- It is important to understand the solutions to the growing obesity epidemic
Obesity is fast becoming a prevalent health problem, especially across the United States. Obesity is defined by an excessively high amount of body fat. When a person has a BMI (body mass index) of 30 and above, that’s an indicator that they are obese.
In the last few years, the number of obese people in the US has increased massively, and the figures continue to rise. It is now considered an epidemic. This has placed an onus on the health system to provide innovative solutions to prevent and solve obesity. There are a lot of causes, including people turning to comfort eating and leading a more sedentary lifestyle.
The solution to obesity is not straightforward because the problem is a complex one that requires a multifaceted approach to solving. Everyone needs to get involved, and all hands are needed on deck. Local and state organizations, schools, policymakers, community leaders, healthcare and childcare professionals, and individuals; everyone has a role to play in creating a supportive environment for a healthy lifestyle.
Many people only spend a few days every year engaging with their healthcare providers. It may be more or less than a week, depending on if they fall sick. In the other times that they’re not with their healthcare providers, their friends and families are their caregivers. Some of the biggest influences in people’s lives are in their places, where they work, schooled, etc. All of these influence them more than their rare visit to medical professionals.
Yet, a lot of responsibilities fall on the healthcare providers. They are responsible for five primary roles:
- Ask the patient if they are ready to change.
- Assess their risks.
- Advise them on therapeutic alternatives.
- Agree on treatment plans with patients.
- Assist them with the necessary resources to take the right actions.
As far as obesity is concerned, the healthcare sector has focused more on assessing and taking BMI measurements. However, it is not sufficient to know the BMI of an obese patient. For assessment alone, there are some needs like assessing the patient’s food intake and how much they engage in physical activity. Checks like this can lead to behavioral changes.
Healthcare providers must pay increased attention to the kind of advice that they provide. Some providers refrain from complex and delicate conversations that obese and overweight patients need.
There’s a misconception among healthcare providers that they need to motivate their patients to change, which is described as a quality encounter. This needs to stop. There is also plenty of reasons and motivation for obese people to change. The ideal thing to do is to lower the activation threshold and create triggers to change their behavior. They must also identify optimal defaults to help them make healthy choices affordable, convenient, and accessible.
Also, healthcare providers have to pay more attention to help people connect to other resources. It is crucial to create integrations between the community and the clinic since healthcare systems are embedded in community-based resources.
Prenatal and primary care
A recent programming help mentioned that patient counseling on eating healthily, and routine measurement of Body Mass Index is essential for primary care providers and pediatricians to prevent obesity. Prenatal care providers can also promote breastfeeding, encourage pregnant women not to smoke, and emphasize the importance of staying healthy before pregnancy. Providers must ensure that they try to avoid discrimination and bias against obese or overweight people too.
Local and state programs
There are resources to aid the dissemination of evidence-based practices and public health recommendations consistently for local, state, tribal, and territorial public health grantees, organizations, and practitioners.
It is essential that people know their body mass index, engage in physical activities regularly, and work to maintain healthy body weights. All of these are actions that individuals can take by themselves to help them fight against obesity.
To reduce obesity within the community, there has to be a joint effort in the community that should focus on promoting active living in different settings and healthy eating. These efforts must span across other community points, including schools, hospitals, food service venues, and early childhood support for kids.
A significant key to achieving a healthy body weight and maintaining it is to start to live a healthy lifestyle. This goes beyond short-term dietary changes. Patients have to change their lifestyle entirely and make regular physical activities and healthy eating the backbone of their new lifestyle.
Here are a few things to note:
- Assess your weight: BMI is not the only tool to estimate a person’s weight. The waist circumference is another one as well. Together, they are used for weight estimation and to evaluate the risks of potential diseases.
- Healthy weight: when a person has a high BMI, it may indicate high body fatness. You could visit the website for healthy weight to learn more about maintaining a healthy weight, losing weight, learning about balancing calories, etc. You can visit websites to learn more about healthy eating habits, plan your meals, find healthy recipes, track calorie intake, etc.
- Basics of physical activities: it is almost impossible to talk about living healthily without mentioning the importance of physical activities. It would be best if you took your time to learn about the different kinds of activities that you can involve yourself in and follow the guideline for how much you need every day.
- Tips for parents: it is important that parents also learn about childhood obesity and how serious it is and how they can help to establish healthy behaviors in their kids.
Obesity has become a fast-growing epidemic in the US in the last few years. It is essential to curb its rise to improve people’s health and reduce the risk of diseases. Although it doesn’t have one straightforward solution, there are a series of steps that we can take to reduce obesity. Some of these steps are discussed in this article.