Community Health Care Assessment
My country is Whiteside County, Illinois. The population estimate in 2012 for Whiteside County is 57,846 and the population estimate in Illinois as of 2012 is approximately 12,875,255. In 2012, the number of senior citizens or those persons who are over 65 years of age residing in Whiteside is 51,846 or 18.1 percent of the population. On the other hand, the number of senior citizens is Illinois is composed of 1,673,733 or representing 13.2 percent of the population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013).
In 2012, the number of disabled individuals in Whiteside in 2012 is 9,652, and 1,526,542 in Illinois (PAS Center, 2013). In 2012, the number of children in Whiteside is 34,129 or 5.9 percent and the number of children in Illinois is 8,111,411 or 56.3 percent.
One of the health concerns among the adults in Whiteside County with disability is obesity. Obesity has the tendency to increase the occurrence of chronic diseases and other health concerns. For those who are born with disabilities, it is more difficulty to finding ways to eat healthy by controlling their weight, and incorporating physical activities in their lifestyle due to the physical restrictions which limits the disabled person’s ability to engage in exercises, limited selection or choices of healthy food choices and lack of accessible environments to enable them exercise; and lack of financial resources. Obesity has been a growing problem in the U.S. and Whiteside County Illinois is no exception. Persons who have disabilities such as adults and children should be well informed and guided on how to increase efforts to encourage them to become healthy. This can be done by enacting policies that promote the fight against obesity in programs at school and in the work premises, as well as within the community. This will allow them to make a healthy choice by providing them an access to healthy foods and accessible environments as much as possible. At the same time, the community should ensure that the environment is conducive for the disabled which will allow them to engage in simple exercises to remove the excess pounds (Illinois Department of Public Health, 2011).
Another health concern is the climate change in Whiteside County that can affect the vulnerable population such as the elderly and children. Hence, the community should allocate fund especially for the poor members of the community to provide them a safe place to stay during these climate changes.
Weight problem or obesity is a not a disease but a choice of those people who continue practice unhealthy lifestyle. In the case of residents of Whiteside County, every individual must be able to decide what kind of food to eat to increase the metabolism of the body. The choices of food processed by the body can affect the digestion of food inside the body. In addition, the psychosocial effect of the metabolism is a result personal attitude, behavior and perceptions. It bears stressing the choice of lifestyle shall define a person’s physical and mental well-being. Aside from this, we should also take into account the personality type, alcohol intake, substance abuse, career profiles, the coping mechanism for stress and anxiety and finally, the kind of food that we eat. The lifestyle of a person creates three general categories of behavior, which are active-aggressive, passive-aggressive and passive-sedentary. For those people who keep the passive-sedentary lifestyle, they have the high probability of becoming obese (Mukherjee 236). To conclude, obesity is not a diseases but a matter of personal choice. Therefore, it is recommended that each individual should maintain a healthy and active lifestyle by exercising, avoiding unhealthy foods and getting enough sleep so that the body can recuperate lost energy to burn calories. It is imperative for person to know his or her fitness quotient to be able to allocate activities that can be performed by the body without sacrificing one’s health.
It is imperative to be able to manage stress because it plays a major role in weight gain. Those people who undergo increased stress and anxiety levels will have a greater probability to eat more than the normal capacity of the body to digest the food intake. Stress is more of a psychological foundation rather than a clinical source. Mukherjee (2011) stated that stress discharges a molecule known as “neuropeptide” that can aggravate the size and number of fat cells in the body. Once a large amount of neuropeptide is released by the brain, a person’s food intake will be aggravated and the physical activity is lessened.
The problem that the study has attempted to resolve the factors that affected the substantial increase in the number of adolescent overweight in the United States for the past 3 decades by considering the family poverty status and eating behaviors of the subjects.
In the study of Miech, Kumanyika, Stettler, Link, Phelan, and Chang (2006), they were able to determine the different causes of weight gain among adolescents between the ages 14 years to 17 years, who may come from the poverty line and those who do not live within the poverty level. The main issue concerning obesity is whether the continued increase in the number of overweight adolescents has a direct connection to the socioeconomic strata where such adolescent came from. The second issue is whether environmental influence is the common cause for adolescent overweight, both for older and younger adolescents.
The study of Miech et al. (2006) was able to present findings which have shown that the older adolescents from poor families between the ages of 15 to 17 are more prone to become obese as compared to the younger adolescents, aged 12 to 14 years because they have resources to choose and buy their own food and to determine their physical activities whenever their leisure time permits. In addition, skipping meals, particularly breakfast, and lack of physical activity are the factors that can lead to adolescent overweight which can result to body mass index (BMI) increases over a period of time (Miech et al., 2006). Finally, poverty can be considered as a strategic measure of socioeconomic status which can result to obesity and has a direct connection to poor diet and lack of physical inactivity. The independent variable or the presumed cause for the obesity of adolescents shall include the age, economic strata, and lack of physical activities. Based on the results of the study, it can be revealed that the upward trend of obesity has caused a more significant impact among the families who live below the poverty level. The results have shown that older adolescents aged 15 to 17 years from the poverty level become obese due to lack of physical inactivity, extreme level of consumption for sweetened beverages, and breakfast skipping (Meich et al., 2006). Therefore, it is recommended that health workers in the community of Whiteside County to educate the members of the community especially for the overweight people to eat healthy and engage in physical activities to avoid obesity.
Illinois Department of Public Health (2011). Obesity Among Illinois Adults With Disability.
Illinois Disability and Health Program. Issue 2. Web. July 3, 2013, from
Miech, R.A., Kumanyika, S.K., Stettler, N. , Link, B.G., Phelan, J.C. and Chang, V.W. (2006).
Trends in the Association of Poverty with Overweight Among US Adolescents, 1971-
2004. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 295(20), pp. 2385-2393.
Mukherjee, D. (2011). Obesity: It Might Not Be Your Fault, But It is Your Problem. USA:
PAS Center for Personal Assistance Services (2013). Disability prevalence data for Whiteside
County, Illinois. Web. Retrieved on July 3, 2013, from
United States Census Bureau (2013). Web. Retrieved on July 3, 2013 from,