There are two reasons why obesity is an important issue for consideration in Florida. First, the citizens of Florida, as well as the representatives of other states, need to understand that obesity is one of the main causes of health problems. Approximately 350,000 Americans die annually because of an unhealthy diet (Knickman & Kovner, 2015).
In Florida, obesity is listed as the cause in approximately 11% of all diabetes cases and 33.5% of hypertension cases (The state of obesity in Florida, 2017). In addition, there have been more than 300,000 cases of obesity-related cancer that may even lead to death. It is predicted that this number could triple by 2030 (The state of obesity in Florida, 2017). Obesity problems affect the lives of adults and children at the same time.
It is hard to understand what part of the Florida population suffers from obesity more: children, adults, or the elderly. Therefore, it is crucial to think about different interventions and programs that can help people learn more about the problem of obesity, get appropriate guidance on how to deal with obesity or even avoid it, and take the necessary steps in order to save their lives and improve the quality of all family members’ lives.
The second reason relates to the necessity to take action and develop measures for the population. Eliminating obesity seems to be impossible to achieve because not many people want to start changing elements of their lives. Many believe that it is enough to decrease the number of unhealthy products in their diet or take some pills in order to reduce their level of pain. However, people should realize that obesity is a health problem promoted by their own decisions and actions. In other words, they have the ability to control it. Therefore, health prevention programs may be offered to address this behavioral risk factor at the individual (downstream), population (midstream), and state (upstream) levels.
At the individual level, it may be wrong to try to prevent risky behavior, but it is possible to change it (Knickman & Kovner, 2015). While it is not always possible to make people participate in behavioral interventions or self-help programs, it is possible to promote patient health education in hospitals. For example, patients may be provided with free mobile applications in order to check their weight and choose appropriate first steps.
The midstream intervention may include the development of special school programs where one hour per week is devoted to discussing behavioral risk factors including obesity. Students should know that an unhealthy diet or too much fast food can promote obesity, and that it may have an influence on the quality of their future lives. Educators must be informed about the importance of such regulations and provide students with basic information on obesity and other health risks.
Finally, interventions at the national level may help Florida citizens forget about the power of fast-food seduction, at least at night. Organizations like McDonald’s are open 24/7, meaning that people can buy unhealthy food any time they want. Closing such fast food restaurants at night may prevent many people from the possibility of eating at night, putting their health under threat 24/7.
In general, people deserve every chance to fight against their behavioral risk factors and improve their lives. Sometimes, inspiration and motivation are not enough. The government should think about its people and create the conditions under which obesity rates may be decreased, and people may get a chance to turn to other, less harmful, options.
Knickman, J.R., & Kovner, A.R. (2015). Jonas and Kovner’s health care delivery in the United States (11th ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
The state of obesity in Florida. (2017). Web.