Epidemiological Analysis of Obesity as a Result Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

Epidemiological Analysis of Obesity

As a result of increasingly sedentary lifestyles and poor nutritional choices, an increasing number of consumers are gaining weight and obesity has reached epidemic levels in many countries. Although the social and economic consequences of obesity are well documented, there remains a need to better understand the epidemiology of obesity in order to formulate effective population-based interventions. To this end, this paper provides an analysis of the obesity problem in the United States compared to Thailand where obesity is not as great a problem, but where the prevalence of obesity is still on the rise. A further comparison of obesity rates and obesity-related healthcare costs in New York compared to national rates and costs is followed by an assessment concerning how the political aspects of this issue hinder the ability of epidemiologists in addressing this problem. In addition, recommendations concerning four new policies or laws that the government can implement to address the obesity problem in the U.S. are followed by an analysis of the implications of those policies or laws on people, health insurance, healthcare providers, businesses, and the food industry. Finally, an examination of the causes that have made obesity rates increase for the past decade is followed by a summary of the research and important findings in the conclusion.

Review and Analysis

Analysis of the obesity problem in the U.S. compared to Thailand

The United States and Thailand are about as different as two countries can be, and yet they share many similarities in terms of their history (the U.S. was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with Thailand in the modern era), and Thailand stands out among its neighbors in Southeast Asia by virtue of never having been colonized by a Western power (the name "Thailand" literally means "Land of the Free"). Unfortunately, the United States and Thailand share the dubious distinction of experiencing rising rates of obesity in recent years, due in large part to many of the same reasons. In the U.S., Hickey (2002) reports that each year, obesity-related hospital costs have increased 300% during the 20-year period from 1979 to 2000; more importantly, for children between the ages of 6 and 7 years, the costs for obesity-related conditions increased from $35 million to $127 million (Hickey, 2002). Likewise, Daniels (2006) emphasizes that of all the economic issues related to obesity, the most important is the cost of the healthcare problems associated with the condition, and estimates indicate for people the medical expenses for obese adults are 36% higher in the U.S. younger than 65 years (Daniels, 2006). In addition, about 500,000 Americans die each year from obesity-related hearts diseases, especially coronary artery disease (Hersen & VanHasselt, 1998). Moreover, increased mortality due to cardiovascular disease has been identified in adult relatives of persistently obese children and the relationship between childhood obesity and family mortality appears to be particularly strong if the obese child also has elevated blood pressure (Hersen & VanHasselt, 1998). Based on self-reported measures of height and weight, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States has experienced a steady increase; for instance, during the period between 1991 and 1998, the prevalence of obesity increased throughout the U.S. For males and females, as well as across all age groups, races and ethnicities and educational levels (Kantachuvessiri, 2005). According to one epidemiologists, the findings that emerged from the 1999 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), based on measured heights and weights indicated that about 61% of all adults in the U.S. are overweight, including the 26% who were classified as obese (Kantachuvessiri, 2005). According to Kantachuvessiri (2005), "The incidence of obesity among adults has doubled since 1980 and overweight among adolescents [in the U.S.] has tripled in that time frame" (p. 555). Although far fewer studies have been completed to date concerning comparable obesity rates in Thailand, the studies to date do in fact indicate that the prevalence and incidence of obesity is also increasing across all relevant measures in affluent Thai urban populations. In this regard, Kantachuvessiri (2005, p. 555) cites the results of the studies of obesity in Thailand to date as follows:

1. Conducted in 1985 among 35-54-year-old Thai officials of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT); this study found that 2.2% of the 2703 men, and 3.0% of the 792 women, had a BMI > 30, whereas BMI of 25-29.9 (grade I obesity) were higher (23.3% in men and 18.4% in women).

2. Conducted in 4,069 adults with dental diseases (ADDs), consisting of 1,247 men and 2,822 women, aged 19-87 years during September 1989- August 1990, the results of this study showed that 1.7% of men and 2.4% of women were in grade II obesity, whereas 14.2% of men and 15.9% of women were in grade I obesity.

3. Conducted in 1991, this study was smaller (66 men and 453 women), and had a broader age range (19-61 years), but also assessed nutritional factors in affluent urban Thais. The results of this study showed that 3.0% of men and 3.8% of women had a BMI > 30. Prevalence figures for BMI 25-29.9 were considerably higher (15.2% in men and 23.2% in women).

4. In 1991, the first report on National Health Examination Survey of Thailand was conducted in 13,300 adults, aged > 20 years. The results revealed that 12% of men and 19.5% of women (total 16.7%) had BMI 25-30, whereas 1.7% of men and 5.6% of women (total 4.0%) had BMI >30.

It is hypothesized that the hotter temperatures in Thailand dull the appetite, which may account for the highly spicy nature of the most popular foods which are designed to stimulate the palate, account for the historical lower obesity rates compared to the U.S. It is also hypothesized, though, that as Thailand has experienced economic development in recent years and has become an industrialized society, the country's growing middle class has acquired a taste for Western foods that are less nutritious and higher in caloric content.

Compare obesity rates and obesity-related health care costs in North Carolina to all of the U.S. And Recommend how North Carolina can treat obesity as a threat to public health

Although some regions of the state (see highlighted regions in Figure 1 below) have experienced higher obesity rates and healthcare costs compared to the national average, the majority of the state mirrors the national rates across the board.

Figure 1. Percentage of Overweight or Obese Adults in North Carolina

Source: http://www.nchealthinfo.org/health_topics/diseases_conditions/Obesity.cfm

With respect to younger people in North Carolina, the 2009 North Carolina Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicates that among high school students, 13% were obese (students who were > 95th percentile for body mass index, by age and sex, based on reference data). Other salient findings of this most recent survey of North Carolina youth included the following:

1. 83% ate fruits and vegetables less than five times per day during the 7 days before the survey;

2. 72% ate fruit or drank 100% fruit juices less than two times per day during the 7 days before the survey.

3. 91% ate vegetables less than three times per day during the 7 days before the survey.

4. 33% drank a can, bottle, or glass of soda or pop at least one time per day during the 7 days before the survey.

5. 15% did not participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity on any day during the 7 days before the survey.

6. 76% were physically active at least 60 minutes per day on less than 7 days during the 7 days before the survey.

7. 76% did not attend physical education (PE) classes in an average week when they were in school.

8. 76% did not attend PE classes daily when they were in school.

9. 36% watched television 3 or more hours per day on an average school day.

10. 23% used computers 3 or more hours per day on an average school day.

Source: NC Health Info (2012) at http://www.eatsmartmovemorenc.com/Data/Texts / Obesity_NCStudents_YRBS2009.pdf

How the politics of this issue will hinder the ability of an epidemiologist to help communities and/or states deal with the issue of obesity

There is a great deal of money at stake on maintaining existing levels of obesity among American consumers and the fast food industry in particular can exert political pressures on local, state and national politicians that can reasonably be expected to hinder epidemiological analyses of obesity in any given region of the country (Segelken, 2005).

Four new policies or laws that the government can implement to address the obesity problem in the U.S. And their implications

There are several general approaches to addressing obesity include universal prevention (this is based on a total population approach) while selective prevention and targeted prevention initiatives are focused on groups who are at high risk for becoming obese (Kantachuvessiri, 2005). As a result, selective and targeted prevention measures require the identification of individuals in appropriate settings such as schools to screen out…[continue]

Some Sources Used in Document:

"Index-of-/Data/Texts" 

Cite This Essay:

"Epidemiological Analysis Of Obesity As A Result" (2012, March 09) Retrieved December 10, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/epidemiological-analysis-of-obesity-as-a-78455

"Epidemiological Analysis Of Obesity As A Result" 09 March 2012. Web.10 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/epidemiological-analysis-of-obesity-as-a-78455>

"Epidemiological Analysis Of Obesity As A Result", 09 March 2012, Accessed.10 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/epidemiological-analysis-of-obesity-as-a-78455

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Obesity in Adolescent Females in

    During the study a number of factors were considered for the evaluation of the fact that females unlike males in Saudi Arabia constitute a larger proportion. Themes Lifestyle and dietary Adolescent boys and girls were studied for at least two weeks on their feeding habits, for this period, females were observed to consume more snacks than male in that males could only consume snacks once a fortnight unlike their female counterparts who

  • Obesity in Santa Barbara County We Usually

    Obesity in Santa Barbara County We usually think of pandemics as serious diseases that have the potential to hurt thousands if not millions of people through disease. Ironically, a 21st century pandemic is that many in the developed world, through a combination of a sedentary lifestyle, a high-fat diet, and sugary drinks, become obese to the point in which it having a serious negative affect on their health. There is no

  • Poverty and Obesity Povery and Obesity the

    Poverty and Obesity POVERY AND OBESITY The Connection Between Poverty and Obesity Michelle Spezio English Composition Fall Session A The Connection between Poverty and Obesity The argument that obesity is correlated with poverty is one that is quite persistent in the popular literature and also the in the scientific research (e.g., Drewnowski, 2004; Pollan, 2006). To say that one thing is correlated with another should not be interpreted as meaning that one thing leads to another or

  • Diabetes and Obesity What Are the Choices

    Diabetes and Obesity: What Are the Choices? Diabetes is becoming an increasingly serious health problem across the United States, and indeed across the world. The majority of cases of diabetes, both in terms of new diagnoses and of current cases, are those of Type II diabetes, which is a condition generally brought on by overweight or obesity and lack of exercise, that prevents an individual's body from being able to metabolize

  • Health Psychology Overeating Is a Health Issue

    Health Psychology: Overeating Overeating is a health issue that results in obesity in individuals with an eating disorder that results in over-consumption of food products. Various programs are in use by the psychology profession to address the issue of overeating with many of them stating claims of success. This work intends to examine overeating as it relates to the principles of healthy psychology. According to the work of Prentice (2001) entitled

  • Childhood Obesity Prevention in Mexican American School Age Children...

    Childhood Obesity One of the most significant health problems seen in the United States is obesity. Within this dynamic there are particular issues of special concern for the health care industry and society in general, most notably the exponential increase in obesity found among children. (Strauss, Pollack, 2001, pgs. 2845-2848) and (Troiano, Flegel, 1998, pgs. 497-504) "Childhood obesity has more than doubled over the past 20 years, and it represents the

  • Sleep Deprivation Effects on Adolescent

    (Harvard School of Public Health, 2013, p.1) Energy expenditure is decreased due to sleep deprivation because there is a decrease in physical activity as well as the body temperature being lowered. (Harvard School of Public Health, 2013, p.1) Summary of Literature The literature reviewed in this study has informed the study that children who sleep less hours each night are at a higher risk of becoming obese than children who sleep more


Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved