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Health Promotion: Disease Control and Prevention

Introduction

Much attention from healthcare providers and healthcare agencies is dedicated to the problems of obesity. Still, not many professionals discuss the risk of being overweight, including the potential consequence of becoming obese in the future. In terms of prevention, it is easier to help patients who have some excess weight than those who are obese because their habits, eating patterns, and emotional dependence on food are not as deeply rooted. This paper will focus on creating a health promotion program for individuals who are overweight.

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As for baseline data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2020a), 71% of Americans are overweight, based on 2015-2016 data. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH) (n.d.) provides the following description of the problem: “more than 87% of adults with diabetes are overweight or obese” (para. 15). As for supporting data, Mabry-Hernandez (2017) states that excess weight, especially among children, was declared a state’s most pressing issue since 17% of children between the ages of 2 and 19 have been diagnosed with obesity. According to Jaacks et al. (2019), obesity among the population develops in stages, beginning with access weight, which is more prevalent among adults women. Moreover, excess weight may result in problems with the heart, liver, and cause issues with sleep, pregnancy, or have other adverse effects on one’s health. NIH’s website (n.d.) warns that several excess pounds gained within a year can quickly add up and later result in obesity, but unfortunately, most people choose to overlook this issue. If not addressed promptly, the population will face severe health impairments.

A significant barrier in the current healthcare system in the area is that health providers place much more emphasis on patients who are obese, and those who are overweight do not get the necessary guidance. The need for this project is the need to prevent the development of obesity at the early stages. Gaps in knowledge include ways to teach the population how to change their habits and cost-effectively maintain control over their weight. The capacity of care providers is limited because they cannot provide 24/7 support to their patients to educate them and guide them in their daily routines, although they can notify the patient about their excess weight during the routine assessments.

Key public healthcare agencies for this project include the CDC and e Research and Quality (AHRQ). In essence, a patient’s weight is measured under a standard procedure of a routine health check. However, healthcare providers lack an adequate resource to recommend to patients who want to address their eating habits. Coordination of efforts for an effective intervention within the preventative services is the key since care providers can identify the problem, and healthcare agencies can provide resources and evidence-based practices to help patients.

Description

The agency that will be a part of this project is the AHRQ. According to Mabry-Hernandez (2017), AHRQ is already developing programs to address obesity among adolescents. Their mission is to “to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable” and to work with partners that will apply evidence-based care in practice (“Founding priorities,” 2015). Their vision is to foster research in the domain of healthcare. The link to their website is www.ahrq.gov.

Rationale

The overweight prevention program should be created because it contributes to improving the population’s health at early stages, reverting the potential risks of becoming obese and developing comorbidities such as diabetes and others (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, n.d). Most people ignore them, gaining some extra weight, but it can accumulate and lead to obesity in older age.

If this program is not implemented, the target population will continue to overlook the extra pounds they gain. Still, the prevalence of people with excess weight has been increasing since 1999 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020b). With time, this will result in them accumulating more weight and getting used to their problematic eating and exercise habits, placing a severe burden on their health leading to a widespread population problem or “‘obesity transition” (Jaacks et al., 2019, p. 231). Evidence from the literature also includes NIH data and an article where Mabry-Hernandez (2017) outlines the government’s strategies to combat obesity.

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Goals and Objectives

This program’s central goal is to help people who only began to gain excess weight maintain their healthy weight and avoid obesity and its adverse effects on their health. The objective is to teach people whose BMI is over the norm to exercise and eat properly. Regarding levels of the objective, the weight of people with BMI over 24.9 should decrease within a year to 24.9 or lower.

Program Development

To develop this program, one must create a resource of reference for patients that will help them track their eating habits and daily routines, see recommendations on improvements, and follow the new habit, in partnership with AHRQ. During the intervention stage, a healthcare provider will refer the patient to this website, and they will use it to modify their habits. And the critical intervention strategy is direct instruction. Resources utilized for this program include a skilled professional with a background in nutrition, a website, or a platform for the education materials, and care providers.

Program Implementation

Procedures followed under the stage of implementing this program include cooperation with AHQR to gain a comprehension of the evidence-based practices. Next, under this program, one must develop an online resource with information and applications for tracking habits and progress. This program has to cooperate with healthcare providers to complete assessments, refer patients, and evaluate progress, which will require an adequate communication strategy.

Evaluation

Impact evaluation should be used to assess this program’s outcomes since the central premise of the program is to teach patients how to manage their lives to help them reduce weight. Hence, weight and BMI assessments pre and post-implementation are the right criteria of measurement. However, this assessment will require substantial time to get the post-implementation results, from several months to a year, to comprehend the consequences fully.

Reflection

The first lesson from this culmination experience is that prevention is the key to managing the population’s health. Although most agencies and scholars admit that obesity is a pandemic, they do not focus on being excess weight prevention. Thirdly, healthcare agencies have communicated mission and vision statements, and one should select an agency whose statements align with the objectives of their program. Fourthly, this experience showed that planning a health promotion and education program is a complex process, and one must consider the existing services and barriers. Finally, the fifth lesson is that the collection of baseline data is vital for adequate planning since, initially, the author of this project wanted to focus on obesity prevention. To conclude, this project aims to partner with AHRQ to develop a program for addressing the excess weight of people living in the United States.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020a). Obesity and overweight. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020b). Adult obesity facts. Web.

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Founding priorities. (2015). Web.

Jaacks, L. M., Vandevijvere, S., Pan, A., McGowan, C. J., Wallace, C., Imamura, F., Mozaffarian, D., Swinburn, B., & Ezzati, M. (2019). The obesity transition: Stages of the global epidemic. The Lancet: Diabetes & Endocrinology, 7(3), 231–240. Web.

Mabry-Hernandez, I. (2017). AHRQ’s role in combating obesity. AHRQ. Web.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (n.d.). Health risks of being overweight. Web.

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