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Advocacy Campaign: the Problem of Childhood Obesity

The proposed advocacy campaign seeks to address the problem of childhood obesity. The approach will entail the use of powerful campaigns and educational processes to raise awareness of the major risk factors for obesity. The campaign will succeed it is seeks to support the changing needs of more people or communities in the nation. Consequently, the advocacy will ensure more children are empowered and guided to protect themselves from obesity and eventually lead better lives (Brown & Allison, 2013). Unfortunately, the advocacy process might result in a number of ethical dilemmas or problems.

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Ethical Dilemmas

The obesity advocacy campaign might be embraced because it seeks to address a major health epidemic and improve people’s health. The suggested strategies can empower and guide more young people to eat healthy food materials and engage in exercises. Unfortunately, these desirable measures might be condemned or disregarded by different people because of the ethical issues associated with obesity. The first ethical concern might arise from their cultural and social value of food practices and eating (Holm et al., 2014). Eating habits, use of fad diets, and cooking methods are usually part of a population’s culture.

The proposed campaign might be against these cultural practices thereby affecting its success. For instance, a campaign that discourages children from consuming fast foods will encounter numerous ethical challenges.

Childhood obesity is viewed differently in a various cultures. For instance, some cultural groups might not see anything wrong with a child being obese. That being the case, the advocacy campaign can attract a major ethical concern depending on the notions held by the targeted members of the community (Brown & Allison, 2013). This is true because the families of chidlren who are obese will definitely be unhappy with the advocacy process.

Some analysts believe strongly that any kind of campaign targeted specific individuals who are obese can be described as inappropriate. This happens to be the case because the campaign tends to disrespect or disregard people’s privacy (Brown & Allison, 2013). This kind of challenge can affect the proposed advocacy campaign. The connection between obesity and inequality will definitely be revealed much further through the use of the campaign. This is a unique ethical challenge that can affect the effectiveness and success of the advocacy program.

Most of the interventions aimed at protecting young people from the problem of obesity might be received negatively by the targeted beneficiaries. The ethical dilemma will definitely emerge because many parents will feel that their liberties and freedoms are infringed (Brown & Allison, 2013). The proposed interventions might contradict with the lifestyles and choices of the targeted beneficiaries.

Holm et al. (2014) believe that campaigns focusing on specific conditions such as obesity can result in psychosocial implications. For example, many obese persons will have increased concerns and fears depending on the views of the others members of the society. The healthcare worker might group the beneficiaries into different groups depending on their body mass indexes (BMIs). By so doing, children who are obese might be stigmatized by their friends.

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Tackling the Dilemmas

The ANA nursing Code of Ethics has presented powerful standards and practices that can guide nurses to support the well-being of their clients. The seventh provision indicates that nurses should advance their practices through scholarly inquiry and research. They should also follow the stipulated standards of practice. The 8th provision outlines how the practitioners should collaborate with other professionals in order to support the health of every individual and reduce disparities in care. The 9th provision requires that nurses should articulate values, focus on integrity, and integrate social justice into health policy and nursing (Brown & Allison, 2013). These attributes will definitely empower me to deal with every emerging ethical concern.

The first approach will be to minimize disparities. This means that every member in the targeted society will be sensitized and informed about the importance of embracing various prevention measures (Holm et al., 2014). More persons in the community will be guided to understand why obesity should be dealt with. Young people should understand that obesity exposes them to a wide range of diseases such as diabetes.

Throughout the campaign process, the beneficiaries should be guided to understand how the issue of privacy is maintained. The individuals will be required to monitor their BMIs without being forced to share the information with others. This practice will reduce chances of discrimination and encourage more members of the community to be part of the process (Llauradó et al., 2015). In some cultural groups where obesity is seen as a taboo, it will be appropriate to use the best approach that targets the wider community. More people will be empowered to embrace the power of lifelong learning. The approach will give more youths the opportunity to focus on their health outcomes and diets (Llauradó et al., 2015). These measures will minimize ethical conflicts and make the advocacy campaign successful.

Ethics and Lobbying Laws

Advocacy groups and lobbyists will encounter a wide range of situations whenever supporting the needs of their clients. Legislators planning to support the implementation of certain policies will definitely have to deal with a number of high profile issues (Llauradó et al., 2015). The performance of such lobbyists is therefore governed by specific laws in order to ensure the rights of the clients are taken seriously and safeguarded.

The first law that is applicable to the advocacy campaign against the problem of childhood obesity is known as Ethics Act (Brown & Allison, 2013). This law guides the performance of lobbyists and legislators. The professionals will be required to file or document their statements of economic interests (SEIs). They should also attend various sessions focusing on ethics education. This move will ensure the individuals are equipped with the right skills that can support the advocacy process.

Whenever working with different communities, lobbyists and legislations should always promote the best ethical standards (Brown & Allison, 2013). They should never receive any form of private gain. Perryman and Sidoti (2015) indicate that lobbyists will be discouraged from receiving any form of private support or advantage for serving in a given public position. When advocating for new policies to support the welfare of more young people who have obesity, it would be wrong to take bribes or engage in unfair practices. As a lobbyist supporting the implementation of new policies to deal with obesity, it will definitely be wrong to engage in unethical practices.

Certain malpractices such as taking bribes can disorient the process and make it impossible for me to support the welfare of the greatest majority. Bribes can be given in order to ensure the developed policies do not support the people’s welfare (Sahoo et al., 2015). Some corporations might give bribes to ensure more people continue to eat specific unhealthy food materials.

