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American Obesity Association

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Problem Statement

Obesity is a condition where human body contains excess fat that is risky to its health. People normally become obese when their weight is one fifth above normal body weight. It is normally measured in terms of body mass index (BMI). A person is considered obese when he/has has a BMI of over 30. In Los Angeles County, it was found that 21% of students in grade 5, 6, and 7 public schools are obese and 19% are at a risk of becoming obese (Standards and Assessment Division, 2001).

Obesity is not only a concern in Los Angeles but the whole world because it is a threat to a person’s health as it leads to diseases such as coronary heart disease, various types of cancers including breast and endometrial cancers, high blood pressure, hypertension, liver disease, respiratory problems, stroke, and diseases of gallbladder (What is Obesity, 2012). Diseases such as cardiovascular disease cause deaths of 17 million people annually.

Obesity and health problems that result, negatively impact Los Angeles economy as the victims have to part with both direct and indirect costs of medication. The direct costs include costs of preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases related to obesity. According to L.A. Health (2003), the costs of treating obesity-related diseases amount to about 9% of the total cost of health care in Los Angeles County. Indirect costs include costs associated with loss of income due to absenteeism, performance of restricted duties, and low production.   

Healthy eating, active lifestyle, and a lot of exercises can be used to treat obesity. Since food rich in excess calories, which cause obesity, are difficult to avoid or limit, exercises become the sole option to treat and prevent obesity. To save the County from the many losses it experiences through obesity and solve obesity related problems, an exercise program is going to be established by an agency for children of 6 to 11 years.

American Obesity Association (AOA) Background

The American Obesity Association, formed in April 1995, is a professional body established to study obesity and related illnesses in Americans and propose ways of treating and preventing obesity (Smeltmann, 2012). Its mission is to act as an agent of change, assisting people to know that obesity is a disease, and help them develop strategies of dealing with it. At the moment, people perceive obesity as a result of individual’s failure. It is AOA’s duty to change this perception so that people can recognize obesity as a complex disease which not only involves personal behaviors, but also other attributes such as individual’s genetic makeup and environment (Obesity, 2010).

AOA advocates for the interests of close to 80 million Americans, including children and adults, who are obese. It is mainly funded by organizations that produce diet pills including American Home Products, Knoll Pharmaceuticals LTD, and Interneuron. The organization offers programs such as Obesity Education including teaching on the best diet and ways of leaving to prevent and/or treat obesity, Obesity diagnosis, and treatment of obesity-related diseases. In addition it sensitizes Americans, through mobile stations, on the risks associated with obesity.

AOA boasts to be the longest serving Obesity Association (18 years) in America with proven track record of performance. Since its inception, the number of deaths that come as a result of obesity-related diseases and the cost of treating such diseases are significantly reduced. People’s perception regarding the disease has also changed, with many viewing it not only to come as a result of their personal behaviors, but also as individual’s genetic makeup and environment. Moreover, AOA channels most of its funding on the most crucial aspects of obesity therefore utilizes its funds efficiently and effectively. It uses many of its volunteers to accomplish its mission therefore cuts costs associated with employing many staff.

When accorded funds, AOA intends to tremendously reduce obesity related diseases by 50% within the first year of funding and by a further 10% within the first quarter of the second year. This will be done through obesity education, sensitization, prevention and treatment.  

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