Obesityis one of the most important health problems facing the modernsociety. It is a leading cause of preventable deaths in the world. Asa result of its significance in public health, there is amazingincrease in knowledge about obesity as well as the molecular andphysiological mechanism in the regulation of body fat. This knowledgeis being followed in pharmaceutical development towards thedevelopment of drugs that can lead to treatment of obesity as adisease. The understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms ofobesity was necessitated by the discovery of leptin gene in 1994. Additionally, scientists have identified some hormone mechanisms thatplay a role in the regulation of food intake or appetite, fat storagein the adipose tissue and resistance to insulin. For example, leptinand ghelin play an important role in regulating appetite as well assignaling the storage of fat reserves in the body (Flier, 2004).
Healtheducation goals and objectives
Thereare two important goals and objectives of that are aimed at dealingwith obesity in the modern society. These objectives are directlyrelated to the immediate cause of obesity. The first objective is tonurture health eating habits in the society. unhealthy eating habitswhich includes overindulgence in highly processed foods and highintake of fats, additive and artificial sweeteners is one of themajor cause of obesity in the modern society. Health diet isnecessary for general body health and healthy development inchildren. There are several factors that influence the choice ofdiet, which includes personal preferences and choices, parental orfamily influence, social and cultural factors, advertisements, peerpressure, availability of food and poverty. These are the factorsthat need to be considered in the achievement of the objectives. Forexample, adequate nutritional knowledge is necessary to enable theindividuals make the right choices of food and determine the mostappropriate types of food they should give to their children (Rippe &Angelopoulos, 2012).
Thesecond objective will be increasing physical activities by enhancingoptions and opportunities to engage in physical exercise. Sedentarylifestyle which is characterized by physical inactivity is one of theleading causes of obesity in the modern world. Lack of physicalactivities results into lack of balance between calories intake andcalories use in the body. Studies suggest that the world populationis shifting towards less physical demanding lifestyles mainly inurban centers. It is estimated that about a third of the worldpopulation has inadequate physical exercise. Promoting physicalactivities by creating opportunities and options for physicalexercise is an important step towards dealing with obesity in themodern society (Rippe & Angelopoulos, 2012).
Accordingto Ogden and others (2013), obesity has evolved into one of the mostimportant public health problem in the United States. In 2011-2012,it was estimated that more than a third (34.9 percent) of all adultsin the United States were overweight. The prevalence of obesity washigher in middle aged adults at 39.5 percent compared to relativelyyounger or older Americans. Although the prevalence was relativelyequal when men were compared to women, it was found to be biggerhealth care problem in some racial groups compared to others. AfricanAmericans and Hispanic Americans had higher preference of 47.8percent and 42.5 percent respectively compared to white American andAsian Americans who had a prevalence of 32.6 percent and 10.6 percentrespectively (Ogden et al 2013). According to Ogden and others(2014), while a third of American adults are obese, 17 percent ofchildren and youth are overweight. Surprisingly, these statisticshave not changed significantly since the early 2000s. As at in2011-2012, Ogden and others (2014) reported that 8.1 percent ofinfants and toddlers were overweight, while 16.9 percent ofindividuals aged between two years and 19 years were obese in theUnited States.
Thereare many that attributes to the high prevalence of obesity on themodern society. Iannotti and Wang (2013) argue that in the lastdecades, obesity as a risk factor and cause of mortality hasincreased significantly. However, due to increased focus on obesityas a cause of preventable deaths, the prevalence has stabilized,although it remains high. Iannotti and Wang (2013) identify the mainpreventable cause of obesity as “physical activity, sedentarybehavior and diet”. They suggest that health care interventiontowards improvement of behaviors that are related to obesity have hadpositive success. This includes behaviors related to health diet andincreased physical activities.
Dueto the epidemic levels of obesity in the United States and theassociated health risks and mortality, programs that targetsmodifiable factors that contributes to obesity have been proposed.These programs are aimed at modifying individual behaviors and selfmonitoring to prevent or manage obesity. According to Zheng et al(2015) self monitoring is the foundation of behavior treatment inobesity management. This includes monitoring of dietary intakes,physical activity and changes in body weight.
Obesityis one of the most important health care issues in the modernsociety. It is a leading cause of preventable deaths. Over a third ofAmerican adults are obese and a significant number of children inAmerica are overweight. Health care education goals that seek tonurture health eating habits and promote physical activities caneffectively deal with this problem. As a result of theseinterventions, the prevalence of obesity in the society isstabilizing.
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Iannotti,R. & Wang, J. (2013). Trends in Physical Activity, SedentaryBehavior, Diet, and BMI among US Adolescents, 2001–2009.Pediatrics,132(4).
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Rippe,R. & Angelopoulos, T. (2012). Obesity:Prevention and Treatment.CRC Press, ISBN 143983671X.
Zheng,Y. et a (2015). Self-weighing in weight management: A systematicliterature review. Obesity,23(2): 256-265.