2013 Priority Objectives for Community Health in New Jersey

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MEMORANDUM To: Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H. Commissioner of NJDOH From: Christina M Blanco, CHES Date: September 30, 2013 Re: 2013 Priority Objectives for Community Health in New Jersey The purpose of this memo is to introduce priority public health objectives for the state of New Jersey that should be implemented to see a decrease in obesity rates over the next ten years. Major health issues that cause high rates of morbidity and mortality in New Jersey, similar to that of the country, are due to preventable diseases or conditions. A major current health issue is obesity rates in the state. A variety of factors contribute to obesity rates, which include: race, socioeconomic status, and access to healthcare services. The importance of…show more content…
Inform individuals of all socioeconomic and racial backgrounds about the issue of obesity within the state. Before a program can be set in place or services are provided, the residents of the State of New Jersey need to be aware that obesity is a real issue that affects millions of residents within the state. Residents must be advised that obesity is preventable and curable. If residents do not believe they are susceptible or effected by the issue, action cannot be taken to help them change their unhealthy behaviors. 2. Improve services provided by the local health departments. The three objectives that have been set forth, can all be accomplished with proper health services at a county or local health department. For example, the health educators in New Jersey Health Departments can spearhead an Obesity Prevention Program. Additionally, they have the resources to provide nutrition counseling and assist the residents in making healthier food choices for their families. Lastly, health screenings can be offered at health departments, to assess residents BMIs and vital statistics. Generally, holding general health clinics can be kept inexpensive, but prevention programs and nutrition services may be costly. The CDC reported that “The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.” Therefore, although these
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