For this discussion, the public health problem I picked is obesity. By definition, obesity is the medical condition where one’s weight exceeds the healthy weight recommended for one’s height and age. The cause of obesity is unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise, or inability, which causes a person to become overweight before becoming obese gradually. Obesity is a health problem, mainly because it affects people of all ages, and this has particularly taken a toll due to poor lifestyle choices. Moreover, obesity is cited as the leading cause of chronic illness in the elderly population. Illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and arthritis are caused by obesity. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys’ statistics indicated that about 78 million adults in the US are obese, while over 40% of the children’s population is overweight. What is more alarming is that the escalating cases of obesity translate to high numbers of these diseases and consequent deaths, yet obesity is the number of preventable causes of death.
In response to this, the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) formed in 2005 has been instrumental in sensitizing the general public on obesity matters. The non-formal organization works through reinforcing measures by the mainstream healthcare system to prevent obesity. Through membership programs, the organization supports individuals in leading healthier lifestyles and provides social support to discourage the stigmatization of obese people. The organization has six positions that are very educative regarding how healthcare and the general public should deal with obesity (Vallgårda, 2018). In the six positions, the OAC is keen to classify obesity as a medical problem that should be addressed with a medical approach. It calls for the general public to avoid discrimination and collaboration between policymakers, health professionals, and social service providers to work against obesity.
One of the organizations that OAC can work with in addressing obesity is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation based in New Jersey. The RWJF specifically focuses on enhancing the four pillars of public health that is; health systems, health communities, healthy children and families, and leadership for better health. The organization is research-oriented and aimed at identifying ways that childhood obesity can be reversed. Additionally, the organization focuses on discovering medicinal cures for obesity to promote quick recovery and prevention of chronic illnesses that arise from obesity (Powell & Gard, 2017). With extensive research, current measures against obesity can be evaluated to develop better approaches towards curbing obesity. Working with the RWJF would drive the development of programs that keep children and young people physically, socially, and mentally fit, thereby preventing obesity.
Another organization that is recommended for collaboration is the Epode International Network. The organization integrates schools, families, and community authorities in effecting obesity prevention at the community level. The organization would be resourceful, mainly because it taps into scientific approaches and political perspectives in changing social behaviors that contribute to obesity. Working with these organizations would help reach a larger population and better sensitization on how to prevent obesity in all populations (Lee et al., 2017). Collectively, the three organizations would pull together input from the research, social, and political sectors through policies and legislation programs. This will bolster the OAC efforts in sensitizing and providing practical solutions for preventing and reversing obesity.
Lee, B. Y., Bartsch, S. M., Mui, Y., Haidari, L. A., Spiker, M. L., & Gittelsohn, J. (2017). A systems approach to obesity. Nutrition Reviews, 75(suppl_1), 94-106.
Powell, D., & Gard, M. (2017). Schools, corporations and promotion of physical activity to fight obesity. Routledge Handbook of Physical Activity Policy and Practice, 383-395.
Vallgårda, S. (2018). Childhood obesity policies–mighty concerns, meek reactions. Obesity Reviews, 19(3), 295-301.