|Type of paper:||Critical thinking|
Health and healthcare go beyond considering an individual and involves a population health approach (Institute of Medicine (US), 2003). Hence, issues such as access to healthcare, the environment, genetics, and individual behavior have a tremendous influence on population health. Obesity is a public health problem that is influenced by these factors as each contributes differently to its development.
Access to healthcare is a critical consideration for obese people as they are a population at risk of various healthcare conditions such as arthritis and heart problems (Fontaine & Bartlett, 2000). For this reason, they need to adequately access the health services to manage these problems and professional guide to deal with the condition. Also the social environment such as immediate relationships and culture influence the development of obesity. For instance, the food culture among Americans encourages intake of fats and soft drink-intake which leads to obesity (Faith & Kral, 2006). Moreover, physical environments that promote sedentary lifestyles increase the risk of becoming obese. To establish the contribution of heredity twin studies have been used and findings indicated that homozygotic and dizygotic twin share at least 70-90% and 50% respectively of their genetic components. Hence, they also share the fat mass which is related to obesity (Xia & Grant, 2013). Furthermore, the individual behaviors that increased the risk of a person to developing obesity include unhealthy foods and reduced physical activity (Affenito, Franko, Striegel-Moore, & Thompson, 2012). Individual behaviors and the environment are the primary cause of this problem, since, they occur in a social context where people has little control or can be easily influenced to make the wrong decision.
The epidemiological data on obesity have revealed that it is a growing public health concern and for example between 1980 and 2008 the prevalence of obesity in men and women rose from 5 and 8% to 10% and 14% respectively (Affenitoet al., 2012). Such data is used by policymakers to design initiatives that will be used to manage the problem from growing, through understanding the trends and limiting the triggering and supportive factors.
Affenito, S. G., Franko, D. L., Striegel-Moore, R. H., & Thompson, D. (2012). Behavioral determinants of obesity: Research findings and policy implications. Journal of obesity, 2012. Retrieved from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jobe/2012/150732/
Fontaine, K. R., & Bartlett, S. J. (2000). Access and use of medical care among obese persons. Obesity, 8(5), 403-406. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10968733
Faith, M. S., & Kral, T. V. (2006). Social environmental and genetic influences on obesity and obesity-promoting behaviors: fostering research integration. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19935/
Institute of Medicine (US), (2003). Committee on Assuring the Health of the Public in the 21st Century.. The Future of the Public's Health in the 21st Century. National Academy Press. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK221225/
Xia, Q., & Grant, S. F. (2013). The genetics of human obesity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1281(1), 178-190. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3717174/
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