Obesity : A Major Health Risk

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Obesity is a major health risk. The body changes that occur during obesity are linked to morbidity and mortality disability from diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, osteoarthritis and cancer1. The prevalence of obesity and its comorbidities has dramatically increased in recent decades, especially amongst children1. Currently 11% of children in Snohomish County Health District (SNOHD) are obese4. The high prevalence of obesity can be reduced by addressing its main causal factors: the energy imbalance created by a calorie dense diet and low levels of physical activity1. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) state that all children should follow the “Dietary…[and] Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans…every day”2. Only a quarter of SNOHD youth currently meet these recommendations4. In response the Snohomish County should embrace a campaign that encourages 5 or more fruits and vegetable servings and 1 hour or more of physical activity every day5. Evidence suggests that a social marketing (SM) approach can be used to guide this campaign.
This SM approach will aim to elicit “social and behavioral change” with a ‘locus of benefit’ on the consumer 14. The CDC suggests that SM can achieve this goal in obesity by positively influencing the behaviors of poor diet and sedentary lifestyle thereby creating better health31, 39. Gracia-Marco et al’s paper showed successful influence of these behaviors through SM to reduce the prevalence of
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