Obesity Prevention Using Health Belief Model Literature Review

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Obesity Prevention Using Health Belief Model


Causes of Obesity


Family Lifestyle


Environmental Factors




Risk Associated with Obesity

Treatment or Prevention of Obesity

The Health Belief Model

Obesity Prevention Using Health Belief Model


Obesity refers to a condition of having excessive body fat that is caused due to the genetic and environmental factors that cannot be controlled through dieting. A person suffering from the obesity problem has a Body Mass Index (BML) up to 30% or more than that. BML is a tool used for measuring obesity rate. Obesity is known to be a long-term disease. It can lead to many long-term diseases that could be a cause of death.

The intake of food that we eat every day is beneficial for the health. Food is important for the nutrients that are required to keep the body health and also the calories that provide energy to the body. If the food is taken in excessive quantity without burning out any calories than the extra food turns into fat and in stored in the body. If a person continues with his or her irregular eating habits then he or she will become overweight and will eventually become obese.

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Obesity is very common in the United States and other developed countries. More than two-third population of America is overweight especially the children. Obesity is a very common problem in our society these days due to the lack of physical activities and the abundance of food.

There are a number of methods used to measure obesity but the most commonly used method is Body Mass Index (BMI). This is a tool used to diagnose weight. It is used to indicate obesity in the adults. It is calculated by dividing the weight of a person in kilograms by his or her height in meters. A person with the a BMI level of 30 or more than that is considered to be obese. (R.Scott, 2008)

Causes of Obesity

Literature Review on Obesity Prevention Using Health Belief Model Assignment

The problem is weight gain occurs when one eats more calories than is required by the body. This excessive food in the body is converted into fat and this fat in the body can lead to obesity. Obesity can be caused by a number of reasons. Factors like age, sex, gender or the environment can all be a cause of obesity.


Genetics plays a major role in obesity. Genes can be a cause of certain disorders in the body that leads to obesity. Genes contribute a lot in the distribution of the body fat and in increasing the metabolism rate.

Family Lifestyle

Obesity can be a common problem in a family. It could be due to the common genes and the sharing common eating habits. If one of the parents suffers from the obesity problem then the risk of the children getting obese is much higher.


Depression, hopelessness, boredom and many other factors can contribute to obesity. These are the feelings that influence the eating habits of people and forcing them to overeat.

Environmental Factors

The most important contributing environmental factor causing obesity is the living style of the people. Most eating habits are adopted by the people around you, who are a part of your everyday life. The problem of overeating is a major factor leading to obesity.


The number of muscles in men is more than that in women. The use of calories by the men even at rest is more than the women. So the chances of weight gain are more common in women even in their intake of calories is the same as men.


People start gaining weight and losing energy as they become older. Their metabolism rate also slows down. Both of these factors can result in obesity.


Pregnancy can also lead to obesity as the women tend to gain 4-6 pounds during their pregnancy period and the weight tends to increase. (Galletta, 2012)

Risk Associated with Obesity

There are almost 40 diseases that can be cause due to the problem of obesity. Those people who are suffering from the problem of obesity can easily become the victim of these diseases. The most common diseases associated with obesity include:


High Cholesterol

High Blood Pressure

Heart diseases



Some cancers

Gallbladder Disease

Treatment or Prevention of Obesity

The treatment of obesity can help a person achieve a healthy weight and to maintain that weight. People who are suffering from obesity are often discouraged because they think that they have to lose a lot of weight and they give up before even making any efforts. But this is not the case. An obese person who loses at least 5 to 10% of the body fat can also see prominent improvement in their health.

Behavior plays a major role in obesity. Many behavior and habits can lead to obesity. By modifying these behaviors one can easily avoid the developing of this disease. The behaviors that need modification include:

Changing Eating Habits

Increasing Physical Activities

Getting educated about how to keep the body fit

Taking part in Extra Curricular Activities

Setting Weight Management Goals

It is important to make changes in the lifestyle or behavior to live a healthy life. Friends and family can contribute a lot in helping to change one's behavior and living style.

Getting involved in certain physical activity is also a key factor in avoiding obesity. Having a physical activity on daily bases can contribute a lot in improving the health.

It is important for the patient to feel calm and relaxed while striving to achieve a certain weight goal. It is a general observation that the obese people, who lose weight slowly and continuously, are more successful in losing weight and in reaching their target.

According to the experts, a person can be more successful in losing weight by increasing his or her physical activities, changing the eating habits or by making certain changes in behavior. Those patients who are unable to lose weight are prescribed some medications might be suggested some weight-loss surgery by the doctors.(Nordqvist, 2013)

The Health Belief Model

The Health Belief Model is a tool that is used to predict different health behaviors in a person. This model was developed in the 1950s but was upgraded in the 1980s. This theory is based on the fact that the people tend to change their health behavior due to the following factors:

Severity: A person tends to change his or her health behavior in the case when he or she is aware of the severity of the consequences and is not willing to take any risk.

Benefits: It is difficult for a person to bring changes in his or her health activities or behavior if there are no benefits linked with changing the eating habits.

Barriers: Sometimes it becomes difficult for the people to change their health behavior because they find it very hard to give up certain eating habits. A person's hesitation in changing health behavior might also be due to the involvement of money, time and effort.

The Health Belief Model is based on realistic facts. It recognizes the fact that a person wanting to make changes in the health behavior cannot actually help him or her to bring that change; there are other elements involved that make the person actually take this step. These elements could be the clues to action and self-efficacy.(Boskey, 2010)

Obesity Prevention Using Health Belief Model

The use of effective procedures is required to prevent the increase of obesity problem occurring most commonly among children and adults. A change in the behavior of a person cans the medical interventions that have been taken from the theories or models used to understand behavior of people. The theory most relevant in identifying and defining the behavioral changes is the Health Belief Model. This theory identifies the ways that can motivate people to bring health and behavior changes that can help them fight and prevent obesity.

In an article " Are Current Health Behavior Change Models Helpful in Guiding Prevention of Weight Gain Efforts" written by Tom Baranowski, the writer talks about how the Health Behavior Theory contribute in understanding and motivating people to bring health behavior changes. He points out that people tend to change their behavior due to a number of factors like by knowing the severity or consequences of the change, by knowing the benefits of these changes, knowing about certain barriers or risks that might be involved in bringing these changes, Knowing about certain environmental events in the family or a person's belief in him or herself in bringing a certain change.

According to the writer, the primarily reason within the Health Belief Model, for motivation to bring behavior change is a person's fear of taking risk or facing a threat with serious consequences. Similarly, the primarily resource within the Health Belief Model is Self-Efficacy for bringing change. The people who are confident enough will be more willing to bring a positive change in their health behavior. (Baranowski,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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