Explaining Health Related Behavior – Social&Family Issues Example

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"Explaining Health-Related Behavior"  is an engrossing example of a paper on social and family issues. Overview of the obesity epidemic Obesity is a medical condition in which excessive fat accumulates in the body and maybe a health concern (Wright & Harwood, 2012). It may reduce life expectancy or increase health problems. The prevalence of obesity conditions has reached significant proportions all over the world and it affects both the adults and children, with higher significance among adults while the prevalence rate among children is increasing. Various factors lead to obesity. Genetic factors are one category and explain possible transmission across generations.

Metabolism factors differ across people and influence the amount of weight that a person gains. Other factors include lifestyle choices, medicines, emotions, and social-economic factors. Statistics on obesity establishes its significance as a health concern. In the United States, about 35 percent of adults are obese and the nation incurs almost $ 150 billion on obesity annually. Incidence and prevalence of obesity are also associated with the occurrence of chronic conditions such as stroke and cancer. Even though it occurs across ethnic groups and economic classes, this is not uniform.

In the United States, Hispanics suffer the highest risk and Non-Hispanic Asians have the least risk of suffering from obesity. Age is also a factor, with the middle-aged as the most vulnerable group while adults are the least vulnerable (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). Increase in obesity rates from the viewpoints of two different theories of health-related behavior Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and Health Belief Theory explain the increase in the prevalence rate of obesity. Social Cognitive Theory is a theory that explains how individuals acquire and maintain some patterns of behaviors (Bandura, 2011).

Based on this theory, the increase in obesity rate may be due to various factors such as behavioral responses to emotional stimuli. Some of the behaviors may be risky to the condition. Health Belief Theory (HBT) entails factors such as perceived barriers and self-efficacy that explain the increased rate in obesity (Nutbeam, Harris & Wise, 2010). Motivation, cost, and time are examples of barriers to exercise and proper diet among women. Self-efficacy is a belief in one’ s ability to carry out a particular behavior and an obesogenic environment may lead to low self-efficacy into the consumption of improper diet.

This poor consumption of energy-dense food is related to obesity and other health problems. Possible utilization of concepts and strategies of the theories to encourage an individual to change behavior that is related to obesity Based on HBT, a perceived barrier strategy can be used to provide motivation, support, and skills to enable women to access fast and inexpensive food (Nutbeam, Harris & Wise, 2010). This will encourage women to change their imbalanced diet intake behavior to balanced diet intake.

Moreover, the strategy may be used to promote more time-efficiency exercise options that will encourage women to participate in physical activities hence reducing the level of fat in the body. It will also help to balance the level of energy intake and energy expenditure hence reducing the risks of obesity rate. According to SCT, self-control is a vital strategy. This strategy can be utilized to encourage individuals to change their behavior by providing opportunities for self-monitoring, goal setting, and solving crises (Bandura, 2011). The emotional coping responses strategy can be used to provide training in predicament solving and stress management.

The training will provide people with a new mechanism of dealing with emotions as well as managing stress. As a result, the overeating and oversleeping habits will no longer be the mechanism to use and therefore the low degree of obesity rate.    


Bandura, A. (2011). Social cognitive theory. Handbook of social psychological theories, 349-373.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Adult obesity facts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html.

Nutbeam, D., Harris, E., & Wise, W. (2010). Theory in a nutshell: a practical guide to health promotion theories (pp. no-no). McGraw-Hill.

Wright, J., & Harwood, V. (Eds.). (2012). Biopolitics and the'obesity epidemic': governing bodies. Routledge.

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