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Obesity in the United States: Learning Process

Learning Goals and Objectives

Obesity is a persistent problem in many developed countries. According to Fox (2016), over 40% of American females are obese. The percentage of children and teenagers who have some degree of obesity is also concerning: the study found over 17% of children and teenagers to be obese, weighing more than 95% of children their age (Fox, 2016). The figures are anticipated to grow further by the end of the 2020s: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that 42% of all U.S. adults will be obese by 2030.

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This week, the primary goal of the learning process was to increase the understanding of the causes, consequences, and treatment of obesity. For example, one of the learning objectives was to outline effective evidence-based treatment schemes. In America, bariatric surgeries are widely used to treat obesity and are considered to be more effective than conservative treatment options alone, such as diet and exercise (Angrisani et al., 2015).

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) was the most commonly used type of bariatric surgery in 2013, constituting 45% of all bariatric surgeries worldwide (Angrisani et al., 2015). Bariatric surgery is usually recommended to American patients suffering from severe obesity, whereas mild obesity is addressed by diet and lifestyle changes. Health consequences of obesity were also addressed this week. Depending on its stage, obesity can lead to various health complications, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. People who suffer from obesity have a lower life expectancy, as they are more likely to die from stroke or heart failure.

According to the WHO (2013), people with obesity are also at risk for developing musculoskeletal disorders, such as osteoarthritis, and are more prone to develop certain types of cancer, including endometrial, breast, and colon cancer. As part of the discussion, the economic burden of obesity care was also addressed.

In order to cover the required learning objectives fully, the students were divided into three groups. Each group had to prepare a presentation on either the causes, consequences, or treatment of obesity. The presentations were evaluated by surveys and discussed in class.

Week Schedule

  • Monday: First class meeting, the introduction of the topic and learning objectives;
  • Tuesday: Search for information on the chosen topic in scholarly resources, such as medical journals and publications;
  • Wednesday: Meeting with the rest of the group to prepare and practice the presentation:
  • Thursday: Presenting the results of secondary research in class and discussing the topic on the whole;
  • Friday: Evaluating presentations using surveys, reflecting on group performance.

Placement Issues

There were no significant placement issues that could have affected this week’s learning, as the presentation was mainly built with the use of secondary research. Some nurses were consulted about the treatment and prevention of obesity, and they were ready to answer all the questions we had. One problem we encountered during research is that there was too much information on the chosen topics to present it in a 10-15 minute presentation. However, after we shared our concerns with the tutor, she agreed and allowed us to go over the time limit if required.

Objective Description

The objective of this week’s work was to become more familiar with the diagnosis of obesity. As part of the discussion, we addressed the causes, health consequences, and treatment of the condition, as well as its implications for healthcare and economy. These topics are pertaining to public health knowledge, as obesity is a prevalent problem that can be prevented if addressed sufficiently (WHO, 2013).

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We have also shared our views on what the future of obesity might look like, agreeing that the problem of obesity in the U.S. will most likely persist throughout the 2020s-2030s. Overall, I believe that our work and discussion were consistent with the learning goals and objectives set for the week, whereas studying the topic of obesity in depth allowed us to address one of the most pressing current health concerns sufficiently.


Angrisani, L., Santonicola, A., Iovino, P., Formisano, G., Buchwald, H., & Scopinaro, N. (2015). Bariatric surgery worldwide 2013. Obesity Surgery, 25(10), 1822-1832.

Fox, M. (2016). America’s obesity epidemic hits a new high. CNBC Health Care

World Health Organization (WHO). (2013). What are the health consequences of being overweight? 

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