Community Contribution to Solving Existing Problem Essay

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Community Contributes to Your Identified Problem and Resolving the Issue

Childhood obesity is a common problem. It has a relationship with short and long-term adverse outcomes. It affects ethnic/racial minority and children who are deprived economically and disproportionately. There is no doubt that it is a great threat to public health. Multi-sector and multilevel prevention and management strategies are the best touted for resolving the problem (Taveras, et al., 2015).

Obesity and overweight rates among black and Latino girls in high school and women in Boston are alarmingly high. Black men have been reported to indicate the highest rates of obesity. Although there is no data on the number of children affected in Boston, the national statistics show that Latino and black children show significantly high rates at a relatively early age. It is expected that the trend is the same in Boston city. The populations highlighted not only demonstrate higher incidence of both adult and childhood obesity, but has also been observed to worsen faster than its prevalence among white communities (Ferrer, 2012).

A third of all students in public high schools in Boston showed a BMI that was regarded as either overweight or obese. On the other hand, when the same measurements focused on racial ethnic groups, 35% of Latino and black students weighed above recommended levels and qualified as overweight or obese. The figure among white students was at a lower rate of 27%. Over half of all adults in Boston are either overweight or obese. Still, 3% of black adults and 61% of Latinos had overweight BMI scores as compared to the 49% that represented white adults (Ferrer, 2012). A study conducted in Boston showed that parents who were given fitness and health status reports were nearly twice more likely to accept the truth about their child's overweight problems. This was not the trend among parents who hadn't been made aware of their weight status. The ones who had received the health reports were twice more likely to pursue some kind of weight control program for the benefit of their children who were overweight.

A lot of the community run programs in Boston have directed their attention to interventions made at individual level. These interventions primarily aim at influencing knowledge, behaviors and attitudes. With time, these programs need to adopt strategies that deal with the community, interpersonal and societal influencing elements of transmission of disease and health, in general. They should seek to understand how poverty and racism have limited opportunities for a lot of people among those most affected by these realities in making pro health choices.

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They need to see how these factors have contributed to worse health outcomes for a huge number of blacks in Boston. Their health is affected by residential areas, the type of jobs, awareness on the level of risk, and access to support systems and resources. It is therefore critical that Boston's public health initiatives confront these wider contexts and realities (Kar, Dube, & Kar, 2014). One of the options to consider is to cut down on the sale of foods that qualify as junk foods in restaurants within neighbourhoods by zoning embargoes. They should primarily target convenience stores located in high density neighbourhoods that have been observed to show poor health outcomes. They can alternatively engage existing convenience stores to sell foods that are healthier (Kar, Dube, & Kar, 2014).

How to Address the Issue -- Suggestions

Lower social and economic position is strongly linked to high disease rates of various types, comparatively short life spans and poorer health, generally. The narrative also holds true for obesity. The varying social, economic, educational and environmental conditions account for these inequalities to a large extent. Additional emotional and physical stress in racially segregated neighbourhoods and housing, healthcare services that tend to discriminate against the vulnerable groups, lower paying jobs, attending schools that are poorly funded and equipped, not being part of the dominant culture and the ever-present racial signals that undermine people's self-esteem in social interactions have all added to the burden of overweight and obesity through a series of interrelated physiological and emotional reactions.

Hormones released as a result of excessive stress, generate fat that accumulates around the waist area. These occurrences increase one's chances of developing diabetes and heart disease (Kar, Dube, & Kar, 2014).

The success in preventing and fighting obesity among youths and children depends on community involvement. The efforts must transcend individual, family and even geographic boundaries to include groups and institutions (Pate et al., 2000). The need for community involvement in the improvement of health outcomes has caught the eye of many leaders, experts and opinion shapers. These experts have emphasized on the need to make use of naturally occurring setups, strengths, social structures and capacities of the local communities to stir positive change in health (Koplan, Liverman, & Kraak, 2005).

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