Social Campaign for Obesity in Milwaukee
This social prevention campaign aims at addressing and creating awareness of the obesity challenge in Milwaukee Community. The Healthy People 2020 program has covered this prevention topic where it is under the topic involving nutrition and weight status. Therefore, the two primary preventive topics, in this case, involve addressing weight issues and advocating for better nutrition in the region. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization, the US has the highest population of overweight and obese individuals globally where the level is at 74.1%. The obesity challenge affects both children and adults where it is estimated to cause over 120,000 deaths annually; hence, being a major crisis in the US (W.H.O, 2000). The fieldwork regarding this social prevention campaign was conducted in Milwaukee City to identify its population structure and the possible causes leading to the rise in obesity in the area. The city of Milwaukee is located in Wisconsin State. The City is the 31st largest in America and largest in the region where it has a population of about 598,078 consisting of both children and adults. Milwaukee is considered a city of contrasts since it is home to most of the poorest individuals in Wisconsin State. On the other hand, it still comprises of most of the high-income earners in the state; hence, indicating the disparity in the community’s social environment. The community is also composed of individuals from different communities where 47.0% of the population comprises of the Whites, 39.3% the Blacks, 3.7% the Asians, and 10% other multiple races (Milwaukee Health Department, 2016). This indicates how the city varies in its population structure.
Since the city of Milwaukee is composed of multiple races; that is, there are whites, blacks, Asians, and other races, this factor establishes the reason for the high obesity rates. According to a study by the Public Policy Forum, obesity continues to affect the lower-income and black individuals since they are likely to live in areas in the city lacking health facilities. They also indicate low levels of physical activity, which promotes the obesity issue. The forum indicates that 45.1% of African Americans in the city are suffering from obesity where this figure is higher compared to the white residents of whom 31.4% are obese (Flegal, Carroll, Ogden & Curtin, 2010). Therefore, from this overview of Milwaukee, one can connect obesity to the socioeconomic factors of the community rather than attributing the issue to individual decisions.
Community and Prevention Resources in Milwaukee
Milwaukee community has some resources, which aim at regulating and preventing the rise of obesity in the region. From the fieldwork in the city, one could identify the primary community resources that the region possesses, where they comprise of institutions managed by the residents.
This is a kids’ program where it stands for Nutrition, Exercise, and Weight Management. This program is offered by the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin where it aims at treating overweight kids aged between 2-18 years where it aims at preventing the rise in obesity. The program involves engaging the kids in exercises and offering them nutritious meals. Therefore, this is a community resource that can be utilized by the Milwaukee residents.
This is a non-profit organization in Milwaukee where residents are taught how to grow the essential meals. The firm also educates the residents on the importance of consuming healthy meals to prevent obesity. Growing Power is also considered a charity where it provides nutritious meals in food-insecure areas in the city. It also provides food to the low-income earners where its goal is to promote public health in Milwaukee.
The analysis conducted in Milwaukee regarding the rise in obesity led to the generation of causes promoting the situation. This is due to the group discussions held between the researcher and the community residents where some of the causes are individual-based while others are community-based. The causes of obesity include overeating, physical inactivity, and poverty in the region.
Overeating involves the excess consumption of foods high in simple carbohydrates, sugars, and fats. The foods high in fats include fried food and fast foods where they have high levels of energy density; hence, when consumed in excessive levels they tend to cause weight gains. This cause is evident in the city of Milwaukee since it consists of residents of a different social status. Excessive consumption of fats and alcohol is associated with the high-income populations since the two factors involve the use of resources to acquire. The low-income population, on the other hand, is associated with excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates, which require few resources to acquire. Therefore, the eating habits of the people in Milwaukee should be analyzed and changed to reduce the levels of obesity in the region.
Engaging in physical activities is crucial since it enables individuals to burn the calories; hence, reducing the chances of being obese. The city’s health department indicates that 23.8% of people in the area are physically inactive due to unhealthy living styles and poverty. Lack of doing exercise contributes to the building up of calories in the body where they lead to weight gains; hence, leading to obesity. In Milwaukee, the rise in obesity can be attributed to physical inactivity since most of the African Americans, and low-income earners in the region occupy areas with insufficient resources required to conduct some exercises. The resources, in this case, involve training grounds where lack of the grounds lead to the people becoming inactive; hence, becoming obese.
The low-income earners in the region lack sufficient resources such as health care facilities, funds, and the exercise grounds which aids in the rise of obesity. The insufficient healthcare facilities prevent them from accessing medical care where failure to treat some diseases may result in challenges associated with obesity. The lack of funds, on the other hand, prevent them from acquiring healthy foods; hence, relying on simple carbohydrates which promote obesity. For instance, a study by the Economic Research Division indicates that 27.3% of the people in Milwaukee lack healthy meals due to poverty (Economic Research Division, 2014). The low-income earners also suffer from psychological factors such as anger, stress, and sadness. These factors may influence their eating habits where some may result to overeating which leads to obesity. Therefore, this factor is associated with the Milwaukee community.
The report from Milwaukee’s health department reveals that Milwaukee continues to experience high obesity rates where the children are being affected more compared to the adults. For instance, a study by the Department indicates the obesity levels in 2014 were at 37% where this was an increase compared to the rate in 2011 which was at 30% (Milwaukee Health Department, 2016). Milwaukee’s health department has focused mainly on the other issues affecting the city such as child mortality and cancer; hence, ignoring the issue of obesity leading to its rise over the years. Another fact in Milwaukee that can be associated with the issue is that the health budget in the region is minimal; that is, the funds set aside by the state and local authorities are inadequate to regulate the health situation.
