Obesity Is A Prevalent Public Health Epidemic

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Obesity is a prevalent public health epidemic that we face today. Billions of dollars in the United States alone are being spent yearly to cover medical treatment for ailments triggered by this disease (Lee, Sheer, Lopez and Rosenbaum 2010). According to Public health Reports, federal and state governments currently are accountable for at least half of the medical expenses encountered from one being overweight and obese (Lee et al., 2010). Medicaid has the highest popularity of obese customers when compared to Medicare, private insurances, or even those uninsured. In 2004 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) acknowledged obesity as a medical condition. Children receiving Medicaid benefits are covered by the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) program (Lee et al., 2010). This program covers health assessments from birth to age 21. Obese children under the (EPSDT) are eligible to receive free nutritional and behavioral education regarding this disease. Evidence based guidelines have proven that regular screenings and early intervention can have a great impact on decreasing childhood obesity. Unfortunately, not all states enforce these guidelines and this is where children often fall into the cracks. It is still an individual’s choice to follow through. “Federal and state legislatures occasionally acknowledge the obesity epidemic, but little is being done to address the root causes of the problem” (Weiss & Smith, 2004). They
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