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hcs490 week 3

By POPPOP1234 Feb 01, 2014 1156 Words


Obesity Demographic Paper

Obesity Demographic Paper
Obesity is becoming a major worldwide epidemic that is a chronic disease which affects everyone young and old, male and female alike. The exact cause is still unknown and scientists are still trying to understand what triggers it. One cause is that in today’s fast paced world, people do not have time to sit down to home cooked meals, or exercise and really take good care of their heath. Fast food restaurants are replacing the home cooked meals and providing bigger portions on their menus and people not finding time to exercise. Instead, they choose to sit down and watch movies at home or surf the net as a source of entertainment due to economic reasons. Children are playing video games instead of playing sports or riding bikes (Obesity in America: What’s driving the epidemic?, 2012. 02). This is becoming a harmful trend which is contributing to the rise of chronic diseases. Obesity does not discriminate and studies over the years have found that there is a significant difference in obesity by ethnicity and race and it differs by sex and age. Obesity is a major contributor of heart disease, cancer, liver and gallbladder diseases, sleep apnea and respiratory issues, depression, infertility, erectile dysfunction and mental health conditions (Jacobson, 2000). In the past 20 years, obesity has risen in the United States and continues to rise with more than 35.7 % of the adults and 17% of children between the ages of 2-19 years of age suffering from obesity today. Studies have shown that obesity affects differently between the ethnic groups, males and females and the higher and lower income brackets. Between the Non-Hispanic Blacks, Mexican Americans, Hispanics, and Non-Hispanic Whites, obesity is higher in Non-Hispanic Blacks (49.5%) as opposed to Mexican Americans (40.4%) with Hispanics (39.1%) and Non-Hispanic Whites (34.3%). Non-Hispanic Black men with higher incomes are more likely to be obese than Mexican-American men while women who have a higher income are less likely than women with lower incomes ("Overweight and Obesity", 2012). Lower income families and individuals have a higher rate of being obese due to their diet which is made up of fats and processed foods which is usually more affordable and cheaper. Fast foods and sugary cereals are a favorite among children and without an active lifestyle it is causing them to become obese. With people living longer and chronic diseases rising, the average healthcare costs are growing at a rapid pace and they are five times higher than a person without any chronic conditions. Health problems that are associated with obesity have a big economic impact on the healthcare system that encompasses direct and indirect costs which include preventative, diagnostic and treatment services that are associated to obesity. The health care costs in the United States alone are between $147 billion and $210 billion ("Overweight and Obesity", 2012). Since people are living longer lives and the “baby boomers” reaching retirement age, people are relying on the benefits from Social Security and Medicare. Medicare’s budget has nearly doubled the same as healthcare has doubled for the average household and there are fewer and fewer people contributing to these systems and it is putting a heavy strain on everyone as they try to find ways to find a balance. Many of the elderly will suffer from obesity and chronic illnesses which will cause medical expenses to be higher because of the demand for equipment and medications to control diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease (Moffit, 2013). Two key health care-related challenges to the obesity population are health care costs and prescription drug costs. Health care costs have risen due to the doctors having to charge more to attend to more patients and the implementation of new technology to be able to treat them. With chronic illnesses it is necessary to keep up with the latest in technology to provide the best service and to be efficient and it is important for the clinicians to have this technology to provide the best care. Prescription drug costs is also another challenge for providers since having to treat different types of illnesses requires the latest prescription drugs that will help minimize symptoms and control them. Insurance companies should offer wellness programs through the employers to those that suffer from chronic illnesses to educate them on diet and exercise and give them incentives when they implement the program as a lifestyle change to improve their health and lead a healthier and productive life. This will help to lower health care costs because it will help to lose weight reducing high blood pressure and control blood sugar among some of the illnesses ("Overweight and Obesity", 2012). This trend can help to lead in eliminating some of the medications the patient is using to control these issues and lower health costs as well by receiving a lower premium on their health plans. Medicaid and Medicare offer wellness programs to educate senior citizens and people with low incomes to educate them as well and help them encourage weight loss and eating healthier for the whole family and to take control of their health. The key is to change the behaviors so that the individual can be successful at becoming healthy and losing the weight. Nutrition classes provided either online or at the local hospital will help individuals learn about good foods and making the right choices when buying food products. Schools should also offer nutrition classes for the students so that they too can make wise choices when buying food at fast food restaurants and when the parents go grocery shopping so that they can help their parents make an educated choice in the foods they are eating. Locations should be established where young and old alike can come together and receive wellness information like at a local park or beach so they can practice the behaviors (Obesity in America: What’s driving the epidemic?, 2012. 02). Obesity is a chronic disease that the cause has not been discovered but with behavioral changes it is something that we all can control and lead healthier lives if we make the proper changes in our diet and implementing exercise in our daily routine will help to reduce obesity in the United States. It has a lot of challenges one which the individual, provider and insurance company should all be willing to participate in, in order to turn this epidemic around and get it under control (Jacobson, 2000).

References
The, A. P. (2003, Dec 23). OBESITY IN AMERICA. The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/394047483?accountid=458 Jacobson, M. F. (2000). Obesity in America: Inevitable? Nutrition Action Health Letter, 27(2), 2. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/204132835?accountid=458 Obesity in America: What's driving the epidemic? (2012, 02). Harvard Health Publications.Harvard Men's Health Watch, Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1370667774?accountid=458 Overweight and Obesity. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html Moffit, R.E. (2013). Medicare’s Demographic Challenge-and the Urgent Need for Reform. Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/03/medicares-demographic-challenge-and-the-urgent-need-for-reform

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