Causes of obesity

Policies are put in place to improve situations or address problems that may arise. However, with any overarching change, unintended consequences may emerge that perhaps were not considered or anticipated ahead of time. For example, many programs aimed at addressing widespread obesity issues have led to an unintended preoccupation with assessing weight rather than examining health issues, such as unhealthy diets, eating disorders, and even death, that could mitigate the various causes of obesity.

Policy development is a difficult process that involves multiple perspectives and stakeholders. An important responsibility of a health professional is to be able to evaluate policies, as these policies may have a direct impact on your practice. In this Discussion, you will select a policy, analyze the strengths and weaknesses, and recommend changes to the policy that might lessen unintended consequences.

To prepare:

Review this week’s resources as well as scholarly resources and websites related to the U.S. health system and policy.

Review Shi and Singh (2017), pp. 541–548 for an explanation of the differences between health policy at the federal and state levels.

Select a case study profile of interest from this week’s resources.

Research current policies (at either the federal or state level) related to the population health issue the profile represents, and select one on which to focus for this Discussion.

Consider the role of the health administrator or health educator in relation to the policy and population health issue.



Post a summary of the health policy you selected. Provide a critique of the policy and explain its strengths and weaknesses. Identify at least one way that the policy could be improved to most positively affect population health outcomes. Explain how the policy might positively and negatively impact the individual in the case study profile you selected. Explain how the policy might positively and negatively impact the work of a health educator or health administrator in addressing the population health issue. Be specific and provide examples.

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