Impact of Community Health Assessments

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Impact of Community Health Assessments
Impact of Community Health Assessments

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Impact of Community Health Assessments Sample Answer


Obesity is a major health challenge that is facing Australians. Overweight and obesity is defined as the accumulation of adipose tissue (Dickie et al., 2014). Overweight and obesity is identified as a secondary disease for almost all noncommunicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, Diabetes Type 2, musco-skeletal disorders, psychosocial disorders and cancer.  Overweight and obesity is ranked among the leading cause of disability and mortality (Jimenez-Pavon, 2013). This paper reviews the prevalence of overweight and obesity across the Greater Geelong population.  The aim of the paper is to assess the health needs, which is vital for targeting strategic interventions and for the evaluation process.

Community health assessments

The overall objective of the Geelong governance is to ensure that the healthcare programs as well as the strategies integrated meet the community local demands. The community assessment conducted by the Needs Assessment Project Group (NAPG) is established to undertake comprehensive assessments of the community needs (Health Together Geelong, 2014).  The NAPG provided a comprehensive overview of the health status of the Greater Geelong population in terms of dietary patterns, physical activeness, substance use and community age trends (Health Together Geelong, 2014). The community assessment was conducted on 436 residents in the Geelong community, who were randomly selected. The health surveys were conducted based on community assisted telephone interviews (CATI). Supportive information was obtained from the Victorian Health Information Surveillance systems (VHISS), a website that displays the health indicators (Health Together Geelong, 2014).

From the analysis, it is evident that the obesity and overweight rates in the Geelong community is increasing at alarming rates. The assessment indicated that 56% adults of the Greater Geelong community are either overweight or obese. This indicates that about 90,000 adults in this community are either overweight or obese (Health Together Geelong, 2014).  The overweight and obesity is higher in adult females than males Greater Geelong. The demographic pattern indicates that unhealthy weight is most common in the suburbs as compared with that from central Geelong. This is attributed to factors such as poor infrastructures that can facilitate transportation of fresh foods outlets to these regions (Health Together Geelong, 2014).

Additionally, the issue of overweight and obesity are lower in areas where the socio-economic status is low, especially in areas such as Norlane, Whittington, and Corio. However, the obesity and overweight incidence rates are higher in suburbs with higher SES. However, when evaluated separately, it was found that the levels of obesity are high in both high and low SES. Notably, evaluating the impacts of overweight and obesity can mask the differences that prevail between SES (Health Together Geelong, 2014). Thus, obesity is linked with low SES whereas overweight is associated with high SES. Moreover, it was found that the Greater Geelong community dietary programs are unhealthy. From the assessment, only 7.1% of the adults feed on the recommended levels of vegetables and fruits. The data suggested that less than 6,000 people met the requirement of the appropriate dietary requirements (Hamer et al., 2014).  Additionally, a higher proportion of the population of the Greater Geelong community engaged in other risky behaviors such as tobacco use and consumption of alcohol. These risky behaviors reduced the ability of the individuals to remain physically active or even to observe their recommended nutrition requirements (Adair et al., 2013).

Impact of health conditions on communities

 The impact of these health conditions mentioned above included high rates of obesity and overweight across the Greater Geelong community. The assessment indicated that approximately 56% of people aged 18 years and above is overweight or obese.  The analysis also indicated that overweight and obesity rates for males in the Greater Geelong were higher than other states and that the rates had increased by 4 % within a period of 4 years.  The trends were similar in females, but the rates had decreased by 5% among the females. Poor feeding habits, particularly poor intake of food and fruits is ranked among the top ten risk factors that would lead to global mortality rates (Health Together Geelong, 2014).

Other impacts identified from the analysis include psychological distress where 59.2% of the populations are diagnosed with psychological distress associated with obesity and overweight. This contributes to high alcohol consumptions among obese and overweight individuals, where the average percentage of adults consuming alcohol is reported at 52.4%. Other possible complications include an increased burden of cardiovascular, diabetes type 2, cancer, orthopedic, renal failure, and disability rates (Grundmann et al., 2013). The economic impact of obesity and overweight in Greater Geelong counties cannot be overlooked, with over $1.3 million being consumed efforts, and programs aimed at intervening on the risk factors that contribute to increased obesity and overweight prevalence’s.

 Social determinants of health complications in the society

The health and well being of Geelong community is influenced by the population interactions with their social, economic and physical environments, which vary across the geographic locations and ages (Tamura et al., 2014). These determinants are varying according to the development stages i.e. infancy, childhood, adolescence, and childhood.  Social determinant has a great impact on population health (Xiao- Hui, Et al., 2014). It is vital to understand these factors so that they can be applied during decision making on the interventions that can be used to advocate for certain issues and policies (Reiner et al., 2014).

One of the social determinants that influence obesity and overweight in Greater Geelong is poverty.  This influences the ability for the population to access basic resources such as shelter, food and other social amenities (Wasenius, et al., 2014). People living in the suburbs have the highest level of obesity because of the high rates of unemployment, limited infrastructure and poor environment.  The issue of poverty also influences behavioral problems, where low SES is found to engage in substance use such as alcohol and tobacco use (Zbigniew Et al., 2013).  Low SES is also associated with increased psychosocial disorders such as depression and anxiety. Economic equality i.e. the gap between the rich and the poor in the region is high.  Social status is associated with the determinants of people’s health where those with less social standing are twice more likely to be obese and overweight than those with higher social standing. This observation is across the society strata i.e. rich or poor (Ryan et al., 2014).

