Miami-Dade County, Florida. According to the website that I researched (County Health Rankings, 2017), health in this county seems to be pretty good. Ninety-nine percent of individuals living in this county have access to exercise opportunities however, obesity is a problem because 21 percent of the individuals are physically inactive – this corresponds to an adult obesity rate that is also 21 percent. Although this sounds like a fairly high rate (a little more than one-fifth of the population) it is important to keep in mind that it is quite a bit less than the national adult obesity rate of 36.5 percent (CDC, 2016).
Obesity is an important health problem that should not be ignored as it contributes to several different types of adverse health outcomes. These include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some cancers, and stroke risk (CDC, 2016). There are several lifestyle factors that contribute to obesity, and the main ones are dietary intake and physical inactivity. It seems pretty clear from the statistics in County Health Rankings (2017) that physical inactivity in Miami-Dade, Florida and obesity are going hand-in-hand, as the physical inactivity rate and the obesity rate in that county are exactly the same. Dietary intake is also important in that individuals who consume too much food are at great risk of obesity, especially when this consumption of food (and therefore the input of energy) greatly outpaces the activity level of the individual (and therefore the outflow of energy). Some health resources available to address the problem include the availability of counseling and therapy services, and weight loss centers and programs (for individuals who have enough money to afford these), and self-help groups like Overeaters Anonymous that are free and therefore available to people with lower income levels as well. These methods are useful for addressing the food-intake component of obesity. For addressing the physical inactivity component, there are gyms and county and neighborhood parks that everyone can utilize to increase their activity levels.
CDC. (2016). Overweight and obesity. Retrieved March 7, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/index.html
County Health Rankings. (2017). County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. Retrieved from http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/
I am going to discuss the state of adult obesity in Texas County, Missouri.
Texas County has a 33% of adults who reported a BMI of 30 or more. The top performer in this category has 26% with the state of Missouri recording 31% in the category. I feel like this is an area that needs improvement especially considering the dire health outcomes of obesity which include prevalence of acute and chronic conditions like hypertension (Brennan et al., 2014). Texas county and by extension the entire state of Missouri need to address the problems of adult obesity as the numbers do not make for good reading. Clearly, improvements need to be made to at least get to the level of the leading state at 26%.
Health resources available
With statistics showing that one in every three adults in the state of Missouri are obese, the state of through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has partnered with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for The Missouri Disability and Health Collaborative (Dietz, 2015). This is meant to get the necessary funds to support people who are intellectually challenged ad help them access an array of evidenced based physical activity. This collaborative move seeks to ensure individuals with intellectual disabilities can access Missouri’s public health facilities in terms of adapting evidenced based physical activity and nutrition to improve their health (Dietz, 2015).
Preventing obesity at childhood is the best possible way if reducing the rates of obesity in the long term (Brennan et al., 2014). Good Early childhood education (ECE) can encourage good dieting and physical activities for children and cultivate a healthy culture. In that regard, I would suggest the state of Missouri to continue encouraging healthy eating habits for children at a young age. While there is a state policy which requires licensed ECE programs to allow breastfeeding on site up to at least a year, it should be extended to even unlicensed ECE programs. This is to ensure that the rate of obesity is lowered in the state.
Brennan, V. M., Kumanyika, S. K., & Zambrana, R. E. (Eds.). (2014). Obesity interventions in underserved communities: evidence and directions. JHU Press.
Dietz, W. H. (2015). The response of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the obesity epidemic. Annual review of public health, 36, 575-596.