5 pages/≈1375 words
Health, Medicine, Nursing
The Most Important Public Health Challenge (Research Paper Sample)
the paper is about major challenges facing the health sector.source..
Title: The Most Important Public Health Challenge
The Most Important Public Health Challenge
Public health is the branch of science that deals with disease prevention, promotion of health living and the prolonging of life. Practitioners in this field achieve this feat by bringing on board stakeholders that include private and public organizations, communities and individuals. Public health concerns itself with tackling threats facing the health of its various stakeholders. The main objective of public health intervention is to better the health of individuals through treating and preventing diseases and other health related conditions (Turnock, 2012). This paper will address the most pressing public health challenge and move to an intervention system that can be used to tackle the challenge.
Obesity is one of the greatest challenges that the public health continues to contend with in this modern times. This challenge has imparted negative health consequences and high costs to the society as a whole. Obesity is a health condition whose main feature is the accumulation of excess body fat in a patient’s body. This condition comes about from the sustenance of adiposity which occurs when energy intake exceeds energy expenditure. A person is considered obese when his BMI exceeds 29.9 kg/m2. BMI has been used as an important measure for obesity and has helped in informing public health interventions to deal with this challenge (Kopelman et al, 2010).
The Burden of Obesity
The world has witnessed a steady increase in the prevalence of obesity in the world. In the UK, the prevalence of obesity has proceeded at doubling rate annually and it is estimated that by the year 2025, the country will have a prevalence rate of 40% among its adult population. Reports from North America and the other developing countries reveal the same trend (Stern, & Kazaks, 2009). This trend presents a significant public health concern particularly in the developing world because it doubles the incidence of communicable and non-communicable diseases, a situation that is most likely to overwhelm the poverty struck health services in the developing countries.
There are many negative mental, social and physical conditions associated with obesity. For instance, obesity is associated with metabolic abnormalities and diseases such as insulin resistance, coronary heart diseases, stroke, dyslipidaemia, and hypertension. Persons suffering from obesity are more prone to these health issues than the non-obese persons (Crawford, 2010). Additionally, obesity places a huge burden on an individual’s health, the general health of the society and the economy of the country. For instance, in the UK alone, obesity accounted for 7% morbidity, 30, 000 deaths and an annual cost of over 3.5 billion GBP. If the present rate persists, then it is estimated that obesity-related expenses will hit the 10 billion GBP mark by the year 2025 (Lopez & DCPP, 2006). This statistics show that obesity not only impacts the health of individuals but goes further to impart socio-economic implications at the population and individual levels.
Obesity and its related diseases have been found to be more prevalent among persons who are economically challenged. Persons with low income tend to consume more of saturated fats, red meat, and sugars. This group of people also lacks access to sport and fitness facilities from where they can exercise and burn off excess calories (Kelly,2006). The cost consequences emanating from poor food habits and lifestyle are quiet huge. An estimated 6% of the world’s health related cost is attributed to obesity in adults. Additionally, there are a number of indirect costs associated with obesity. Among these costs we have costs due to loss of productivity, loss of lives, and absenteeism among a host of other costs. Furthermore, social costs, which include discrimination at work and underachievement in school also, need to be factored in the calculation of costs incurred by people who are obese.
Public Health Intervention to Combat Obesity
The interventions meant to deal with the challenge of obesity is often fashioned from or informed by the ten essential services of public health. A logic model is formally defined as a graphical depiction which explains why the intervention chosen is best suited to tackle the challenge at hand. This model ensures that all participants in the intervention are on board and that they are moving in the same direction. For the purpose of this paper, we shall use the ten essential public health services as our logic model. It is however worth noting at this juncture that the ten essential public health services model differs markedly from other logic models. This is so particularly because there is no specific outcome that results from the application of all the ten services.
The Ten Essential Services provide a supportive framework for dealing with the challenge of obesity. This model acts as a guide for public health professionals and also ensures that their practices are harmonized. The Essential services are designed in such a way that they respond to the core functions of public health which includes assessment, development of policy, and assurance. The Ten Essential Services of Public Health emanated from the need to have a more comprehensive approach to the challenges bedeviling the public. The Ten Essential services are discussed hereunder with a bias on their intervention to deal with the challenge of obesity.
Essential Service #1: Monitoring of the Public’s health status to identify their health problems
This service is provided through surveillance and encompasses public health activities that include the identification of threats to public health. This service allows the practitioners in the field to identify risk factors that might lead to obesity. Early discovery of these factors goes a long way towards ensuring that the challenge is prevented as far as it is possible (Hunting, & Gleason, 2012).
Essential service #2: Diagnosis and investigation of health problems bedeviling the community
This service includes epidemiological identification of new health threats and technical capacity building for the identification of disease outbreaks and patterns of chronic disease. This service is instrumental in identifying the epidemiological patterns of obesity. The data gathered can then be used in policy formulation to deal with the disease.
Essential Service #3: Inform, empower and educate the public concerning health issues.
Public health practitioners and other community leaders can provide this service to the public. While performing this service, the practitioners can educate the public on the dangers of unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise (Hunting, & Gleason, 2012). They can also pass information on the dangers that accompany obesity.
Essential Service #4: Mobilization of Community partnerships to identify and solve heath problems
This is an important service as it brings on board all stakeholders to the process of tackling obesity. This service ensures that there are many persons undertaking the process of dealing with the public health challenge.
Essential Service #5 Development of policies and plans which support other health efforts
Policies and plans are the guiding principles that assist the medical practitioners to accomp...
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