The Epidemiology of Obesity Paper

The Epidemiology of Obesity Paper

Reply to this post • 1. Name and explain 3 things that you learned from the videos about social determinants of health that you were otherwise not aware of.  Before watching the videos, I had a general awareness of social determinants of health and that they have a big impact on health outcomes, but the videos helped to clarify these concepts and explained them in a more concrete way. I benefited from the specific examples included in the Healthy People video: the young girl without a safe place to play after school and the older adult whose neighborhood lacked healthy food options. By showcasing these two examples and offering specific solutions (keeping the gym open later at the local school and opening a subsidized farmers market in the low-income neighborhood), the video showed that ways of improving social determinants of health are often quite attainable and can make a big difference in enhancing people’s quality of life.  In a similar vein, it was really helpful to see the intervention life cycle as illustrated by the Healthy People 2020 framework: assessment, monitoring, evaluation, and dissemination. Health disparities and inequities can be overwhelming and sometimes abstract topics to tackle, but the framework is useful in condensing them into a format that can be more clearly evaluated and tested, hopefully leading to more successful outcomes.  Lastly, I learned about how income (a component of social determinants of health) affects life expectancy. According to the WHO video, the average life expectancy is 57 years in a low-income country and 80 years in high-income countries. This comparison is staggering and further highlights how social determinants of health substantially impact people. 2. How big an impact do you think social determinants of health affect public health in your local area and how? o  One social determinant of health that affects public health in my local area is a lack of green space / open space for recreation and exercise. In my neighborhood in Little Havana, there aren’t many places to walk and play. Everything is concrete and it would be hard to get around without a car. The Epidemiology of Obesity Paper This does not encourage people to be physically active or go for walks, myself included! Another social determinant of health that is interesting to evaluate in my neighborhood is language. The inhabitants of the area are predominantly Spanish-speaking, and while this could potentially be a major barrier in a different area or city, my neighborhood actually seems well-equipped to serve its majority Spanish-speaking population with several health clinics and pharmacies with services in Spanish. I see this as a positive for providing accessible health care in the local area. 3. What are some ways public health nurses and public health departments can address social determinants of health to improve public and community health?


o o In preparing to write this discussion post, I came across an organization called Healthy Little Havana (Links to an external site.). According to their web site, they focus on three priority areas that are social determinants of health: 1) education opportunities for employment, 2) affordable quality housing, and 3) safe and accessible public spaces. A few examples of what they are doing include providing healthy grab-and-go meals for kids, a program to combat littering and illegal dumping, and a COVID-19 emergency response committee. This organization seems like a great example of how public health nurses and public health departments can work directly in the community to provide services and programs that enhance community health. 4. How will you incorporate the knowledge you have learned about social determinants of health into your every day practice? o o I will bring an enhanced sense of awareness of the social determinants of health with me in every day practice. I’ll be more likely to consider the unseen factors that might be influencing a given patient’s health status that go beyond just disease or illness. This will give me the opportunity to ask them about socially-related barriers to health they may be experiencing, and hopefully the opportunity to connect them with resources that can help as well.

Apart from providing a concrete clarification of the concepts that surround SDOH and their impact on health, the video provided greater insights on how health inequities due to systematic differences prevent the ability to achieve optimal health. This ultimately contributes to unfair yet avoidable differences in health outcomes. The most critical drivers of health inequities are policies that promote inequities at different levels. For instance, the quality of neighborhoods plays a huge role in shaping the trajectory of life, the health of children and adults, access to health and health services, safe and clean resource-rich environments, which is a vital factor in ensuring health equity. Otherwise, inequities result in huge and preventable variations in health metrics such as life expectancy.The Epidemiology of Obesity Paper

It is good to know that in your local area, one of the greatest SDO that affects public health is the lack of open space for exercise. Physical inactivity is a key contributor to childhood and adult obesity. Obesity trends in the US-based on the most recent data reveals that more than 85% of adults will be either obese or overweight byte year 2030 (Hruby & Hu, 2015).  Obesity increases the risk of chronic lifestyle diseases, associated mortalities, and morbidities. The most notable diseases are cancers, type 2DM, cardiovascular illnesses, hypertension, and depression. Besides, childhood obesity leads to similar conditions that may present earlier during childhood and persist to adulthood (Hruby & Hu, 2015). It is worth mentioning that, the psychosocial and economic costs of obesity alone or with the aforementioned sequelae and comorbidities are significant.

To help address SDOH and influence good outcomes, it would be advisable to include discussions about maintaining a healthy nutritional status in everyday practice. Besides, it would be necessary to collaborate with leaders at the local level to obtain open space for children and adults to exercise.


Hruby, A., & Hu, F. B. (2015). The Epidemiology of Obesity: A Big Picture. PharmacoEconomics33(7), 673–689.

The Epidemiology of Obesity Paper