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Physical Activity and Obesity

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Statement of Problem

Obesity in adults has become one of the most significant health problems nowadays. There is a clear indication that obesity has replaced most of the top health problems worldwide (World Health Organization, 2000). In United States, more than 30% of all adults are obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000, p. 1). Crawford, Jeffery, Ball and Brug (2010) believe that 'overnutrition and obesity have been transformed from relatively minor public health issues that primarily affect the most affluent societies to a major threat to public health that is being increasingly seen throughout the world' (p. 17).

At the same time, the obesity rates vary throughout the United States alone. According to OECD (2012, p. 2), obesity rates are higher for southern states by more than 17% than for northern states where the population is predominantly non-Hispanic and non-African. At the same time, southern states have more female population in general (World Health Organization, 2000). Due to the fact that the figures are different, the problem of obesity in adults should be treated with carefully designed instructions oriented for specific locations and groups of people. Moreover, solving the whole problem of obesity may seem too general and not credible enough for instructional design. But the several aspects of the problem which involve providing education to people at the early stages of obesity are crucial. In this case, the instruction is based on the exploration of the obesity reasons and factors and proposing the recommendations as to how the problem can be solved effectively. This is seen as the aim of instruction in this case, and the target population involves only those who are at the early stages of obesity and can improve their condition in short period of time after implementation of the instruction. The instructional intervention may be the best solution in this case, but it is important to note that instructions in this case only focus on the part of the target population to ensure effectiveness of results.

Need Analysis

The potential need for instruction in case of obesity is quite clear. Without the proper knowledge about their health condition and about the methods of improving this condition, an individual is more likely to feel lonelier and get alienated from people within some time. In order to define the necessary population, the results of simple measurement of BMI can be made. If this index is more than normal, the person falls into category of obesity at an early stage. Additionally, the proposed data from the two states – New Mexico and Colorado – show that the need in instructions is more apparent in New Mexico than in Colorado (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000). This is also evident from the research made by OECD.

At this stage, it is quite simple to change the situation with the method of instruction. The basic needs of these individuals are to be defined in the scope of their common problem, so that the instruction can help deal with these needs and eliminate the causes of potential threats of obesity in the future. The needs which drive individuals to handle their obesity problems are the healthy way of life promotion on the media, the desire to look young and beautiful, the need to socialize with other gender, fashion, family influence in some cases, and career development. In terms of need analysis, the identification of healthy way of life is to be related to the concept of physical activity, and not solely exercised. As Bouchard and Katzmarzyk (2010) argue, ‘there is considerable evidence supporting the important role of physical activity in the primary and secondary prevention of obesity and obesity-related diseases’ (p. 7).

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Need analysis is important when dealing with obesity as the consequences can be quite unexpected and affect life of many individuals. Due to the fact that the risks with obese population mean the risks with the diverse social groups, it is important to look at the key critical factors which can undermine the research. As Chambers and Wakley (2002) mention, 'schools have been forced to sell off playing fields and cut their physical education programs under pressure from the National Curriculum, whilst building car parks for parents running their children to school rather than allowing them to cycle on our lethal roads' (p. vi).

Kopleman, Caterson and Dietz (2005) state that obesity makes  significant impact on the social development of the country as 'obesity-related healthcare costs are estimated at 1-10% of total healthcare costs, depending on obesity rates' of the particular location or social group (p. 3). Therefore, safety as a need is important in case of obesity. Other types of needs according to classification include comparative (more typical for women with obesity), felt (caused by media and fashion trends), future (the alienation and fear for future health and life), and critical incident (need to socialize with other gender which is very often hindered by the feeling of non-confidence due to obesity). The last is the reason for many other needs as well.

All these needs are to be addressed during the instruction, and the whole setting should be very quiet, motivating, and positive. Obese people are usually people with no hope and life power, and the primary purpose of instruction in this case of dealing with the above listed needs is to provide these positive feelings.

Target Population

Duchovny (2010) states that 'from 1987 to 2007, the fraction of adults who were overweight or obese increased from 44 percent to 63 percent of the total population' (p. 1). Therefore, the target population now reaches more than a hundred million people. Consequently, data collection may become misleading in the case of instruction. For this reason, it is proposed to only conduct instruction to people with early stages of obesity that make less than half of this population (Crawford et al., 2010) in large groups of people selected by gender and location.

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