Various measures have been used to assess obesity and its health impact on a community. In the same regard, various measures are used to describe the status and needs of a community in assessing the dangers of obesity. One basic measure of assessment is the prevalence levels across different age groups, to determine which section of the population needs the most attention in the reduction of obesity (WellnessProposals, 2011, p. 1).
In this type of measure, the number of people suffering from the condition, across a given population sample is noted. The second measure of assessment is the lifestyle of a majority of the people in the community (which predisposes them to obesity). This measure is used because obesity is often caused by a sedentary lifestyle, and when a community is identified to live such a lifestyle, it is highly likely that, the prevalence of obesity will be high.
The incidence of the disease is also another assessment tool used because it establishes the number of obesity cases within a given population group, and at a given time period. This measure is however not the same as the disease prevalence rate within the community, because it is only specific to the number of new cases observed within the community (assuming a specific population group is sampled at a specific period of time).
Since obesity has quickly become a communal and national problem in America, there are many policies which have been developed (or are being developed) at a communal or national level.
So far, the policies developed at the communal level include the banning of the sale of sodas and candy in public schools because it has been established that, schools are ripe grounds for the thriving of obesity, because many cases of obesity are currently being registered in schools as opposed to other social places (Longley, 2011, p. 2). Out of the school context, there is a requirement established for fast food restaurants operating within the community to show the level of fat and calories in the foods they produce.
These measures are directly aimed at reducing the rate of obesity within the community because medically, the consumption of fast foods, sodas and candies have been identified as some of the leading causes of obesity. These policies have been adopted by the state government because they have legislative control over public institutions and businesses. In future, the same policies should be implemented at a national level.
In curbing obesity, several programs should be developed to curb excess calorie intake, encourage the consumption of healthy foods and encourage the undertaking of physical activities.
For instance, there should be a health promotion and physical activity program and a healthy choice and dietary program to ensure people undertake exercises, at least one hour a day, and strictly observe the consumption of healthy foods.
The standards and regulations to be upheld in these health programs should be enforced by the state governments, and upheld in schools to impart proper eating behavior to students at a young age.
Teachers should therefore be the enforcers of such programs, but they should be subject to state authority and supervision. The state authorities should therefore be the custodians of the program standards. In further upholding the standards and effectiveness of the above mentioned programs, the observance of these programs should be made a licensure issue, before schools and other learning institutions are registered by the state (Longley, 2011, p. 2).
Longley, R. (2011). Can Legislation Prevent Obesity in America? Retrieved 15 June, 2011, from: http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/consumer/a/aathinner.htm
WellnessProposals. (2011). Health Promotion and Wellness Programs: Top Health Risks. Retrieved 15 June, 2011, from: