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Obesity Awareness Organizations
Obesity -connected conditions such as stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes to mention but few are known to be epidemic and is growing rapidly and directly impacts the lives of approximately thirty four point nine percent (34.9 or 78.6 million) of adults in the USA, (CDC, 2015). Although there has been increased and misinformation and facts about the disease, thus, the establishment of Save the Children and Healthy Kids as well as Healthy community were established to increase public awareness on obesity.
Symbolic interaction theory address this sociological problem by addressing the subjective meanings imposed to people. This theory suggests that people behave according to what the society believes and what is not objectively true. The fundamental aspects of the obesity such as race and gender are better understood using symbolic interactionist lens. These two organizations are working to increase awareness on health risks that are associated with the disease, while providing aid to the morbidly obese individuals and also provide information and resources on exercise, nutrition and counselling on how to seek medical recommendation associated obesity disorders (Jator, 2014).
Functionalist theory is mainly concerned with stability order in the society. For instance, Healthy Kids, Healthy communities is an organization established by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation which aims at preventing child hood obesity. The organization was launched in December 2007. This organization is helping approximately 49 communities in the USA. It helps eliminate the issue of eating disorders and obesity in the USA by advocating for changes to local policies; with the aim of establishing a safe environment, one that fosters healthy lifestyle.
This organization has established programs that lay special emphasis to communities who are at higher risk of developing obesity due to their ethnic group and geographical location of socio-economic impacts in the society (Healthy Kids Healthy Communities, 2015).
Since its establishment, the organizations have supported more than 85 policy changes that target the environment to support healthy living. Some of the efforts have mainly focused on encouraging healthy eating and physical activeness. For instance, in Jafferson County, Ala, the organization advocated for changes to promote healthy eating and physical activity in 360 child care centres that were previously been exempted from these regulations by the local government because they were faith based organization (Healthy Kids Healthy Communities, 2015).
Conflict theory focuses mainly on the causes and consequences of obesity. This theory’s social constructs function based on what people perceive as true about what certain people look like. These constructs are used by these agencies to decide whom they should help and how to do so. According to this perspective, establishing a social structure will help eradicate obesity in America. Looking at the existing social arrangements, they tend to evaluate on what functions it performs to the society (Leon-Guerrero, 2011).
In silver City, N.M., the organization advocated for policy change to new policy that would allow community garden in each land-use zone. The changes also included the complete street policies which aimed at directing officials to design and maintain environments that are safe and accessible by bicyclists, walkers, and the transit users.
Other solutions that have been advocated for by this organization includes partnering with the local government to establish policies that improves access to healthy food, advocate for employee wellness and construction of safe environment that promote physical activeness in both adults and children (Healthy Kids Healthy Communities, 2015).
Critical theory critiques the society aspects with the aim of understanding and explaining the aspects of obesity. It digs beneath the surface of the social life so as to unveil the assumptions and misconceptions of obesity in the society. Social interactionist mainly focuses in micro-sociological interactions between the small groups in the society. The latent function in this case is to investigate the relationship between poverty, women empowerment, and obesity (Leon-Guerrero, 2011).
For instance, Save the Children organization was established in 1919 which aimed at fighting for children rights in order to save these children live and to give hope for better future. This program invests in childhood with the aim of giving them a healthy start across the world. The organization believes that by giving the children a healthy start; they provide them with an opportunity to learn, which offers a prospect to transform their course in the future.
One in five kids in the America lives in poverty. This organization have education and health programs to ensure that these children can access simple things that are critical including things such as books, pre-school educative programs, and healthy places where they can exercise and play. These simple things are crucial in order to help the kids thrive in mind and body (Save the Children, 2015).
The feminist perspective to tackle the obesogenic environments is inspired by the interest to help the poor minority, especially women and children from these communities (Leon-Guerrero, 2011). Save the Children program has established a program to fight obesity based on the feminist perspectives. The organization program is dubbed as “Hunger in America” is ironical. How can an advanced country be malnourished and obese at the same time?
When children live in poverty, they live in society and families that are struggling between making a healthy choice (implying no food at all) and putting cheaper but unhealthy food on the table. Consequently, more than half of these kids living in poverty stricken areas end up becoming obese or overweight. According to this organization’s report, 59% of the children are not able to access fresh healthy foods and in some areas, the statistics is as high as 98% (Save the Children, 2015).
Evidently, it is every person’s right to have a healthy live, and that each child deserves an opportunity to have a healthy start. Functionalist theory focuses more in the consequences than the intent. This is challenging as sometimes latent functions consequences are not usually so obvious. Therefore, it is imported for the Nation to get concerned on how the social arrangements benefits get distributed
(Conflict theory). This includes focusing on who benefits, wins or loses from specific social arrangement. This is important in that the society is constantly changing and conflict of these dynamic social arrangements are the main source of change. It is important to expose children and adults to healthier ways of living by promoting nutrition lessons and support to ensure that the balanced food choices are available to each member in the community, and to ensure that the community members remain physically active (Leon-Guerrero, 2011)
Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities. (2015). Nutrition and Health. Retrieved from http://www.healthykidshealthycommunities.org/category/topic/nutrition-and-health
Jator, E. (2014). Predicting Obesity among Adolescents in the United States Using Modified Logistic Model. AJPHR, 2(3), 86-90. http://dx.doi.org/10.12691/ajphr-2-3-4
Leon-Guerrero, A. (2011). Social problems: community, policy and social action (Third ed). Thousand Oaks, California: Pine Forge Press.
Obesity is common, serious and costly, (CDC. 2015). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html Save the Children. (2015). Help Fight Hunger in America ? Support our Healthy Choices Program. Retrieved from http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.8193017/k.8ECA/Healthy_Choices.htm
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