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The Problem of Obesity: Public Health Infrastructure Essay

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Updated: Jan 11th, 2022

According to health report by World Health Organization (2000), approximately 18 percent of the children in America were found to overweight and 32 % of adults obese. This has raised great concern on the economic effect of managing the disease with approximately $75B being spent in obesity and related health care. According to report by the World Health Organization (2000), the insurance premiums have tremendously increased over the last few years which have consequently affected the profits and economy of the country. Obesity is as a result of people having poor eating habits, poor diet, and physical inactivity. Managing obesity is cost intensive. It has also resulted in loss of productivity at work due to ill health. Obesity has reduced the live span of most adults and children.

Poor countries face challenges to finance the health care cost as compared to the developed countries. The poor countries have to rely on donors and other international and non-governmental organizations to aid construction of good infrastructure. It is a requirement for developing countries to develop health programmes and policies addressing on how to manage the disease. According to Crawford and Jeffery (2005), obesity is prevalent not only in poor countries, but also in the first world countries. It does only affect children, but also adults.

Managing the disease has a high cost. The treatment includes checking on an appropriate diet; exercising; and use of drugs. In other situations, the patients require to go through gastric surgery which requires immense funding especially to the poor countries. Apart from the treatment cost incurred, other cost is associated losses resulting from attributable morbidity and premature death. Other cost include indirect cost affecting the economy as a result of loss of human labour. According to World Health Organization (2000), the economic cost to manage obesity in most developed countries is approximately 2-8% of the cumulative health care budget. On the other hand, the burden is severe in poor countries as a result of high cost incurred to import drugs and equipment. In addition, developing countries require specialized training and competent personnel to manage the disease. Sufficient funds are required to developing the health infrastructure. Report by Crawford and Jeffery (2005) indicated that Australia spent approximately 10% of the economic cost to treat obesity.

Managing obesity requires intensive research and evaluation on the cause and the mitigation required. Most of the developing countries lack adequate resources and machinery to manage the disease. In most situations, specialized expertise is required. In most of the developing countries, treatment facilities and equipments are scarce. It is important to address on the capacity to manage the disease since it is predominantly spreading. Public health sector require adequate and well trained workforce, good communication and tracking systems, and intensive research and evaluation capabilities.

It is important to manage the disease due to its adverse effect on the country’s economy. In the United States, the number of deaths as a result of the epidemic is increasing year by year. Approximately 100B dollars is being spent on treating the disease every year.

I would recommend the health sector to embark on having the right infrastructure and facilities in place to manage the epidemic. This requires great emphasis, both on behavioural and commitment, through funding, and implementing viable programmes to manage the disease.

References

Crawford, D., and Jeffery, R.W., (2005) Obesity prevention and public health, Volume 13, Oxford University Press.

World Health Organization (WHO), (2000) Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic, World Health Organization.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "The Problem of Obesity: Public Health Infrastructure." January 11, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-problem-of-obesity-public-health-infrastructure/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'The Problem of Obesity: Public Health Infrastructure'. 11 January.

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