Obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States that affects two-thirds of the adult population (American Obesity, n.d.). Not only is it physically unappealing, but the health risks involved with obesity should be everyone’s concern. Obesity has been linked to cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 diabetes, and increased morbidity (Flegal, Carroll, Ogden and Curtin, 2010). The statistics on obesity over the past few decades have been staggering. Obesity is preventable through proper nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes.
Obesity is classified as a chronic illness of extreme relevance that appropriate government agencies have included it as one of its priorities under the national agenda of Health People 2020. Categorized under ‘Nutrition and Weight Status’, the program’s goal was to “promote health and reduce chronic disease risk through the consumption of healthful diets and achievement and maintenance of healthy body weights” (Healthy People 2020, n.d., par. 1).
Defining obesity necessitates understanding the important element of using the body mass index as the framework for computation. The body mass index “determines whether a person’s weight is appropriate for height by dividing the weight in kilograms by the height in meters squared” (Delaune and Ladner, 2006, 345).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially provided separate definitions of obesity for adults and for children and teens, to wit: “An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese” (CDC: Definition for Adults, 2010, par. 2)....
ory to obesity, presenting the consequences, prior to delving into the suggested interventions to address the dilemma through proper nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes. Scope and Nature of the Problem The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged obesity as a global problem. According to its official website, “once considered a problem only in high income countries, overweight and obesity are now dramatically on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings” (WHO, 2011, par. 1). Data and statistics provided by CDC indicate that despite the goals identified under the Healthy People 2010 program to reduce the proportion of adults and children who are obese (CDC: Healthy People 2010, n.d.), the recent report revealed that “in 2009, no state met the Healthy People 2010 obesity target of 10%, and the self-reported overall prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults had increased 1.1 percentage points from 2007” (CDC: Vital Signs, 2010, 1). The alarming outcome and the continuing increasing trend have proven the need for intensive efforts to focus on interventions that would create a positive impact on preventing and reducing obesity. The WHO (2011) published relevant facts pertinent to global statistics on obesity and overweight, as cited below: “1.5 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight. Of these 1.5 billion overweight adults, over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese. Overall, more than one in ten of the world’s adult population was obese” (par. 7) Despite the disturbing figures and statistics, WHO indicated that obesity can be prevented. Aside from identifying changes in factors contributory to obesity, lead agencies, social work and health care practitioners have specifically detailed