Term Paper: Physical Activity in Contemporary Society

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Physical Activity in Contemporary Society

In the cartoon "The Answer to Youth Obesity," the artist makes an obvious statement regarding the nature of one America's biggest problems. He portrays an extremely overweight child sitting at his kitchen table with his skinny mother. He has a distressed look on his face signaling his annoyance at the healthy foods which sit in front of him. His mother is attempting to soothe his distress by explaining that "so you'll make a smaller target at school." This represents the idea of curbing unhealthy ways of raising our children, not for their health, but for social acceptance. It is an ugly truth that obese youth have to deal with being ostracized by their peers.

The problem of youth obesity can be addressed in various ways. However, it is important that they all appeal to the social stratosphere which makes up their world. Children are prone to mimic those around them and the school yard can be a necessary ally when trying to influence the minds of children. In order to curb this issue, we need the kids to eat healthier. Therefore, by making these foods appeal to children through TV. Or other facets will ensure that some will convinced and eat them. Children also need much more exercise in order to keep burning the fats they eat. Enrolling kids in sports is effective, but ensuring those children are surrounded with friends makes the process much more fun. It becomes less of a chore or a forced activity and enjoys exercising with their friends. However, when children still put on weight, something must also be done to ensure that they do not have to suffer torment from their peers. Children need to be stopped from ostracizing overweight children, for it could cause serious psychological problems later in life.

2a. Increasing healthcare costs are obvious in today's economy; one of their major factors is inactivity. This then leads to various diseases and conditions which could have initially avoided. Once a large enough population falls ill to conditions, which cost the aggregate healthcare companies millions of dollars annually, these companies to increase prices in general to the rest of the public.

3a John, Black Male with heart disease

Due to Health Disparities-Inactivity in older age. Then leads to Diabetes. Then leads to Heart Disease.

Health Care Inequalities- His whole family is not covered by his healthcare. His copays are too much for him to cover. His other coworkers get better rates.

Health Care Access- job did not provide healthcare for a while. Now it does, but very limited. His surgery and much other needed costs are not covered.

John was a forty-five-year-old male who is now suffering from heart disease. He has worked all of his life in the city he was born in. Yet, as he has gotten older, he has developed diabetes due to his increasing lack of physical inactivity. On top of that, he has begun to gain excessive amounts of weight, leading to his heart problems; these problems are standard for minorities around his age (Jet, 2001). However, he is now having problems paying his copay to his insurance company in order to get the surgery he needs. He doesn't understand why he always had a higher rate than some of his coworkers. Although he knows research has shown that minorities have much more trouble getting proper healthcare (Guy, 2000).Plus, the plan he has doesn't have that good of coverage. He didn't even have insurance until a few years ago when his boss decided to include benefits in his hourly-based job. This helped, but not enough, and is typical as seen in research based on minorities having trouble getting proper healthcare (Guy, 2000) for the insurance he was given does not cover a lot of what he needs, nor does it cover any of his family members. So he is continuing to work and do everything he can to put off the surgery until he can afford the insurance quote.

4a. The term acculturation refers to the idea that different cultures begin to assimilate within each other after prolonged contact. In this particular study it refers to the assimilation of Hispanic and Asian youths within America's culture of eating unhealthy fast foods and increasing levels of inactivity.

4b. The research produced by the study showed much higher levels of acculturation on the part of the Hispanic group of participants with assimilating Americans bad eating habits when compared to the Asian participants, although there was no real difference between physical activity or inactivity. The authors used surveys in order to collect data which was later analyzed to produce the results.

4c. There were several weaknesses which could have threatened the base of the study. The first being the honesty with which the young Asian and Hispanic students answered the questions regarding their eating habits. This could have created false results to be analyzed. Also, the survey regarding physical inactivity could have been more detailed in order to get a better picture.

5. There are several ways in which each age group can increase their physical activity through inter-institutional change. For the very youngest, the child's mother should be responsible for increasing outings and playtime with other infants and babies. For the childhood stage, incorporating sports or other outside activities with friends involved will help curb inactivity. The youth stage should center themselves more in higher level competition sports in school, for these also build confidence. For the adult stage, voluntary exercise is needed in order to help improve physical activity possibly through a work centered fitness program.

6. At the Macarthur Park Recreation Center near Downtown Los Angeles, a Community Organization is forming to help increase physical activity within the Hispanic community. This program values the cultural heritage of the Hispanic community in Los Angeles, which is important to keep members coming back. They incorporate activities which are centered on Hispanic tradition, such as Latino dancing and soccer. The faculty there shows the members high levels of respect, which is also important in establishing a relationship between faculty and members. The faculty is in fact members of the same community, so they are simply strengthening a relationship which is already there. This fact also ties into the strategy of faculty willing to learn about the member's own life experiences, for those experiences are in a way their own experiences. These tight knight relationships will also ensure the community's acceptance of the program. The program includes membership for entire families, ensuring that more members of the family will participate. This is not only good for the family at large, but it is also greater encouragement for the individual. Lastly, the program will be bi-lingual. They will offer both Spanish and English courses and teachings, so to further align themselves with their community while also offering a chance to get more familiar with English.

7. There are several recommendations which would improve George's quest to become more physically fit and therefore avoid serious health problems. Because he is divorced and lives a relatively solitary life, it will be difficult to keep him focused. Faculty at the program he is attending should encourage him to make friends at the gym in order to mutually keep each other on track and make the work out more enjoyable. Also finding a friend who is also trying to quit smoking will help George get through the tough time. Because he is so far away from his health club, he might want to find someone who lives near him to carpool. This would not only save him time and gas, but also create relationships with others at the health club. He was sore for two whole days after his first work out, so he should understand the limits of his body and start off slow, maybe a few times a week and then pick up the speed once his body feels capable. It might also be recommended that he asks his boss at work to give him a little less hours until he starts getting his health back on track. He needs to listen to his doctor's advice. Also because everyone is on a relatively similar program, he might want to ask the faculty to take a look at his individual needs to address certain problems which he might have while the others don't. He said that he liked the program being out of his hands, but it still needs to be tailored to his specific needs and wants. He needs to take some time and think about what he wants to accomplish in order to have the faculty help him efficiently. Despite the fact they will not be setting any goals for six months, George needs to set his own during that period. The better he knows himself, the better they will know how and when to step in and help him more efficiently. He should also try and incorporate his hobby of collecting old tapes into his work out routine.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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