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Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Other Topics

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1.Is obesity a disease? Why or why not?

2.How can we increase the fitness level of the U.S. population?

3.What actions would you suggest be taken to improve the quality of the average U.S. diet?

4.What does it mean to have a balanced diet?

5.What are some myths associated with diet and exercise?

6.How does the role of food choice and eating relate to the six dimensions of wellness?

7.Should obesity be considered a disease?

8.Should fast food and soft drinks be taxed an increased rate so the proceeds can go to state determined health programs?

9.What is a good diet that you recommend? Do you have some information or a link about it.

10.The rates of obesity and morbid obesity are at an all time high in the U.S. What do you think may be the top three reasons for the excess weight problem in the United States? Explain your rationale for selecting these reasons.

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1. Is obesity a disease? Why or why not?

It depends. Many theories have been proposed. Proponents who declare it a disease is linked to the rise in obesity numbers in America. Calling it a disease, a condition of itself, opens insurance companies to be supportive in cures and treatment. Not everyone agrees, however, as the opponents argue that it is like high cholesterol, which is a risk factor for other diseases. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/4650.php. Sociological theories call it a social problem. However, the causes are complex and moth biological and environmental in nature, so there a bit of truth in both sides of the debate. However, this increased attention through research and policy have been helpful to prevent and decrease obesity, whether it is defined as a disease or not.

In 2003, the federal agency in charge of Medicaid and Medicare conducted a review to determine whether it, too, should consider obesity a disease.

"That would mean that for the first time the poor, elderly and infirm would be covered for some weight-control therapies without first having another illness diagnosed, such as diabetes. That decision would pressure private insurers to follow suit, and they are resisting the move?(http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/4650.php)
In 2009, the CDC have bene helpful in many prevention policies (see http://www.cdc.gov/NCCdphp/publications/AAG/obesity.htm).

It is still being debated.

2. How can we increase the fitness level of the U.S. population?

Research and public policy have increased awareness and put forth prevention programs. For example in a 2009 report, CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) is working to reduce obesity and obesity-relatedconditions through state programs, technical assistance and training, leadership, surveillance and research, intervention development and evaluation, translation of practice-basedevidence and research findings, and partnership development. (http://www.cdc.gov/NCCdphp/publications/AAG/pdf/obesity.pdf). There have been some effective initiatives through increasing the focus on exercise and participation

Examples: Success Stories

1. Michigan: Building Healthy Communities

Michigan's Building Healthy Communities Project is designed to improve the environment and change policies to make it easier for residents to be healthy. Local health departments were supported through funding and technical assistance to form community coalitions and develop 3-year plans for creating more opportunities for their residents to engage in healthful eating, physical activity, and tobacco-free lifestyles. Coalitions included representatives from local transportation, zoning and planning departments, law enforcement, the YMCA, hospitals, universities, nonprofit organizations, news media outlets, in addition to farmers, residents, public officials, and city engineers.

The Building Healthy Communities Project achieved significant success in making it easier for Michigan residents to be healthy by

* Creating or enhancing 11 trails covering 58.6 miles.
* Enhancing 7 parks with amenities such as new equipment, benches, and lighting.
* Providing residents with 14,000 walking maps.
* Conducting 129 community fitness classes.
* Opening 5 new farmers?market locations with the ability to process Electronic Benefit Transfer capabilities for processing for food stamps.
* Creating 7 new school and community gardens.
* Distributing 5,000 coupon books to low-income seniors to redeem for fresh fruits and vegetables. (Excerpted from http://www.cdc.gov/NCCdphp/publications/AAG/obesity.htm)

2. Texas: Farm to Work Delivers

In 2005, less than one quarter of Texas adults ate the minimum amount of fruits and vegetables recommended for good health. To increase access to fresh produce, the Texas Department of State Health Services Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention Program worked with the department's Building Healthy Texans Employee Wellness Program to create a Farm to Work program. This program enables employees at 10 Austin-area work sites to purchase fresh local produce, which is delivered weekly to their work site. Coordination with local farmers is handled by the Sustainable Food Center, a nonprofit organization. Participation is easy-employees order on a week-by-week basis, with no subscription required. ...

Solution Summary

This solution responds to the ten health questions on various topics, such as obesity, nutrition, exercise, fitness level, six dimensions of wellness, disease, health programs, weight problem, and other topics.