Caring for Populations Project– Milestone 2
Assessing a community can be a challenging approach. However, this will enable the identification of essential information that will provide significant data towards addressing various issues of the community. The purpose of this paper is to complete the community assessment through the combination of community observations done via windshield survey and the community diagnosis using its demographic and epidemiological data. The involved community is the city of Keller in Texas, to which the windshield survey was conducted using different criteria such as the city’s vitality as well as the social, environmental, and economic conditions. These gathered data were combined with both epidemiological and demographic data in order to assess one community health nursing issue, which are Obesity and fast food restaurants in Keller City. This paper aims to provide an argument that these issues correlate with each other and must be considered as one of the priorities when it comes to addressing public health problems.
Keller City is located at the heart of Dallas-Fort Worth that provides a welcoming atmosphere with a wide variety of shopping centers as well as dining destinations (cityofkeller.com). The city of Keller is known for its award-wining programs and city facilities. The traffic corridors include FM 1709 / Keller Parkway (East-West) and U.S. Highway 377 / Main Street (North-South). It is a suburban city that has various economic engines, such as the historic Old Town Keller and Keller Town Center. It is capable of providing different facilities to its people such as the multiple sports amenities, aquatic center, and other recreational centers. As of 2014, Keller’s population is already 42,040 and its acreage covers 18.4 square miles.
Based on the statistical data, it is estimated that 7.6% of the people under 65 years old in Keller do not have health insurance out of 21.3% for the whole Texas. The median household income from year 2010-2014 is at $114,266 compared to the state’s $52,576 (census.gov). As expected the firms have lower counts as to compare with Texas’ overall number of firms, although some of the business firms included in the state-level are distinct in the Keller City area, such as the fast food restaurants. Out of Texas’ 261,231.71 square miles land area, only a portion or 18.45 square miles covers the city of Keller. Having this size of land area and a population of more than 40,000, the population per square mile of the city is 2,147.
The overall ranking of the county, where Keller City is located is number 33 when it comes to health outcomes. This includes the county’s 6,550 premature deaths with an overall 15% rating when it comes to the quality of life. In relation, the health behaviors that affect the quality of life and health outcomes of the people ranked number 24, which show that obesity is one of the notable health outcomes of such behaviors. Adult obesity in Keller City is at 29% and a total of 24% of the total population do not engage themselves to physical activities. Additionally, this community has a food environment index of 6.4, which encompasses the factors that contribute to the healthy food environment. Texas also ranks number 40 in the overall obesity percentage between year 1990 and 2014, to which the Keller City contributed to the overall ranking of the state (americashealthranking.org). Based on these ratings obesity is one of the public health problems in Keller City along with the high availability of fast food restaurants that may have contributed to the increased calorie intake of the people within the community.
Windshield Survey Summary
In relation to the identified public health problem, which is obesity, the windshield survey was able to gather data that will help in observing the occurrence of such health issue in the community. Based on the community’s vitality, the general population is mostly composed of regular 2-parent family and pre-school to high school level population. The availability of various fitness centers may have not been utilized by many people as many of them seem to be obese. The socio-economic status of the city is better than the other cities as people do not seem to be having some financial issues. Because of this, the environmental conditions emphasize the people capability to dine in restaurants available in the city especially on weekends. Relatively obesity is one of the prevailing health issues of the people as there is a high-availability of fast food restaurants with less encouragement to do more physical activities, despite the presence of fitness centers. As observed, there are some healthy food restaurants in the city, but there are equal amounts of fast food chains that offer unhealthy food and drinks. Due to its status as a fast paced, middle-class community, people tend to forget about the benefits of healthy lifestyle as they have no time to eat and exercise properly. Keller residents seem to be more economically vital, but generally have no time when it comes to being physically fit.
As previously mentioned, obesity and fast food is the identified nursing problem within the community of Keller. Based on the collected data, the chance of obesity in the community is high due to various contributing factors. The 7.6% adults who do not have health insurance are more likely to have illnesses that are caused by obesity, to which they do not have the time to focus on their health. The fast paced life in this community also disables the people from engaging themselves into healthier activities, such as leisure time in a fitness center. Instead, they tend to contribute to the community’s good economic performance by regularly patronizing the food business in the area, such as the fast food restaurants. In this case, the 29% obesity rate in Keller may increase if the trend continues to be constant. Even though the food environment index of Keller is quite good, it still has the chance to increase the obesity rate as unhealthy food products are equally available with the healthy ones. In relation, a fast paced environment may include the consumption and availing of quick-processed products and services, such as fast food chains that have direct effects towards people’s health especially in the development of obesity.
A study shows that living or working near fast food chains is associated with increased body weight (Jeffrey et al., 2006). Additionally, the result of the study suggests that eating at fast food restaurants is positively associated with high fat diet and higher Body Mass Index or BMI. Thus, Bowman and Vinyard (2004) suggest that fast food consumption provides a diet that is both high in energy and energy density. However, these food products are low in essential micronutrients that help in gaining weight. Therefore, fast food availability is one of the contributing factors to Keller City’s obesity rate.
Obesity is not just a simple health issue. Upon assessing the community, we have discovered that there are various factors that contribute both in the prevalence of obesity and fast food consumption. People who live or work near fast food restaurants are more likely to consume unhealthy food products. Additionally, people who do not have health insurance are less likely to avail preventive health care services and continuously increase their chance to become obese. Finally, we conclude that fast food and obesity are two different things that provide one common outcome, which is unhealthy body.
Bowman, S. A., & Vinyard, B. T. (2004). Fast Food Consumption of U.S. Adults: Impact on Energy and Nutrient Intakes and Overweight Status. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 23(2), 163-168.
Country Health Ranking and Roadmaps. (2015). Health Rankings | County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. Retrieved from http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/texas/2015/rankings/tarrant/county/outcomes/overall/snapshot
Jeffrey, R. W., Baxter, J., McGuire, M., & Linde, J. (n.d.). Are fast food restaurants an environmental risk factor for obesity? International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 3(2), 1-6.
Obesity | State public health statistics | America's Health Rankings. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.americashealthrankings.org/TX/Obesity
United States Census.Retrieved from www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/DIS010214/00,4838632,48