Leading Health Indicators in the United States

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Obesity –Assessment; Policy Development; Assurance

Tourou International University

MPH 502; Module 3

Health Indicators
The leading health indicators in the United States are physical activity, overweight and obesity, tobacco use, substance abuse, responsible sexual behavior, mental health, jury and violence, environmental quality, immunization, access to health care. (Leading Health Indicators, 2007) The United States Department of Health and Human Services gathers this information. Incidence and Prevalence

“According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the past 30 years, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased progressively for both adults and children. Between 1976–1980 and 2003–2004, the prevalence of obesity among adults aged 20–74 years increased from 15.0% to 32.9%. Among young people, overweight and obesity prevalence has increased from 5.0% to 13.9% for ages 2–5 years, 6.5% to 18.8% for 6–11 years, and 5.0% to 17.4% for 12–19 years.” (CDC, 2006) In 2005, only four (4) states had obesity prevalence rates less than 20 percent, while 17 states had prevalence rates equal to or greater than 25 percent, with Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia having prevalence equal to or greater than 30 percent. (CDC, 2006)

Incidence and Prevalence of Obesity in Georgia
Middle and High School Overweight in Georgia
According to Georgia Department of Human Resource (GDHR), one (1) in three (3) middle school students (33%) in 2003 were at risk for overweight (19%) or obesity (14%); more than one (1) in four (4) high school students (26%) were at risk for overweight (15%) or obesity (11%). (2005) Overweight and Obese Adults

In 2002, 59% of adults in Georgia were overweight (35%) or obese (24%). The percentage of adults who are overweight or obese has been increasing since the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data were first collected in 1984, rising from 37% to 61% in 2003. This represents an average annual increase of 3%. (GDHR, 2005)

Overweight and Obese adults, by sex and race, by race/ethnicity Georgia, 2002 In 2002, almost two-thirds of adult men (65%) and over half adult women (53%) were overweight or obese. White, non-Hispanic adults (21%) were less likely than black, non-Hispanic adults to be obese (31%). White non-Hispanic females were less likely than males of any race or ethnicity to be overweight or obese; black non-Hispanic females were more likely than white non-Hispanic males or females to be obese. (GDHR, 2005) “The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the world’s largest on-going telephone health survey system. Annually in the United States since 1984, BRFSS tracks health conditions and risk behaviors. The BRFSS is conducted by state health departments as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The Virgin Islands provides state-specific information about issues such as asthma, diabetes, health care access, alcohol use, hypertension, obesity, cancer screening, nutrition and physical activity, tobacco use, and more.” (CDC, 2006) Georgia uses the BRFSS to collect information on various health behaviors and conditions. In 2002, 70% of adults responded to the survey. "A weighting variable was calculated for each respondent record to represent the age, race, and sex distribution of the adult population in Georgia and to compensate for an individual’s probability of selection.” (BRFSS, 2006) Even though overweight and obesity will more likely to be under-estimated in self-reported data; nevertheless, the data are useful for describing the burden of obesity and overweight among Georgia adults. Federal, state, and local health officials and researchers use this formation to track health risks, identify emerging problems, prevent disease, and improve treatment. (CDC, 2006) Policy Development

At the state level, Georgia enacted three (3) bills pertaining to overweight and obesity that addresses...
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