods are healthy and important for well-being. This malpractice has led to the current obesity epidemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has come up with a powerful obesity policy to deal with the epidemic (Ickes et al., 2014). The policy focuses on the best approaches that can be implemented to address the problems associated with physical inactivity and poor nutrition. The policy encourages different stakeholders and policymakers to implement powerful initiatives that can support the health needs of more youths (Poobalan & Aucott, 2015). These measures will definitely make it easier for young people to lead healthier lifestyles.

Unfortunately, the current literature fails to treat the issue of youth obesity seriously. For instance, the current policy on obesity is not age specific (Cheke et al., 2016). The naivety of this population explains why many young people have failed to develop powerful initiatives to deal with the epidemic (Skinner, Perrin, Moss, & Skelton, 2015). The existing gap makes it impossible for many young people to re-pattern their lifestyles and eventually deal with the problem (Poobalan & Aucott, 2015).

Aims and Objectives

The purpose of the proposed study is to examine:

  • The community’s perception of youth obesity;
  • The leading causes of childhood and youth obesity;
  • Why youth obesity should be declared a public health concern that requires evidence-based preventative measures.

Significance of the Project to My Discipline

The proposed study will present useful insights that can guide youths and policymakers to address the obesity epidemic. Tackling the condition at the youthful age will minimize the number of obese adults in the future (Poobalan & Aucott, 2015). Additionally, the knowledge gained from the research will inform my healthcare practice philosophy.

Methodology and Methods


The study will be completed using a qualitative approach. Refereed articles will be obtained from credible databases to support the study. The information presented in the article will be used to come up with concrete answers to the research objectives. The main aim of the qualitative inquiry is to identify evidence-based ideas that can be used to support the outlined project aims (Mayor, 2013). The qualitative enquiry will fulfill the project’s aims. These questions will be used to support the study process.

  • What are the leading causes of youth obesity?
  • Why should communities accept the fact that youth obesity is a major public health concern?


A total of ten peer-reviewed articles will be obtained from the leading databases such as Cochrane, JUSTOR, and Wiley Online Library. The article will be selected using key words such as youth obesity, overweight, public health, and body mass index (BMI). The information will then be analyzed depending on relevance and appropriateness (Sharman & Nobles, 2015). The articles will be grouped based on the ability to meet the outlined objectives and aims of the study.


The use of a qualitative analysis explains why a study sample will not be required (Allman-Farinelli, 2014). However, ten appropriate articles will be selected and used to support the targeted study.


The information gained from the articles will be used in a systematic manner to develop the final report. The report will be guided by the above research aims and objectives (Skinner et al., 2015). This approach will deliver a meaningful discussion that can guide healthcare practitioners to meet the needs of obese youths in the society.


Several ethical concerns might arise from the study. The first one is the emergence of sensitive issues. Obesity in the youth is treated as a taboo in many communities. The focus on different cultural groups can result in ethical concerns (Mayor, 2013). Appropriate approaches will therefore be considered in order to deal with the concerns.


The collected information might not support the targeted research. The allocated time is inadequate for the study (Mayor, 2013). The available materials might not present adequate data in order to come up with a quality study.

Conclusion: Proposed Outcomes

The proposed project will present meaningful ideas that can guide more people in the society. The community will understand why youth obesity should be taken seriously than ever before. The obesity epidemic will be addressed using new programs aimed at dealing with obesity in young people (Chinedu & Emiloju, 2014). The proposed project might not deliver enough information because the available time is short.


Allman-Farinelli, M. (2014). Nutrition promotion to prevent obesity in young adults. Healthcare, 3(1), 809-821. Web.

Cheke, L., Simons, J., & Clayton, N. (2016). Higher body mass index is associated with episodic memory deficits in young adults. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(11), 2305-2316. Web.

Cheyne, A., Mejia, P., Nixon, L., & Dorfman, L. (2014). Food and beverage marketing to youth. Current Obesity Reports, 1(1), 1-11. Web.

Chinedu, S., & Emiloju, O. (2014). Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology, 6(1), 235-238. Web.

Ickes, M., McMullen, J., Haider, T., & Sharma, M. (2014). Global school-based childhood obesity interventions: A review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(1), 8940-8961. Web.

Mayor, S. (2013). The Lancet, 1(1), 14-15. Web.

Osei-Assibey, G., Dick, S., Macdiarmid, J., Semple, S., Reilly, J., Ellaway, A.,…McNeill, G. (2013). BMJ Open, 2(6), 1-14. Web.

Poobalan, A., & Aucott, L. (2015). Obesity among young adults in developing countries: A systematic overview. Current Obesity Reports, 5(1), 2-13. Web.

Sharman, K., & Nobles, J. (2015). Bridging the gap: SHINE – a Tier 3 service for severely obese children and young people. British Journal of Obesity, 1(1), 158-163. Web.

Skinner, A., Perrin, E., Moss, L., & Skelton, J. (2015). The New England Journal of Medicine, 373(14), 1307-1317. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Public Health Concern: Obesity in Young People." May 5, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/public-health-concern-obesity-in-young-people/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Public Health Concern: Obesity in Young People'. 5 May.

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