Caring for Population Essay

Pages: 5 (1665 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Health - Nursing

Caring for Population

Demographic and Epidemiological Data

California is currently dealing with a disastrous obesity epidemic, as the number of obese and overweight individuals has experienced a constant rise in the last years. Given the fact that the state Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is a bodybuilding icon, it is only natural for him to be actively involved in combating obesity (Grad).

A series of efforts were performed so as to diminish the rate of growth in obesity levels, such as some junk foods being removed from commerce and people being informed on the nutritional value of certain foods. Being a hallmark for the state of California, Los Angeles County is responsible for being an educator in nutrition, with it having been chosen by the governor to hold a summit on obesity and on how it can be fought (Grad).

Institutions such as the U.S. Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative took the situation in L.A. County seriously and got engaged in providing $15.9 million meant to support programs involving nutrition and obesity. The money is expected to assist communities in improving nutrition and encouraging people to perform as much physical activity as possible in order to control their weight (Department of Public Health).

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Los Angeles County holds an approximate of 10 million residents over an area of 4000 square miles. The general public in the County is apparently uninterested in their nutrition, as there are little individuals willing to fight obesity by having healthy diets. There are only 15.1% adults in the territory who munch through a healthy amount of vegetables and fruits every day. In contrast, 38.8% of adults and 43.3% of children reported consuming at least one soda of sweet beverages per day (Get Active, Get Healthy LA!, p. 4).

Essay on Caring for Population Assignment

Because of the nutrition problems and the lack of interest in physical activity experienced by numerous individuals in the state, obesity has come to be a serious issue. The rate of obesity among adults in the county reportedly grown from 14.3% in 1997 to 22.2% in 2007, while the rate of obesity in school-aged children went from 18.9% in 1999 to 23% in 1008, and the rate of obesity in preschool children experienced a growth from 16.7% in 2003 to 21.8% in 2008. These levels are not unvarying and they cannot be applied to every community in the county, as growth in obesity rates is influenced by a series of factors, such as environment and social statute (Get Active, Get Healthy LA!, p. 18). While the rate of obese adults in Los Angeles County is worrying, it appears the people in the county are actually healthier than those in the rest of the country when considering obesity. 2004 data showed that an approximate one third of all adults in the U.S. are obese. (Obesity and Cancer: Questions and Answers)

According to information collected in 2005, obesity rates can also be influenced by one's race, with Latinos and African-Americans being predisposed to experience increase in obesity. Gender is yet another influencing factor, considering that men are apparently more likely to fall victims to obesity (THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC IN LOS ANGELES COUNTYADULTS, p. 1).

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Because of the low incomes they have, the lower classes are less able to gain access to healthy foods. Living conditions worsen as the individual gains excess weight and medical costs concomitantly increase. Education is extremely significant when considering the fight against obesity and the epidemic is thriving in the communities where rates of education are reduced.

Communities in the South Central area of Los Angeles have gone through a series of attempts to reorganize their living style so as to avoid having to fall victim to obesity. Still, because of the circumstances people find themselves in (most come from low-income families, they are accustomed to consuming cheap food that is high in fat and in calories) it is very difficult for them to actually succeed in doing this. Poor neighborhoods have less access to fresh fruits and vegetables and there are virtually no programs meant to discourage the eating of foods that contain a lot of calories and little nutrients. School campuses have apparently been freed of sodas which were previously present in most vending machines.

Because a complex program of fighting obesity was not yet implemented, people in districts from Los Angeles are likely to contribute to the obesity epidemic by doing nothing significant to lessen the rate of growth experienced by the disease. Food services apparently went through great efforts to join the fight against obesity, and one of the most notable performances they carried out was to introduce healthier menu options. However, these options are expensive in most places around South Central LA and one is likely to resort to eating unhealthy food instead.

Depending on the money and time they have people choose the kind of food they want to consume. Considering that fast food is one of the cheapest and fastest methods of eating, it is not surprising that a great deal of people resort to consuming fast foods in order to satisfy their hunger. Fast foods are very common across Los Angeles County, being present in a series of locations, ranging from a small business in a poor neighborhood to a large restaurant part of a nation-wide franchise in the center of the county.

Surprisingly, almost every supermarket provides customers with the option of buying fast food. If one chooses to visit the local supermarket with the intention of buying certain foods which require preparation at home, it is very probable that he or she will feel that it is more effective to eat fast food instead.

In addition to influencing customers in buying fast food, most supermarkets are unsuccessful in informing clients with regard to the nutritional values present in particular foods. Most are likely to mention that certain food is either "low fat" or "light," this being a marketing technique meant to confuse customers into thinking that what they eat is actually healthy.

Among the key factors leading to obesity in Los Angeles County are the facts that people are uneducated regarding the physical activity they should perform in order to keep their weight normal and the foods that are harmful for them. Of course, each individual's weight is not solely determined by the physical activity he or she performs or by the foods he or she eats, as metabolism is also essential when considering weight problems.

Problem

Considering that the low-income neighborhoods are among the ones where the obesity epidemic is common, it is only natural for one to consider that lack money is crucial in causing obesity. In order for the rate of obesity to be brought to normal in these areas people need to receive information on nutrition and the authorities need to get engaged in an effort to combat street crime, which is also one of the main reasons for which people are reluctant to perform physical activity.

While obesity is mainly believed to affect one's ability to perform a series of tasks or his or her physical appearance, it is also responsible for numerous affections. Obese people have an increased risk of dying prematurely and of acquiring several chronic conditions.

"Diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, asthma, hypertension, high cholesterol, and depression" (THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC IN LOS ANGELES COUNTYADULTS, p. 1) are just some of the diseases risked by obese adults.

The healthy people web-site encourages such acts through objectives such as "(Developmental) Increase the proportion of worksites that offer nutrition or weight management classes or counseling." And "(Developmental) Increase the proportion of trips made by walking" (Proposed Healthy People 2020 Objectives).

Historical Significance

The Los Angeles County has been added 44 million pounds in the time lasting from 1997 to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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