The problem of overweight and obesity should be discussed as the health priority for the residents of Benton County, Minnesota, because more than 60% of the adult population suffers from the problem (Benton County Community 2011, p. 1).
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Overweight and obesity is a cause of severe negative health outcomes in the community’s members, and the adult population of Benton County has the motivation to overcome the problem. Therefore, an effective action plan should be developed to address the issue of overweight and obesity in the community.
Service to Implement in the Community
The service to address the overweight and obesity problem in the community is the health awareness and education program about nutrition and diet. This program is proposed for the residents who are over the age of 30 in order to make them aware of the role of overweight and obesity for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and high levels of cholesterol.
The program can also broaden their knowledge regarding healthy eating habits and diet (Zinn, Schofield & Hopkins 2013, p. 113). The recommended service is important because it educates the adult population on healthy eating habits, and it is based on the cooperation of health care providers and employers in the community (Gabel, Whitmore & Pickreign 2009, p. 46).
Aims and Objectives of the Service
The aim of the service is to educate the adult population of Benton County on healthy eating habits and to contribute to the decrease of the rate of overweight and obesity in the community’s members while addressing the risks of developing associated chronic diseases.
The objectives of the service are the following ones:
- By the end of the fourth month of the program, 70% of the adult population of the community will be able to develop healthy eating plans and choose healthy and nutritional products in stores.
- By the end of three months of the program’s work, 70% of employers will implement healthy eating programs for their employees.
- By the end of six months of the program’s work, the consumption of fruit and vegetables will increase by 30%.
Methods and Strategies
In order to engage the community in the program and to build the community capacity to have a positive impact on the health of the community’s members, it is necessary to use the following strategies:
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- The first step is the public meeting with the community’s members on the aim and aspects of the program with the focus on determining the importance of the service while referring to the results of the needs assessment in the community.
- The second strategy is the cooperation with employers and organization of consultations of the adult population with dieticians at the workplaces (Heinen & Darling 2009, p. 101).
- The next strategy is the organization of seminars with dieticians and nutritionists on healthy eating habits (Swinburn, Caterson & Seidell 2004, p. 123).
- The other approach is the cooperation with employers to implement healthy eating programs at organizations’ dining rooms.
- The final strategy is the organization of the fair of the healthy foods in cooperation with the farmers.
People Involved in the Service Implementation
The program will be implemented in cooperation with the County Public Health Agencies, Minnesota Department of Health, and the leaders of the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) in Benton County.
Dieticians working with the County Public Health Agencies and the Minnesota Department of Health will be invited to conduct seminars and provide consultations. The community’s employers will be contacted to implement healthy eating programs at organizations. The leaders of the SHIP and farmers will be involved in the process of organizing the fair of the healthy foods in Benton County.
The program will be sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Health in cooperation with the SHIP. The overall forecasted budget that is necessary to implement and monitor all the stages of the program is $100,000. These financial resources are necessary to guarantee the work of seminars conducted by dieticians and to sponsor the implementation of healthy eating programs at the community’s organizations. It is also important to attract investors in the organization of the fair of healthy foods in the community.
The Required Facilities
The facilities are necessary to organize the first public meeting with the community’s members and to conduct seminars led by dieticians. The public meeting will be held in the hall of the City Administration building in Sauk Rapids in February. The seminars are planned to be held in halls of City Administration buildings in Sauk Rapids, Foley, Gilman, and Rice. The projectors and hardware will be provided by the SHIP center in the community.
Time Scale for the Action Plan
The important stage of implementing the action plan to achieve the set goals is the evaluation of the program’s effectiveness and outcomes (Allender, Rector & Warner 2014, p. 486). In order to evaluate the expected outcomes, it is necessary to conduct the survey and organise focus groups in order to provide the answers to the following questions:
- Is the adult population in the community aware of the healthy eating habits and nutritional value of product?
- Is the adult population in the community able to develop the healthy eating plans for the family and choose healthy and nutritional products?
- Are there positive outcomes of implementing healthy eating programs by employers?
The constantly increasing rate of overweight and obesity in the residents of Benton County, Minnesota, negatively affects the health of the adult population and leads to developing severe health conditions and such chronic diseases as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. The proposed action plan aims to address the identified health need in the community.
Allender, J., Rector, C. & Warner, K. 2014, Community health nursing: promoting and protecting the public’s health, Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins, Philadelphia.
Benton County Community Health Board 2011. Web.
Gabel, J., Whitmore, H. & Pickreign, J. 2009, ‘Obesity and the workplace: current programs and attitudes among employers and employees’, Health Affairs, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 46-56.
Heinen, L. & Darling, H. 2009, ‘Addressing obesity in the workplace: the role of employers’, Milbank Quarterly, vol. 87, no. 1, pp. 101-122.
Swinburn, B., Caterson, I. & Seidell, J. 2004, ‘Diet, nutrition and the prevention of excess weight gain and obesity’, Public Health Nutrition, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 123–146.
Zinn, C., Schofield, G. & Hopkins, W. 2013, ‘Management of adult overweight and obesity: consultation characteristics and treatment approaches of private practice dietitians’, Nutrition & Dietetics, vol. 70, no. 2, pp. 113–119.