Child Obesity As An Issue Of Public Health, The Socio Ecological Model

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To understand the phenomena behind child obesity as an issue of public health, the socio-ecological model should be considered. As seen in the Figure 1 below, the ecological model considers individual factors, relationship factors, community factors, and societal factors. Individual level (first level at the extreme right) includes biology and personal characteristics such as, knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, racial/ethnic identity, gender, age, and religious identity. Relationship level (second level) is when informal or formal social networks and support systems that influence individual behaviors, including family, friends, co-workers, and religious networks or traditions. Community level (third level) is affiliations among social relationships, which includes neighborhoods, workplace, schools, and organizations. Societal levels (fourth level) are broad societal factors of organizations or social institutions, such as socioeconomic status, cultural and social norms, social policies, local, state, and/or national laws. The ecological model describes individual factors of child obesity to involve when individuals possess certain knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes related towards dietary intake, sedentary behavior, physical activity, age, gender, and familiar susceptibility to weight gain. The individual level of the ecological model is frequently the focus of child overweight and obesity research because the energy imbalance can be easily seen and analyzed. Overall,

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