Community health is a very important issue that both citizens and politicians overlook. We trust government officials to find cures and solutions to our health problems, but we do not analyze the origin of these problems. If we want to make a change in community health, we must look at the core of the problem and focus more on primary prevention than tertiary prevention techniques. Since most of the health problems in our community are preventable diseases, to prevent them we must eradicate the cause.
Childhood obesity is constantly on the rise and we have been unable to do anything about it. Of course, there have been numerous attempts to reduce the rate of obesity in children, but these attempts are more focused on secondary and tertiary prevention. We are focusing too much on reversing the effects of obesity and we don’t have enough time to prevent obesity in the first place. By informing our community of the health risks they are entering when they are obese, we can teach them how to prevent them. We must target parents and not children. Parents are the food source for children and, at an early age, must be adequately nourished and active so that these preventable diseases do not occur later in life. Physical education in school should be more active and less optional. Actually, we should teach physical education rather than allowing students to roam freely among themselves and choose whether or not they will be active.
A child cannot make life decisions related to their health and, as adults, we must ensure that the children of our communities are in the best of health. Poor communities are just as capable of living healthy lifestyles as the middle class, but without understanding how to do it, they will explain their lack of health to their financial situation. Community leaders should provide options for parents to seek to keep their children healthy. Community health groups, activities, or even a park would be helpful. If we can get our children out of the house and into the yard, we will be making progress. By reducing childhood obesity, we can prevent the likelihood of strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers, and heart disease. All of these major problems are related to obesity and something must be done to lower our rates. Obesity has risen from 7% in 1980 to 18% in 2012. That is not a good ladder to climb with generations to come. About 1/3 of Americans, including adults, are obese and this is even more overwhelming. The problem is that people either don’t know they are obese or think obesity is just a word that fitter people call less fit people. We must explain to people why they are classified as obese and the health risks associated with obesity. Most people hear obesity and consider it an insult. We fear telling others that they are obese because it sounds painful and parents despise being told that their child is obese. The truth of the matter is that obesity is here and on the rise. There is no way to sugarcoat the facts. We can continue to act like it’s not a big issue and the fees will keep increasing as the years go by. Children should not have high blood pressure or any other illness associated with being overweight. This issue won’t change until we start making it a priority. I think this is the most important problem in the health of our community because people fear the result of bringing childhood obesity to parents. It’s also critical to note that you don’t have to be rich or extremely rich to eat healthier foods and be active. Parents should be more involved in their children’s lives and encourage them to be more active on a day-to-day basis. Limit your time in front of the television and increase your time spent outdoors. Make better food choices when feeding your children. Teach parents the importance of nutrition and fitness and why it should matter to them.
These are ways we can help improve our communities. We must focus on now and not later. When flu season rolls around, we get our flu shots weeks before the virus is taken into account. We get vaccinated because it prevents us from getting the flu. It is not good to get a flu shot once you are infected with the flu virus. Just as this is true, it is also true for obesity. We must take the necessary measures beforehand to prevent the disease from affecting our children.