Obesity: Improving Health Outcomes Essay

702 words - 3 pages

While exploring possible health issues and a population to focus on for my project, I was overwhelmed by the number of issues we are faced with everyday. I narrowed the search down to obesity and the population I would like to focus on is the adolescents. Health People 2010 identified overweight and obesity as one of the top ten leading health indicators that needs serious attention. Obesity has reached epidemic levels globally; being a significant threat to our own nation’s health. Adolescent obesity rates have more than tripled, as the adult obesity rate has doubled since 1980’s (Trust for America's Health, 2011a).
It was interesting to learn of particular statistics and trends concerning adolescent obesity in our nation. Geographic location, racial and ethnic status, and socioeconomic status (SES) all impact the disparities in obesity among the nation’s adolescents. Despite the disparities, there is an overall growing trend with this problem nationally as well as globally. This epidemic continues to be the most prevalent in the south. As Mississippi, for the seventh year in a row, has had the highest adolescent obesity rate in the nation (Trust for America's Health, 2011b). In 2008, Mexican-American adolescent boys and the non-Hispanic black adolescent girls had the highest prevalence of obesity (Ogden & Carroll, 2010). To no surprise, several research studies have found that from a SES, the higher percentage of adolescent obesity is with the lower SES population. Obesity is a threat to our nation’s health. Adolescents are the fastest growing population as it relates to this epidemic. In addition, the obesity epidemic is a big contributor to the skyrocketing health care costs in the United States and is a major risk factor as it relates to over twenty chronic and preventable diseases (Trust for America's Health, 2011c).
Having two adolescent children myself, it is easy to identify with the psychological, physical, and social challenges these individuals are face with everyday. It’s not easy growing up in today’s world as an adolescent. The psychological, physical, social, and environmental factors can have significant negative impacts on their health. During the adolescent phase it is a very “extraordinary plasticity” period (Steinbeck, Baur, Cowell & Pietrobelli, 2009, p. 2). These individual’s habits, attitudes, and physical morbidity develop during this phase. This establishes the pathway and blueprint that influence their...

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