The psychosocial circumstances are associated with obesity and overweight. Society with prolonged anxiety, self esteem, social isolation, insecurity and reduced control of individual’s lives has tremendous effects on a person’s life (Brazeau, A.S., Et al., 2012). Individuals that are stressed are more prone to health complications such as diabetes type 2, heart attack, stroke, aggression and depression (Hu et al., 2010). The foundations of health care and education in early life is also a social indicator of health. Poor development of a child from the fetus stage is associated with high risks of obesity and is more common in low-income households that high-income households (Kaizu et al., 2014). Research indicates that infant development stage and early childhood stages are critical stages that are very vulnerable during their physical, mental and emotional changes (Miriam et al., 2012).  For instance, an obese child could with insecure emotions and reduced stimulation level is associated with poor academic achievements (Heather et al., 2012).

Health programs and recommendations for obesity

Healthy Together Geelong (HTG) is the health program utilized by the Greater Geelong community to address the aforementioned key healthcare challenges. This program is jointly funded by the state government and the Australian government in a National partnership agreement preventive Health (NPAPH).  This is a partnership between the city of Greater Geelong, Bellarine community and Barwon Health. HTG is working in these partnerships to ensure that their objective of reducing the increase of chronic diseases is achieved; and that there is a lasting improvement in the community health and their wellbeing.

HTG is funded by the state government, where $5.25 M has been saved is the period from 2011 to 2015.  The programs have recruited 12 highly experienced individuals, which plan and implement strategies where Geelong community can learn (Marquis et al., 2014). The main challenge is that the funding seems to be rather inadequate to address these community challenges and to fully support programs that support services that will support future local health preventive programs.  Additionally, there is no outlined mechanism to achieve their outcome (Blomster et al., 2013). There is a need for exact policies and strategies geared towards achieving their goal of reducing obesity by 5.5 %. These strategies include measures such as subsidizing organic food, improving infrastructure and social amenities to ensure a healthy lifestyle (Brumby et al., 2013).

Impact of Community Health Assessments Conclusion

The papers have described the needs required by the Greater Geelong community to address key lifestyle issues that are related to obesity and overweight. Therefore, it can be concluded that the high quality of health care should address the aforementioned inadequacies. The interventions should establish effective intellectual and social stimulation to promote the cognitive development of the Greater Geelong community. This is because good health habits are associated with appropriate dietary, sensible and regular exercises, which in turn are regulated by positive aforementioned social determinants including improved economic equality, education program, reduced poverty levels and improvement of the community social status.

Impact of Community Health Assessments References

Adair, L.S., Et al. (2013). The emergence of cardio-metabolic disease risk in Chinese children and adults: consequences of changes in diets, physical activity and obesity. Obesity reviews 15; 1, 49-59

Brazeau, A.S., Et al. (2012). Physical activity level and body composition among adults with type1 diabetes.  Diabetic medicine 28, 402-408

Brumby, S., Et al. (2013). The effect of physical activity on psychological distress, cortisol, and obesity: results of the farming fit intervention program. BMC Public Health 13; 1018

Blomster, J.I. (2013). The influence of physical activity on vascular complications and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes, obesity and metabolism 15; 11, 1008-1012

Dickie, K., Et al (2014). Meeting physical activity guidelines associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease in black south African Women; a 5.5year follow up. BMC Public Health 14; 498

Grundmann, N., Et al. (2014). Area deprivation and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and obesity: analysis at the municipality level in Germany. BMC public health 14, 1264

Hamer, M., Et al. (2014). Watching a sport on television, physical activity and risk of obesity in older adults. BMC Public Health 14; 10

Health Together Geelong, (2014). Greater Geelong Community Health Needs Assessment, 2014. Retrieved from

Heather, J.A., Et al, (2012). An evaluation of the physical activity and health status of British Columbian Aboriginal populations. Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 37; 127-137

Hu, J., Et al. (2010). Physical activity, obesity, nutritional Health and quality of life in Low income Hispanic adults with diabetes. Journal of community Health nursing 27; 70-83

Jimenez-Pavon, D. (2013). Physical activity and markers of insulin resistance in adolescents: role of cardiorespiratory fitness levels- the HELENA study. Pediatric Diabetes 14; 249-258

Kaizu, S., Et al. (2014). Impact of leisure-time physical activity on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in Japanese patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus: the Fukuoka Diabetes registry. PLoSONE 9; 6, 98768-98778

Marquis, H., Et al. (2014). Impact of an exercise intervention on physical activity during pregnancy: the behaviors affecting baby and you study. American journal of public health 104; 10, 74-83

Miriam, C., Et al. (2012). Enhanced fitness: A randomized controlled trial of the effects of home-based physical activity counseling on Glycemic control in older adults with pre-diabetes mellitus.  The American Geriatrics society60; 9, 1655-1665

Reiner, M., Et al. (2013). Long term health benefits of physical activity- a systematic review of longitudinal studies. BMC Public Health 13; 813

Ryan, J.M., Et al. (2014). Reduced moderate to vigorous physical activity and increased sedentary behavior associated with elevated blood pressure values in children with cerebral Plasy. Physical Therapy 94; 8, 1144-1154

Tamura, K., Et al. (2014). Spatial clustering of physical activity and obesity in relation to build environment factors among older women in three U.S. States. BMC Public Health 14:1322

Wasenius, N., Et al. (2014). The effect of structured exercise interventions on intensity and Volume of total physical activity. Journal of Sport Science and Medicine 13; 829-835

Xiao- Hui, L., Et al. (2014). Effectiveness of a school based physical activity intervention on obesity in school children: a non-randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health 14; 1282

Zbigniew, K., Et al. (2013). Effects of physical activity on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in women with abdominal obesity. Trends in sport Science 3; 20, 153-156

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