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The Ethics Act goes further to present powerful guidelines prohibiting advocates and legislations from accepting any form of gift from beneficiaries or members of the society. Such gifts are categorized as bribes or unnecessary awards. Gifts from different stakeholders such as consolidators and lenders should be avoided at all cost in order to support the advocacy process (Llauradó et al., 2015). This guideline or law is applicable to my advocacy campaign. It would be wrong to receive bribes from different individuals because the malpractice can disorient the entire process.

In the United States, lobbying laws are implemented to dictate the behaviors and performance of advocacy groups and lobbyists. This law is applicable to my advocacy campaign because it explains why I should report my action plans periodically. These obligations will be needed in order to ensure the changing needs of the targeted beneficiaries are addressed in a timely manner. When these lobbying and ethics laws are considered, it will definitely be possible to support the advocacy campaign and make it successful (Perryman & Sidoti, 2015). Consequently, more people will be in a position to deal with the problem of obesity and lead healthy lives.

Special Ethical Challenges Unique to Children

The ultimate goal of every health promotion campaign or model is to support the welfare of more people. The proposed advocacy campaign seeks to support more chidlren with obesity and safeguard those who do not have the condition. However, the campaign will definitely attract various ethical concerns or challenges. To begin with, the campaign might be against the wishes and personal freedoms of the parents (Sahoo et al., 2015).

It is agreeable that parents consider the best lifestyles and behaviors for their children. They also identify the best practices to raise their chidlren. The campaign might be against some of these behaviors and strategies used to raise children. This ethical dilemma can have significant implications on the targeted campaign.

The second potential ethical challenge might emerge from the issue of discrimination or unjust stigmatization (Llauradó et al., 2015). More often than not, young chidlren will ridicule or discriminate one another based on their cultural backgrounds or disabilities. In societies whereby obesity is described by many people as a disease (or a taboo), chances are high that the affected chidlren will be discriminated against by their classmates. The children might be discouraged and fail to be part of the campaign. This is a major ethical concern because the campaign or policy agenda might not be lobbied successfully. The negative consequences and psychosocial issues can make it impossible for the affected chidlren to realize their health goals.

The proposed advocacy can present another unique ethical concern. The targeted young chidlren should be able to record positive results and minimize chances of developing the condition. However, the professional might be unable “to convince the beneficiaries that the proposed interventions will definitely have positive effects on physical health” (Perryman & Sidoti, 2015, p. 22). The situation can even be worse if the chidlren do not record improved results. The chidlren will no longer be willing to be part of the program. This is a unique ethical dilemma that should be considered if the campaign is to succeed and support the health needs of more chidlren.

The campaign will expose the BMIs of the chidlren. This disclosure can be described as a breach of a young person’s privacy. The targeted children might find it hard to share their personal data with their classmates or friends (Sahoo et al., 2015). The parents might also argue that the campaign disrespects the rights and freedoms of the chidlren. Since these issues will definitely emerge whenever dealing with young chidlren, it should be necessary to come up with a powerful advocacy campaign that addresses them (Turale, 2014). The approach will ensure the rights of more chidlren are met and guide them to lead healthy lives. The diseases and conditions associated with obesity will also be addressed.


The proposed advocacy campaign has the potential to support the health needs of many chidlren and ensure they grow to become productive adults. The increasing number of people with obesity should be a major source of concern. The implementation of evidence-based and timely policies will address the problem and empower more chidlren to lead quality lives. However, the campaign will definitely attract quite a number of obstacles or ethical concerns. Since the advocacy process targets chidlren and young people, chances are high that cases of discrimination and stigmatization might be high.

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Some stakeholders such as parents might believe strongly that the process disregards the rights of the children. It will therefore be necessary to consider the best practices that can maximize the clients’ outcomes. The ultimate goal should be to maximize the well-being of every individual. Ethical code of conduct and lobbying laws should be used to minimize cases of bribery and unfairness (Turale, 2014). Collaboration with different stakeholders, lobbyists, counselors, nutritionists, and policymakers will support the advocacy campaign. Constant evaluation of the process will address the emerging ethical concerns and support the program.


Brown, A., & Allison, D. (2013). Unintended consequences of obesity-targeted health policy. AMA Journal of Ethics, 15(1), 339-346. Web.

Holm, J., Nowicka, P., Farpour-Lambert, N., O’Malley, G., Hassapidou, M., Weiss, R., & Baker, J. (2014). The ethics of childhood obesity treatment from the Childhood Obesity Task Force (COTF) of European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO). Obesity Facts, 7(1), 274-281. Web.

Llauradó, E., Aceves-Martins, M., Tarro, L., Papell-Garcia, I., Puiggròs, F., Arola, L., … Giralt, M. (2015). A youth-led social marketing intervention to encourage healthy lifestyles, the EYTO (European Youth Tackling Obesity) project: A cluster randomised controlled trial in Catalonia, Spain. BMC Public Health, 15, 607. Web.

Perryman, M., & Sidoti, K. (2015). Ethical considerations in the treatment of childhood obesity. Medicolegal and Bioethics, 5(1), 17-26. 

Sahoo, K., Sahoo, B., Choudhury, A. K., Sofi, N. Y., Kumar, R., &Bhadoria, A. S. (2015). Childhood obesity: Causes and consequences. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 4(2), 187–192. Web.

Turale, S. (2014). Nursing and health policy perspectives. International Nursing Review, 61(3), 299-300. 

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