The purpose of this social prevention campaign is to educate and create awareness among the residents of Milwaukee on the issue of obesity, its causes, effects, and how it can be eliminated. The main goal, in this case, is to promote public health and reduce the chances of other obesity-related illnesses from occurring in the community. The strategy that can be used to facilitate the achievement of this objective involves advocating for the consumption of nutritious meals and healthful diets. This strategy will enable residents to obtain and manage healthy body weights; hence, preventing the rise in obesity among individuals in Milwaukee.
According to healthy people 2020, the social marketing interventions should focus on the population to ensure they are effective in promoting public health. Some of the interventions that can be applied in this case include public education and social media platforms. Public education involves the community members gathering in Milwaukee’s health centers for health lessons from the medical professionals. This can be done either weekly or monthly to enable each resident to have a chance of learning how to live healthy lives and avoid obesity. The use of social media platforms involves Milwaukee’s health department utilizing the internet and connecting with the residents where they can access information on healthy practices. This means the medical professionals in the city may post blog posts to Milwaukee’s residents involving how to prepare nutritious meals, and how to perform exercises daily to facilitate in body weight management. The two social marketing interventions are crucial since they involve large audiences; hence, effective spreading of the health messages.
The most applicable social media platforms that can be effectively utilized in this case include Facebook and Youtube. Facebook provides online social networking services where Milwaukee’s Health Department can create a page and post regular information regarding healthy eating and living to eliminate obesity. Anyone in the community can access Facebook through either mobile phones or computers where the residents can follow the community’s health department page or other medical professionals. Youtube, on the other hand, is a social media platform involving accessing videos or clips where it may be used in this scenario to enable Milwaukee’s residents to observe and learn the healthy living practices. This platform can be used to facilitate the spreading of health messages in the region to prevent the rise in obesity. The relevant videos, in this case, include how to cook healthy meals, and how to conduct daily physical exercises to manage the body weight. Through the viewing of these videos, the residents can learn about performing the activities; hence, promoting public health.
Through Milwaukee’s residents accessing the messages involving healthy eating and living styles, they can practice them in their homes to enable them to avoid being obese. This is because the message involving healthy eating styles includes information regarding proper dieting and cooking practices. Therefore, this means the residents will not engage in overeating or excessive consumption of fats, sugars, and simple carbohydrates, which are the root causes of obesity. The messages involving healthy living styles, on the other hand, enable the residents to be physically active through engaging in regular exercises that facilitate the managing of healthy body weights.
One of the practices includes training where it is crucial for the medical personnel to be trained on how to operate the social media tools to ensure efficient spreading of health messages in Milwaukee. Role and duty identification is another practice where Milwaukee’s Health Department will be responsible for implementing the social media tools in the city where it will also manage them. Communication is also another practice where the health department should communicate to the residents the existence of the social media tools in the region during the implementation process. This practice will enable the residents to identify the tools where they can access the health messages; hence, promoting Milwaukee’s public health.
The use of social media to campaign against the rise of obesity in Milwaukee City needs to be implemented in the region’s health department to ensure people are living healthy lives. Therefore, the implementation plan needs to include the stakeholders and their roles, potential partners to aid in the campaign, the implementation timeline, campaign evaluation, and cost analysis. Therefore, the implementation of the social media campaign for obesity involves some key stakeholders such as the US Federal Government, Wisconsin State Government, and Milwaukee’s Health Department. The responsibility of the federal government is to provide sufficient resources required in implementing the campaign. This means the provision of funds necessary for acquisition of the systems required to run the social media campaign. The role of the Wisconsin State Government is to access the resources provided, acquiring, and installing the social media systems in Milwaukee. Lastly, the health department is responsible for running and managing the social media tools to ensure residents benefit from the campaign. Organizations such as WHO and CDC can partner with Milwaukee in implementing the social media campaign to facilitate its effectiveness. This implementation process is expected to take three years to ensure the campaign is planned accordingly and it achieves the set goals and objectives. After the implementation is complete, the region’s health department should create programs aimed at facilitating community research every year to check on the progress of individuals. The research will enable the health department to analyze whether the campaign is making an impact in reducing obesity in Milwaukee. The campaign implementation process may require approximately $1.2 billion to cater for the acquisition, installation, and maintenance costs associated with the social media tools.
The use of social media by the community nurses to campaign for public health enables their operations to be effective. This means the social media tools enable them to save time and resources since they can perform their activities electronically through the installed systems. The nurses can use social media to connect with populations within and outside the region where they can spread health messages through blog posts and videos. Therefore, the social media campaign can also enable the nurses to learn more since they can access information from other medical professionals. This means the social media campaigns can enable the nurses to develop and grow their health care skills.
Economic Research Division. (2014). Demographic & Economic Profile-Metro Milwaukee. Retrieved from http://www.mmac.org/uploads/3/7/9/6/37962993/demo_economicprofile2014.pdf
Flegal, K. M., Carroll, M. D., Ogden, C. L., & Curtin, L. R. (2010). Prevalence and Trends in Obesity among US Adults, 1999-2008. Jama, 303(3), 235-241.
Milwaukee Health Department. (2016). Community Health Assessment. Understanding the Health Needs of Our Community-City of Milwaukee. Retrieved from http://city.milwaukee.gov/ImageLibrary/Groups/healthAuthors/ADMIN/PDFs/Reports/MKEHealthDeptCommunityHealthAssessment2015-2016.pdf
World Health Organization. (2000). Obesity: Preventing and Managing the Global Epidemic (No. 894). World Health Organization.
Milwaukee’s Social Campaign Time Log
|IMPLEMENTATION PLANS||TIME TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT|
|Transfer of resources from the federal to the state government||MAY 2017-JANUARY 2018|
|Acquisition of the systems by the state government||JANUARY 2018-FEBRUARY 2019|
|Installation of the systems in Milwaukee’s Health Department||FEBRUARY 2019-JANUARY 2020|