For decades now, the obesity level has increased and grown to become a major pandemic. In the United States, the adult population has measures to have excess weight. This growth rate is rapid and, therefore, creates a need for it to be addressed. The reasons and factors that lead to this growing need to be determined, and a preventive measure adopted. When the overweighs are many, it creates a burden to individuals, organizations, and the government to handle the situation. Finances, time, and other resources are used to solve the problem, showing a lasting solution. The degree to which obesity, as a result of excess gaining of weight negatively, impacts an economy creates the necessity for policies and strategies to solve the problem.
Intervention on Weight Gain
The exhibit from the textbook is that preventing weight gains inappropriate in youth and adults. Weight gains are the leading cause of obesity in the United States and have resulted in the deaths of many young people. The figures are likely to grow if the problem of weight gain is not addressed. This has adverse negative effects on the economy because the deaths lead to losing productive people in society. In other cases, obese individuals are at risk of getting diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and asthma (Shi, 2019). These effects show the need for health policies that address the situation and prevent further damage that results from excess weight gain.
Obesity is a threat and a current reality to the nation’s economic situation and health. It affects over thirty percent of the adult population and approximately sixteen percent of the young people (Shi, 2019). The treatment of individuals with diseases associated with excess weight is costly. Although weight gain can be attributed to genetic composition, a higher percentage is attributed to foods with high calories, processed food, and soft drinks. Another cause that has led to obesity is the high rate of physical inactivity. People eating fresh, unprocessed foods will reduce the rate of overweighs. But this change will come if they have an understanding of the need to do so. The difference will come if they personally also take the initiative of adopting healthier ways in their nutrition.
Some legislative measures have been put in place to curb obesity, an example with a significant impact in the United States Food Conservation Act of 2008. Above 58% of the total funds go towards funding nutrition programs such as school meals, vegetable and fruits promotion, and food security (An et al., 2018). Another example is the enactment of the transportation bill for efficient, flexible transportation. It impacts the transportation policy at both national and state levels. The bill increases the number of people using public transport, therefore, increasing their activity level. The increase is achieved because of the distance covered when walking to and from transportation points. The bill also supports pedestrian walk paths and bicycle lanes that allow for human physical activity (Pomeranz et al., 2017). With this kind of law, people have no alternatives but to stick to the opportunities the law has provided, and in the process, change in their body weights will be seen. This method of losing weight through walking and physical activity is also unconscious and less expensive than other ways, making it a good alternative.
Act 1220 passed in the state of Arkansas gives ways and strategies that address the problem of obesity. It entails the measurement of body and mass index universally to school-going children, restriction to access of vending machines, and schools reporting on the financials from the devices and sales from soft drinks (Hazzard et al., 2017). These restrictions will ensure that the consumption of caloric foods and beverages is minimized for young people. The reduction in the intake means the rate of obesity among the school kids is also reduced. The measurement of weight means that there will be tracking of the trends in weight gain and loss. A sustainable preventive measure can then be selected and implemented to solve the problem when the direction is determined.
This intervention affects the federal state because it is a national problem cutting through all states and needs to be addressed at the federal level. It is also easier to advocate for change at the federal level in various ways and policies because the federal government has more influence than the states. Obesity being a multi-faceted issue requires different types of solutions from other stakeholders. The federal government can act as the central point for obtaining this solution by involving the state governments in solving the problem. It is also easier to acquire the necessary funds to solve the issue because it controls and manages a higher range of resources.
The intervention is to be financed by the U.S. Federal government partnering with private and public agencies and organizations to aid initiatives and programs of obesity awareness. The funds are to finance the facilitators and resources that will be invested in these programs. The partners are also to fund schools’ programs on nutrition and physical health curriculums. The financing of this intervention will aid in educating people on the detriments of obesity and how they can avoid gaining excess weight.
The economic impact of this intervention is to reduce the loss of both human and financial resources as a result of weight gains. This is because overweight people are less active and are likely to have less productivity than average and standard weights. This negatively affects the general performance of the businesses and organizations they work. When employees get sick because of weight-related problems, their expected output decreases, putting enterprises and organizations at the risk of getting losses. The bills used in treating obesity-related sicknesses could have been used in other sectors of the economy to create value. There is, therefore, a need to solve the problem to have the economy stable and free from disruptions as a result of weight gains.
On policymaking, the federal government should come up with more laws that minimize cases of weight gains. These laws should provide health education programs that encourage and provide opportunities for people to practice activities that help in weight maintenance. The legislation should also allow for hiring more health and nutrition professionals to fill the gap and attend to obesity cases. There should be an implementation of these laws and necessary actions taken by legislative officials (Pomeranz et al., 2017). Policies that ensure consistent monitoring of initiatives and programs on weight should be put in place to ensure that all the stakeholders are held accountable and that the audience is engaged and learn from the activities.
In conclusion, the journey towards having a healthy population with average weight involves having joint actions of the government, individuals, and organizations. This will enable them to all work towards one objective and clarify what they are expected to achieve. The joint action allows for the flow of information and the sharing of perspectives concerning the problem. It also provides for a better understanding of the effects of the issue on all the parties. When the effects are clearly understood, the level of urgency of the problem is seen, leading to immediate implementation of policies and plans. Weight gain, therefore, should not be ignored but instead addressed to avoid the adverse effects it can cause an economy.
An, R., Guan, C., Ji, M., & Donovan, S. (2018). State laws governing competitive foods and beverages sold in schools and child obesity among children with special healthcare needs, 2007‐2016. American Journal of Health Behavior, 42(6), 124-133.
Hazzard, V. M., Hahn, S. L., & Sonneville, K. R. (2017). Weight misperception and disordered weight control behaviors among U.S. high school students with overweight and obesity: Associations and trends, 1999–2013. Eating behaviors, 26, 189-195.
Pomeranz, J. L., Siddiqi, A., Bolanos, G. J., Shor, J. A., & Hamad, R. (2017). Consolidated state political party control and the enactment of obesity-related policies in the United States. Preventive medicine, 105, 397-403. Web.
Shi, L. (2019). Introduction to health policy (2nd ed.). Cengage Learning.