Attacking Childhood Obesity in Cuyahoga County

Topics: Public health, Nutrition, Obesity Pages: 14 (5290 words) Published: August 16, 2013
Attacking Childhood Obesity in Cuyahoga County

American Sentinel University

Attacking Childhood Obesity in Cuyahoga County
The health of the entire nation should be of concern to everyone. Each year people are dying or living poor quality lives as of result of many preventable diseases. People in every country, state, and county are affected each day by poor lifestyle choices. In this paper, I will present the six week program that I developed to help improve the health of my community. Assessment

The overall health of Cuyahoga County is poor and there are high mortality and morbidity rates. Cuyahoga County is one of Ohio’s largest counties with more the one million residents, which contributes to the substantial amount of the state health burdens (County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, 2013). In 2012, 38% of adults living in Cuyahoga County had hypertension, 38% had high cholesterol, 67% were obese or overweight, and 19% smoked cigarettes, all which are risk factors for stroke and heart disease, two of the top five leading causes of death in Ohio (Center for Health Affairs, 2013). Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Cuyahoga County, claiming more than 3,000 lives a year (Ohio Department of Health, 2008). Cuyahoga County residents are also negatively affected by the diabetes epidemic. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Cuyahoga County and is directly responsible for majority of the cases of blindness, amputations, cardiovascular disease, and renal failure in the county (Center for Health Affairs, 2013). In addition, the health of the children is also poor. More than 30% of the children in Cuyahoga County are obese or overweight, which puts the children at increased risk for several health issues like, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes (County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, 2013). A community health assessment identified cancer, heart disease, and stroke in the top 10 reasons for death in children under 18 (Ohio Department of Health, 2008). The health of this community is definitely in need for improvement. Majority of the residents in Cuyahoga County have health insurance. In 2012, only 13% of adults and 5% of children living in Cuyahoga County were uninsured, slightly lower than the national average (Center for Health Affairs, 2013). These statistics places Cuyahoga County on track with the Healthy People’s 2020 goal of increasing health care access to everyone (University Hospital, n.d). However, there is a large amount of people on Medicaid, nearly 300, 000, which creates barriers to accessing care and puts increased financial burdens on the state. Cuyahoga County has a hazards mitigation plan that is updated every five years and was last updated in 2011. This plan provides comprehensive guidance for more than 50 cities in the county in an event of an emergency. The hazardous identification and risk analysis (HIRA) done on the state of Ohio has identified 72 hazards that could affect Cuyahoga County. The Ohio Emergency Alert System (EAS) is used to disseminate information during an emergency. The county has 20 fire departments and 60 police stations (Cuyahoga County, 2012). There are several economic issues that affect the health of the community. First, Cuyahoga County is a very large urban community that has a high poverty rate. In 2010, approximately 19% of people in the county lived below the poverty level, which was higher than the national level, and nearly 20% of families make less than $25,000 a year (University Hospital, n.d). The median age is 37.7 which means the community is relatively young. Also, seven percent of Cuyahoga County residents are unemployed (County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, 2013). There is also limited access to healthy food in Cuyahoga County. One study reports that 25% of residents in Cuyahoga live in “food deserts” meaning grocery stores are more than one mile away. In contrast, Cuyahoga County residents have 20% more convenient stores than grocery...

References: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2012). Ohio - state nutrition, physical activity, and obesity profile. Retrieved from programs/funded states/pdf/Ohio-State-Profile.pdf
Center for Health Affairs
County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. (2013). Cuyahoga County snapshot. Retrieved from
Cuyahoga County. (2012). Countywide all natural hazards mitigation plan. Retrieved from
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. (2009).Cuyahoga County cancer risk from air
pollution higher than national average
Nies, M., & McEwen, M. (2011). Community/public health nursing: Promoting the heath of populations. (5th ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Saunders.
Ohio Department of Education and Accountability. (2012). Ohio report cards 2011-2012.
Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey. 2010 Family health and employer health survey. Retrieved from
Trust for America 's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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