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Obesity Prevention in America - Essay Example

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Obesity is generally perceived to have developed from our own bad habits, though genetic, socio-economic, and environmental factors contribute to the spread of this epidemic. Unprecedented increase in prevalence of obesity among adolescents and young adult population in recent years is a challenge before policy makers, researchers, healthcare providers, and the society as a whole compelling these stake holders to evolve better strategies to tackle this scourge…
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Obesity Prevention in America
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Obesity Prevention in America

Realizing the serious public health threat of obesity epidemic prevention focused action plan aimed at decreasing the number of obese children and youth in the United States has been developed by The Institute of Medicine (IOM), which gives explicit goals and recommendations of action plan for preventing obesity and promoting a healthy weight in children and youth in different segments of society based on the best available evidence. As community participation plays a crucial role in promoting health, a collaborative interdisciplinary partnership with community members is expected to further the U.S health initiatives by helping to identify effective strategies that support behavioral change among susceptile groups and implement sustainable program outcomes. Concerted effort by state and federal government, healthcare providers, community participants, as well as individual commitment to make lifestyle modifications will prevent the scourge of obesity and co-morbidities associated with it.
Obesity is generally associated with consuming more calories than the body needs and imbalance between calories consumed and calories burned, which may be due to genetic, hormonal, behavioral, environmental, or even cultural factors. Overweight and obese people are at increased risk for developing many health risks, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, dyslipidemia, Type-II diabetes, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, congestive health failure, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and other respiratory problems, polycystic ovary syndrome, psychological disorders, stress urinary incontinence and kidney stones, cancer of the kidney, endometrium, breast, colon and rectum, etc. (The endocrine society weighs in, 2004, p.6-7). Because of many causes like frequent illness, constant tiredness, and inability to be active due to back pain, joint pain and shortness of breathe the quality and productivity of an obese person is adversely affected, leading to low personal esteem and severe financial crisis. As it is difficult to identify whether a person is obese or not, based on his or her physical appearance, it is essential to differentiate obesity from overweight.
An individual with increased body mass index (BMI), a common measure calculation that assesses weight relative to height, which is at least 10 percent over a recommended weight or BMI > 25, is referred to as overweight. Because a patient's abdominal fat is a predictor of risk factors for obesity related medical conditions, physicians consider men and women who have waist measurement greater than 40 inches and 35 inches respectively as overweight. Obesity refers to a body weight that is at least 30 percent over the ideal weight for a specified height, or an individual with a BMI > 30. (The endocrine society weighs in, 2004, p.2). For getting precise information on obesity, in the research setting, physicians use computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, or electrical impedance for measuring body fat distribution. Because of the high cost and difficulty in practicing outside laboratory settings these investigations are not adaptable in daily clinical use among healthcare providers. However, considering the ... Read More
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