Thedesire to help, love and treasure your community surpasses anycommitment. As community nurses, we are called to action. Just assoldiers carry their guns to war and defend our sovereignty, so do wecommit ourselves to serve our societies in every capacity in ensuringthat we recognize health risk factors and provide solutions by beingconversant with important issues that affect us and acting on themappropriately. For instance, in my community, I am conversant withdemographic information. This information provides statistics ofgeneral characteristics within my community such as age, income,poverty levels, and ethnicity.
Ilive in Prince George’s (PG) County, which has a populationestimation of 909,535 people as of July 2015. Its age/genderdemographic in April 2010 were as follows: persons under the age of5years were 6.8%, under 18 years were 23.9%, 65 years and over were19.4% and the female population of PG County was 52.0% of the total.The ethnicity data as of April 2010 was 19.2% white, 14.9% Hispanic,64.5% African Americans and 4.1% were Asian. According to the USCensus Bureau, median household income in 2014 was $73,856, percapita income from 2010-2014 was $32,637, and the percentage ofpersons in poverty was 10.3%.
Thenumber of housing units in 2010 was 328,182 averaging at $258800, andthe median gross rent was $1,276 from 2010-2014. As for education,the percentage of high school graduates was 85.6% and people withbachelor’s degree or higher was 30.4%. In some residential areas,it is easier to locate fast food vendors than fresh grocery stores.As a result, obesity has been recorded at 33% according to MarylandCounty Health Rankings and Roadmaps. This has been contributed bypoor eating patterns and lack of exercises. Thus, this paper examinesthe vulnerability of children in my community to obesity.
Childrenare the future of this country and need to be nurtured as they growbecause they cannot process information in a rational way like adultsdo and their health greatly depends not only on the actions ofparents and guardians but also the environment that they are exposedto (Sameera& Amar, 2012).We have found ourselves soothing babies with the sweet delicacies ofthis world. But some of those foods are not close to the recommendedones, in fact, they are in the must avoid list. Once children getused to these foods, at the age of probably six to ten years, theywill purchase them on their own without moderation.
Childrenare prone to obesity due to lack of physical exercises. This has beencontributed greatly by technology also children have become darlingto very unhealthy foods which are processed with high contents offats, sodium, and sugar (Ogden,Carroll, Lawman, Fryar, Kruszon-Moran, Kit, &Flegal, 2016).Also, people prefer technology to work for them, for instance, in ourcommunity people prefer using their cars to get ice creams and othercandies in a half mile store than walking.
Thispopulation likes spending their time at malls playing virtual gamesif they are not at home playing Xbox or PS or other games. This hasbeen contributed by the growth in technology which has led to thedevelopment of cool games than running around chasing a ball, playinghide and seek or swinging. Furthermore, the absence of fresh grocerystores within a mile in some residents has resulted in the presenceof food deserts (Barker,Francois, & New York Law School, 2012).This was as a result of structural racism and poor governmentpolicies which led to the relocation of these businesses to suburbsas the government provided subsidies for those leaving cities makingthese areas vulnerable (Barkeret al., 2012).
Also,another factor that has led to the rise of obesity in children ispoor parenting. This begins as early as before a child begins towalk some parents believe that a healthy baby is a fat one. Thissocial misconception has led to very poor feeding behaviors and earlyspooning of children which makes children susceptible to obesity(Aldous,1999).But, all is not always under the control of parents and teachers,genes also play a part. Some people have gene variations which makethem susceptible to overweight and obesity. This factor acts as a bigbarrier against moderating obesity in children with these genevariations.
Despiteall these challenges, the fact that the vulnerable group constitutesof children, it is easier to change risk behaviors as parents andteachers have great influence on how this group’s behaviors, unlikeadults who cannot be controlled. The parents can control physicalactivities through initiating walks in the parks and encourage theirchildren to participate in games that involve running such as playingfootball. Also, in school teachers can stress the importance ofphysical exercises(Martin,Booth, Young, Revie, Boyter, Johnston, & Reilly, 2016).
PrinceGeorge’s County in an effort to fight this menace, in addition tostandard health services, it has various nutrition programs thatoffer educational programs on Recommended Dietary Allowances. Also,there is a Department of Social Service’s Emergency Food AssistanceProgram that helps in the distribution of food to the needy.Furthermore, the community offers long-term care, seasonal healthtips, mental health, family preservation, adoption, child protective,foster and health start program services which are provided to womenwho are pregnant to help them have and deliver healthy babies.Furthermore, there is Health Promotion, Wellness, and Evidence-BasedSelf-Management Programs. According to me, the county is doing thebest it can, but there is a gap about creating awareness. Very fewpeople use these services despite their presence this has resulteddue to lack of proper communication. The misconception that thesociety is educated, and people think from the rational point of viewhas contributed to ineffectiveness in the fight against obesity.Thus, I believe we need to use all social events like communitypolicing meetings, weddings, churches, and other venues to createawareness about these services.
Officeof Disease Prevention and Health Promotion hopes that by 2020 peoplewill be healthy and there will be reduced chronic illness and risksthrough the consumption of healthy diets and maintaining fit bodyweights in children, youths, and adults. The office intends todecrease the number of children aged 6 to 11 years who had obesity by15.7% in 2020. Obesity in children has been correlated with highrates of diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, and various cancers.Children are prone to obesity due to lack of physical exercises.Community nurses in collaboration with pediatricians can positivelyimpact the society through education and creation of awareness on theimportance of physical activities, health eating patterns, and dietsin maintaining a healthy society.
Thus,as a society, we have to create awareness and make sure that ourchildren have access to proper diets, in addition to doing exercises.Our community offers various programs, but they will be of no use ifpeople are not aware of them. Also, to achieve the Office of DiseasePrevention and Health Promotion’s target, we need to work togetherwith all members of society because even if the community nurses werewilling to rid the society of obesity issue and parents were not,their efforts would be in vain.
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