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Health, Medicine, Nursing
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English (U.S.)
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Topic:

The Community. Defining the Community (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

Describing the extent to which obesity is prevalent in Midway, California, and the risk factors associated with obesity.

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Content:

Community Assessment Applied
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Date
Defining the Community
The community under study is Midway City, California. The subject of obesity is a serious concern to this community. This is because preliminary findings suggest that the level of obesity in this community is higher than the national level. The specific population under study is the children in elementary schools and adults. A survey of obesity status in Midway will be important for policy-makers and the government as it strives to foster a healthy lifestyle in the city.
Assessment
Midway has a total population of 10,000 people, a majority of which are whites. There are 1,500 African-Americans and 500 Hispanics. The community has a median age of 37 years. A large percentage of the population falls below 45 years. This means that there is a large group of young people who are exposed to the risk factors of obesity. There are 2,000 children attending school, 35% of them are eligible for free or reduced price lunch at school.
Many of the children who take part in extracurricular activities at school are in middle and senior school levels. Participation in junior levels is limited; hence, a risk factor for child obesity. In Midway City, adult obesity prevalence stands at 325 at national level, 35% at state level and 34% at local level (CDC, 2013). The adult obesity prevalence level in higher in Midway than it is at the national level.
Data Generation
The assessment collected data through interviews. Four key informants were identified and selected for the purpose of collecting data. These were elementary school physical education instructor, park and recreation director, restaurant owner and church minister. The four were selected because they were in close contact the target groups susceptible to obesity in Midway City. The elementary school physical education teacher was in a good position to comment on the prevalence of child obesity while the church minister would shed light on adult obesity. The recreation and park director would comment on the level of physical activity among different groups of people. A restaurant owner is best placed to highlight the eating habits of people in Midway City.
Findings
The findings of this survey general show that obesity is a serious problem (CDC, 2013). To begin with, there is a change in the population attending elementary school in the past decade. Most of the children now joining elementary school are less active than they were ten years before. Secondly, the Midway Community has not done much to prevent child obesity. This is evident in elementary schools, where physical education appears only two or three times a week. Third, interest in physical activities in Midway has waned over the years. Very few families or individuals still visit recreational parks.
Moreover, there are several barriers to healthy living in Midway. Firstly, the free or reduced-price lunch program provided to school-going children is clearly a risk factor in child obesity. This is because children may not like what is being served and would resort to buying junk food, which is a factor in child obesity. Another barrier to healthy living is lack of sufficient time for recreation. Many parents work on full-time basis, leaving them very little time for recreation with their children. In schools, the impression created is that physical fitness is not an important lifelong skill, judging from the little time allocated for physical education on the timetable.
Discussion
Obesity is a grave concern in Midway. The findings of this research show that people in Midway are exposed to many risk factors of obesity. Child obesity is on the rise due to a number of reasons. First, most of the children joining elementary school are less active than before. This is because there is little time allocated for physical education in elementary school. Secondly, the free or reduced lunch program drives children into buying junk food because schools do not always serve them with their favorite dishes. Lastly, parents are also too busy to take their children out for a physical exercise, such as swimming or walking.
The adults in Midway are also prone to obesity. Research indicates that they are too busy to exercise. This is because most of them are in full-time jobs which consume most of the time. The resulting lack of exercise predisposes them to obesity. Another fact leading to the increase obesity prevalence is lack of recreational facilities. People may have liked to exercise but they lack the opportunity to do so due to limited facilities. There is also a general lack of interest in physical fitness in Midway. Fewer people visit recreation centers compared to previous years. This has caused most of them to be overweight.
Nevertheless, the community is not without some strength. During sunny weather, some families use the bike trail. This provides them with enough exercise to keep obesity at bay. Consequently, though there are numerous risk factors for obesity in Midway, some people still find time to exercise on the bike trail.
Conclusion
The threat of obesity in Midway is real. This is especially the case for elementary school-going children and adults. This is because they have little or participation in physical activities both at home or school. There is limited time for physical education on t...
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