"Obesity in Beachwood" is an interesting example of a paper on social and family issues. Assessment Beachwood, NJ is a county with an estimated population of 10,881 (2009 data). The county has reported 70% of physical health decline due to poor lifestyle which has greatly impacted the health and life of the general population not to mention healthcare costs. One of the major concerns is the high level of physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and unawareness among the population regarding obesity. Beachwood and its outlying areas have one of the highest rates of obese people with approximately 63% among the ages of 60 years.
The prevalence of obese individuals is inherent in inactivity or the lack of healthy activity (Department of Health and Senior Services 2012). Moreover, obesity is associated with risk factors including genetics, environmental, unhealthy diet, unhealthy lifestyle, quitting smoking, lack of sleep, medications, medical problems, age, and social problems (Mayo Clinic 2012; Adams et al 2006). Obesity is a major community health issue which could lead to other chronic diseases if left for a long time. The trend of increasing obesity should be curtailed from the grassroots level to prevent this behavioral risk factor (Mokdad et al 1999). Policy Development Public health awareness, resolution and improvement require three imperatives sustained by the community and law enforcement efforts. The first and foremost step would be to inform of the health problem - obesity - to the population.
This would require the healthcare workforce, community officers, and policy enforcers to publicize the health issue so that everyone would become aware of it. The second step would be to educate those who are in the health predicament or who are connected to it via a relative or loved one.
Educating them would empower them in taking remedial steps at home and perhaps even bringing obese individuals to the community centers for treatment. This mobilization of the campaign is imperative because it would encourage the community to face the problem and work towards solving the health issue. The third step would be to develop policies and plans that would help support the community in obesity reduction efforts (Schneider 2010). Assurance While it is expected public health issues are a concern for everyone and once awareness is created, the community would respond to their well-being.
But sometimes mere education does not motivate people to come forth with their problems. On the other hand, physicians are often reluctant in bringing up personal health issues with their patients unless specifically asked. For these reasons, there is a need for additional enforcement through policies and its implementation at the community level (Schuster, Tasosa, and Terwoord 2008). Regulations in health procedures would ensure that individuals visiting health care centers will address obesity on their own accord. Installing public health service officers to "recruit" obese individuals onto diet and exercise programs would ensure anyone falling within this bracket gets the required diagnoses and prescriptions. Regular evaluation of the general population to ensure that the accessibility, quality, and effectiveness of the obese program are in place at various community centers (Schneider 2010). Functionality The purpose of regularly evaluating programs at community centers is to ensure that they are being accessed by the concerned population and secondly to update on innovations and new solutions for obesity.
But most importantly, the purpose of providing health service to the population is to improved health and if there is any new development, it should catch the attention of the authority immediately.
Adams, K. et al (2006). Overweight, Obesity, and Mortality in a Large Prospective Cohort of Persons 50 to 71 Years Old. N Engl J Med, August 24, pp. 355:763-778.
Department of Health and Senior Services (2012). "Blueprint for Healthy Aging in New Jersey" Online accessed on February 4, 2012 from: http://www.state.nj.us/health/senior/blueprint/guide.pdf
Mayo Clinic (2012). "Obesity Risk Factors" Online accessed on February 4, 2012 from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=risk-factors
Mokdad, Ali et al (1999). The Spread of the Obesity Epidemic in the United States, 1991-1998. JAMA, Volume 282 Number 16, pp.1519-1522.
Schneider, M. (2010). Introduction to Public Health. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Schuster, R.J., Tasosa, J. and Terwoord, N.A. (2008). Translational research — Implementation of NHLBI obesity guidelines in a primary care community setting: the physician obesity awareness project. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging. Volume 12, Number 10, pp. 764-769