Developing a Health Advocacy Campaign
Developing a Health Advocacy Campaign
Describe your selected population health issue and the population affected by this issue
Obesity is one among the many population health issues that have raised a lot of attention in the US and the rest of the globe. Though misinterpreted by many who use the term synonymously to overweight condition, obesity precisely refers to the medical condition characterized by excess body fat having accumulated in the body of a person to the extent of causing typically negative effects on the health of the concerned person. Body mass index is mostly used as the determinant of the obesity condition. A person may be considered obese if his/her body Mass Index (BMI), (the quotient derived by dividing a person’s weight by his/her square height) exceeds over 30 kg/m2. Overweight refers to a condition where the BMI ranges between 25 and 30 kg/m2 (Canoy & Bundred, 2011).
The most common cause of obesity is identified to be the combination of excessive food intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility. In addition to the above causes, a few cases report obesity diagnosis to be a product of genetic and endocrinal disorders, while others link it to some specific medicinal intakes and mental illness. The critical point to note is that obesity is fatal, as it is a major contributor to atrocious conditions and diseases like heart disease, obstructive sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, as well as osteoarthritis.
Obesity is considered indiscriminate, as it is capable of attacking any person. Nevertheless, the evidence indicates children as the most vulnerable group to the obesity issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 17% of the children population (aged 2-19) suffers obesity every year. Meanwhile, 17.5% of children aged 6 to 11 suffer the condition. As such, this paper settled on discussing obesity in children since the predominant evidence shows that this issue is reaching epidemic levels, thereby leveling significant impacts on both their physical and psychological health. As Canoy and Bundred (2011) stipulates, obesity in children, if not controlled, is likely to stay on into adulthood and more likely to lead them into contracting non-communicable diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at their young ages (Canoy & Bundred, 2011).
Summarize the two advocacy campaigns you researched in this area
The two types of advocacy campaigns I researched in this area included the awareness campaign (grass-root campaign) and the policy advocacy campaign. The awareness campaign served the objective of ensuring that communities understand the basics that surround child obesity. Precisely, this grass-root advocacy campaign aimed at establishing a knowledgeable community as far as childhood community is concerned (Knickman & Kovner, 2015). Through my research, I identified that parents had minimal knowledge of the issue, as pertains signs that shows that a child is suffering from obesity, the risks associated with the issue and the basic remedial measures to undertake to curb this issue. The policy advocacy campaign aimed at effecting some policies that if implemented, could serve to broadly improve children’s safety and health autonomy (Canoy & Bundred, 2011).
Explain the attributes that made those campaigns effective.
The first attribute that made the above campaigns effective was extensive coverage (grass roots) since the campaigners performed a widespread campaign in a wide area. The second factor is credibility in communication. Communication channels and the messages were properly structured and managed. This ensured that the message was clearly understood by the target population. For consistency, follow-up campaigns were conducted via media. The message delivered was properly prepared to ensure it was fascinating and of great interest to the people (Knickman & Kovner, 2015).
Proposed policy solution
Following the facts that childhood obesity has been found to be mainly caused by factors classified as environmental and lifestyle choices, the proposed policy proposes that change in lifestyle may play pivotal or prerequisite roles in remedying obesity prevalence worldwide. Research links obesity to overweight with the results of increased ratio, sugar, calories and fat intake. Meanwhile, steady decline in physical activity plays complementary roles in the rise of obesity. As such, the proposed policy urges parents to control the dietary content of children’s foods and physical activities. As a solution to this problem, this policy urges parents to prepare standardized diets for children and help them engage in physical activities (Knickman & Kovner, 2015).
Childhood obesity affects children negatively. For instance, it impacts the physical, social, and emotional health in children adversely. Meanwhile, the well-being and self-esteem of obese children are at stake. This has been associated with poor academic performance and generally a low quality of life to these children, which this policy aims to remedy. The first objective is to decrease the rates of obesity around the world. Secondly, the policy aims at creating a profoundly healthy child population, both in physical, social, and emotional, and esteem. Thirdly, the policy aims at building a high academically performing child population, as obesity impacts negatively on the academic performance of many children (Knickman & Kovner, 2015).
Substantiation of the proposed campaign
Canoy and Bundred (2011) say that saving children from obesity helps reduce their likelihood to leading lower quality of lives that may otherwise be experienced by the children. Meanwhile, Edmunds, Waters, and Elliott (2001) assert that the operationalization of a policy or a strategy to help manage obesity will save children from co-morbid conditions classified as cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, orthopedic, hepatic, neurological, and renal disorders associated with childhood obesity. It is, thus, possible that if healthy lifestyles are maintained among children, the world will register more than 50% reduction in obesity cases and health related issues in hospitals (Canoy & Bundred, 2011).
Canoy, D., & Bundred, P. (2011). “Obesity in children.” BMJ clinical evidence, 2011. 2011; 2011: 0325.
Edmunds, L., Waters, E., & Elliott, E. J. (2001). “Evidence-based management of childhood obesity.” British Medical Journal, 323(7318), pp.916.
Knickman, J. R., & Kovner, A. R. (2015). Healthcare delivery in the United States (11th ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing.