The emergence of different health conditions that affect human beings explains why the issue of advocacy has been taken to the next level. This practice is embraced by different stakeholders and community members to take a position and initiate powerful strategies to influence every policy choice made in public and private sectors. One of the health concerns affecting mankind today is obesity. This paper examines a number of advocacy approaches implemented to deal with this predicament.
Population Health Issue
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 11 percent of all men in the world are obese (Haynes, Hughes, & Reidlinger, 2017). The percentage for women is 15. People aged above 18 years appear to be affected the most by this health issue. In 2016, it was estimated that over 650 million people above the age of 18 were obese (Haynes et al., 2017). Statistics also reveal that the number of obese persons has tripled from 1976 to 2017. Obesity has been linked to numerous health problems such as cancer and diabetes.
Several initiatives have been made by different stakeholders across the globe to propose policies that can be used to deal with obesity. The article “A Narrative Review of Public Health Policies for Childhood Obesity Prevention in the United States” by Amar Kanekar and Sameera Karnik indicates that different players in the healthcare sector have been involved in various campaigns to ensure that the problem of childhood obesity is addressed before it gets out of hand. Such initiatives have been undertaken by legislative policymakers and health practitioners. These stakeholders have collaborated to raise awareness, guide community members, and involve school administrators to support policy solutions that have the potential to change the current obesity trend (Karnik & Kanekar, 2014). This approach has been undertaken at the grassroots level to sustain population-based approaches.
The article “Obesity Prevention Advocacy in Australia: An Analysis of Policy Impact on Autonomy” by Emily Haynes, Dianne P. Reidlinger, and Roger Hughes examines how the government of Australia has been keen to focus on policies that can deal with this health problem. The move has been pursued after a taskforce was formed to examine the challenges and issues associated with the condition. This led to the establishment of the Australian Government Inquiry on Obesity in the year 2008 (Haynes et al., 2017). The purpose of this taskforce was to explore the perceptions of different individuals and inform the decisions made by policymakers in the country.
Several attributes can be described that made these two advocacy approaches effective. The first one succeeded because the agenda was pursued by different stakeholders at the community level (or a bottom-up approach). This means that health practitioners liaised with legislators to support the implementation of new actions, initiatives, and policies that could address this problem. They also sensitized school leaders, parents, and community members about this epidemic. These aspects made the advocacy approach successful. The second case can be described as a good example of a top-down model (Haynes et al., 2017). The approach was effective because a group of experts identified the existing needs and challenges facing different people. These specialists informed policymakers about the emerging issues and spearheaded new efforts to improve the nature of services and educational campaigns available in Australia.
Personal Health Advocacy Campaign: Plan
Public Health Issue and Proposed Solution
The proposed campaign seeks to sensitize and inform policymakers at the community level about the problem of obesity. The intended solution is to compel the government to offer adequate resources and education to more people in order to deal with this health concern (Karnik & Kanekar, 2014). Studies have indicated that many citizens lack adequate playing grounds, information, and ideas to manage this condition. Additionally, the policy can be expanded to introduce obesity-related instruction in learning institutions.
Several objectives are used to explain why this policy should be implemented. The first one is to ensure that the government allocates adequate funds to support overweight and obese people. The second aim is for different agencies to be funded and supported to educate more people about positive practices such as exercises and balanced diets in order to deal with obesity (Zhang, Liu, Liu, Xue, & Wang, 2014). The third one is for schools and learning institutions to introduce a new curriculum that informs students about this predicament. These objectives will work synergistically to deal with the obesity epidemic.
Data and Evidence
As described earlier, the involvement of different stakeholders at the community level is a strategy that can result in a successful advocacy campaign. Such individuals can sensitize more people and encourage policymakers to support the intended policy issue. These aspects will be used to support my policy campaign agenda. Secondly, the current evidence is overwhelming and explains why obesity should be tackled immediately (Zhang et al., 2014). For instance, over 600 million people in the world are affected by this condition. Evidence-based advocacy campaigns have the potential to address various health problems such as obesity. This is the case because this condition has caused numerous problems.
The selected health issue for this paper is obesity. This problem is currently affecting individuals aged between 10 and 65 years. This means that the predicament continues to affect many people in the United States. Both children and adults are suffering from this condition. Most of the existing strategies and initiatives have failed to transform the situation. Consequently, more people in the country continue to suffer from a wide range of conditions associated with obesity (Cheke, Simons, & Clayton, 2016). This paper explains how a powerful advocacy process will be undertaken to meet the needs of more people affected by this health predicament.
The proposed policy (see Part 1) seeks to introduce adequate resources, instructions, and programs that can support children and adults to deal with the obesity epidemic. This new policy can be enacted through the creation of a new law or legislation (Solheim, 2016). The approach will be successful because existing policies have failed to deal with this epidemic. This suggestion explains why different stakeholders should be involved throughout the process if positive results are to be recorded.
Currently, there are various laws that focus on areas such as food production, marketing of consumer products, and obesity prevention. Such policies have been implemented in different states across the United States to protect more people from obesity (Mason, Leavitt, & Chaffee, 2014). A good example of these regulations is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010). The existence of this law in this country might disorient the intended advocacy effort. The first reason for this argument is that some policymakers might be skeptical about it. They can assume that the new proposition will not have any significant impact or change.
Another reason is that some analysts and stakeholders can decide to strengthen the existing law instead of supporting a new one. They might go further to argue that the government does not have adequate resources to support or sustain a new policy (Heymsfield & Wadden, 2017). With these potential barriers in mind, it will be necessary to use a powerful strategy to ensure that the intended policy is supported by different policymakers.
Most of the successful campaigns tend to be initiated and sustained by politicians and stakeholders. This happens to be the case because they are the ones who make laws and/or propose amendments. In order to influence lawmakers and encourage them to be part of the intended policy agenda, a powerful lobbing approach will be put in place. The first strategy will entail the use of community organizing. This means that different stakeholders at the community level will be sensitized and informed about the potential benefits of the intended legislation (Solheim, 2016). The second initiative will entail the utilization of the three-legged concept. The first aspect (or leg) is that of professionals (Solheim, 2016). This means that I will request some of the existing nursing organizations and professional bodies focusing on the issue of obesity to support the policy.
The second leg focuses on community members. On top of community organizing, the approach will focus on experts and persons who are knowledgeable and informed about the dangers of adulthood and childhood obesity. Phone calls, emails, meetings, and letters will be used to attract the support of school legislators in the region, leaders in different medical facilities, and community partners (Poobalan & Aucott, 2015). The approach will ensure that more stakeholders at the community level are informed about the intended objectives and are encouraged to support the policy initiative.
The last leg is the political one (Solheim, 2016). Since the legislation should be implemented within a period of one year, it will be appropriate to support the initiatives pursued by policymakers and legislators who appear to support the idea. Individuals who support the interests of obese people will also be endorsed. Partnerships will also be established to ensure that the implementation process is successful. This strategy will make lobbying process consequential and beneficial.
Several issues or occurrences are expected to affect the effectiveness of the lobbying process. One of them is that of financial resources. The absence of money can affect the proposed initiative (Solheim, 2016). It might also be hard to rally or attract the support of different stakeholders at the community level. The existence of related laws aimed at addressing the problem of obesity is something that can affect the success of this process. However, I will be dedicated in order to establish the needed credibility and encourage different stakeholders to support this idea. Despite such obstacles, the proposed policy agenda has the potential to address the obesity predicament and make it easier for more people to achieve their potential.
Potential Ethical Dilemmas
The targeted region for this policy stands a chance to address the health problems associated with childhood and adulthood obesity. This is the case because the advocacy campaign seeks to meet the needs of people aged between 10 and 65 years. However, some ethical dilemmas might arise during the intended advocacy campaign and disorient the entire process. The first one is that of vested interests (Solheim, 2016). Chances are high that some institutions and clinics providing medical care to obese and overweight patients might feel threatened by this campaign. Those in charge of the advocacy might be unable to win their support, thereby affecting the process.
Another potential issue is the emergence of opposing social groups and individuals in the targeted community. The leader of the campaign team might not be able to criticize the behaviors of such stakeholders. This ethical challenge can affect the success of the intended campaign. The third dilemma is that some participants in the lobbying process might decide to act inappropriately. This extreme behavior can be damaging to the entire procedure. The issue of role conflict is another major dilemma that has the potential to affect the targeted agenda. This can occur when one of the selected administrators might decide to act as an assessor (Heymsfield & Wadden, 2017). This conflict can influence the lobbying process negatively. The final ethical dilemma arises from the nature of the targeted beneficiaries. Children below the age of 15 are usually under the care of their guardians or parents. The proposed campaign can result in problems revolving around the concept of autonomy. Such individuals might assert that they are the ones in charge of their children’s health outcomes or needs.
Each of these dilemmas must be addressed using evidence-based strategies. The issue of vested interests can be dealt with using appropriate or quality information to sensitize different stakeholders about the importance of the intended advocacy campaign. The second one will also be tackled using the same approach in order to educate more groups about the suggested policy agenda. The behaviors of different participants can be addressed using a powerful code of conduct throughout the lobbying process. Role conflict will be analyzed and dealt with using a proper plan or supervision (Solheim, 2016). Every individual will be guided and required to complete his or her duties accordingly. Finally, the advocacy process should be implemented in such a way that parents and guardians are informed about the potential benefits of this policy. This means that they will be aware of the best measures to protect their children from obesity.
Ethics and Lobbying Laws
Lobbying laws and ethical procedures exist in different regions to govern the behaviors of researchers and advocacy campaigners. The first one is that the rights of communities should always be taken into consideration (Kass, Hecht, Paul, & Birnbach, 2014). The intended policy should not harm any person. This ethical priority will be addressed before initiating the campaign process. By implementing the intended policy, more people will deal with the problem of obesity and record positive health outcomes.
Secondly, there are reporting and ethical laws that are pertinent to the proposed campaign. For instance, program evaluations and reports should be prepared if adequate financial support is to be acquired. Every phase or stage of the advocacy campaign must also be reported to the relevant authorities (Kass et al., 2014). According to existing laws, such projects must be monitored continuously in order to ensure that they support or protect the rights of different community members.
Any campaign agenda pursued by a nonprofit organization should be registered with the Clerk of the House of Representatives (Kass et al., 2014). This procedure acts as a permit to ensure that the targeted activity is legal. This practice also makes it easier for different authorities to monitor and coordinate various advocacy campaigns. Timely reports should also be submitted to the relevant authorities. Such documents should also outline the expenses incurred during (or throughout) the lobbying process. Finally, the presented records to different agencies in the region can only be available to members of the public after a period of six years.
Special Ethical Challenges
The successful implementation of this policy will compel different government agencies to deliver adequate instructions, programs, and resources to deal with the current obesity epidemic. This achievement is expected to transform the lifestyles and expectations of many people in the targeted region (Poobalan & Aucott, 2015). With proper opportunities and guidelines, more adults and children will be empowered to deal with this health condition. However, there are specific ethical challenges that are unique to the intended population.
The first one is that many obese people (especially adults) would never wish to be informed about their health statuses. This is true because they will treat the move as a form of discrimination. Karnik and Kanekar (2014) also argue that many overweight individuals do not see any problem in their health conditions. The introduction of this topic can, therefore, be treated negatively by different members of this population. This ethical challenge is supported by the fact that every citizen is free to manage his or her body mass index (Poobalan & Aucott, 2015). It will, therefore, be appropriate to develop the most appropriate messages in order to attract the attention of many overweight and obese adults.
The second ethical predicament will arise from the fact that the proposed policy targets children below the age of 18. It would be wrong to gather data or information from them. This is the case because they are protected by existing policies and laws. Additionally, some parents might be unhappy if their children are labeled as “obese” or “overweight”. This is a potential challenge since many underage individuals are presently being affected by this health problem (Kass et al., 2014). The campaigners will have to consider this potential ethical challenge and handle different stakeholders in a professional manner. The involvement of different guardians, parents, and school heads is a powerful approach that can ensure that the unique issues facing many children are identified and addressed. Consequently, the advocacy campaign will be implemented successfully to meet the diverse needs of many obese people.
The above discussion has revealed that obesity is a major health problem affecting many people. It has also associated with conditions such as cancer and diabetes. A powerful policy can be put in place to deal with this health epidemic. The proposed program seeks to educate more individuals about this condition. They will also be able to deal with it using evidence-based approaches. Throughout the advocacy process, issues such as ethical dilemmas and role conflicts might be encountered. It will, therefore, be necessary to consider these concerns in order to deliver positive results and meet the health needs of every obese citizen. Constant consultations will also be made to deal with every potential obstacle that might affect the success of the planned advocacy campaign. The ultimate objective is to ensure that more people understand the nature of obesity and engage in positive health behaviors or practices.
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