Understanding of Health Determinants – Care Example

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"Understanding of Health Determinants" is a great example of a paper on care. Putting under consideration a broader perspective of health and gaining a broader understanding of health determinants e. g. social, environmental, and behavioral, is of great significance in meeting the health needs of a person with obesity. WHO 1948 defines health as the state of complete welfare encompassing social, physical, psychological, and behavioral wellbeing. Acknowledging a broader perspective of health as defined by WHO is of paramount importance in helping a health practitioner, ineffectively and successful satisfying all the health needs of an obese person.

There are various social, psychological, environmental, physical, and behavioral factors that determine the effective treatments and management of obesity (Karhunen, Lyly, & Lapvetelainen et al. , 2012) and therefore a deeper understanding of all these factors is essential for any nurse taking care of a person with obesity (Lakerveld, Brug & Bot, et al. , 2012). The author aims to establish that- putting under consideration a broader perspective of health as defined by WHO in 1948 and having a greater understanding of all health determinants- is important in meeting the health needs of a person with obesity. Breland, Fox, Horowitz & Eventual (2012) argue that it is important for a nurse taking care of an obese person to take a common-sense approach in treating and managing the condition.

According to these three authors, a common-sense approach means that a health practitioner should establish and fully understand all the factors that contribute to obesity before applying any treatment and management remedies. Their study revealed that when nurses consider a broader perspective of health, they are able to establish all the factors that contribute to obesity.

Having established the causative factors, the nurse should then apply common sense, implying that treatment and management strategies should be designed in such a way to eliminate the causative factors. The three authors concluded that it is important to put under consideration a broader outlook of health in taking care of a person with obesity, as it helps in formulating effective treatment and management strategies. Obesity is mainly caused by unhealthy behaviors such as unhealthy eating habits, lack of enough exercise among others (Just & Payne, 2009).

A recent study by Ojala, Tynjala & Valimaa last year indicated that the main cause of obesity in adolescents is unhealthy eating habits and unhealthy lifestyles. Consumption of fats foods rich in calories and fats by adolescents is on the rise not only in America but all over the world (Fuglestad, Jeffery & Sherwood, 2012). It has also been established by many researchers that adolescents are less active since they spend most of their leisure time playing computer games, watching movies and TV programs. It is therefore important that a nurse taking care of an obese person should consider and fully understand all the unhealthy behaviors that must be rectified in order to effectively meet all the health needs of such a person. Apart from behavioral factors, there are various psychological and social factors that determine the effective treatment and management of obesity (Phelan, Liu & Gorin et al. 2009).

Obese people are stigmatized in many communities since they are associated with various antisocial behaviors such as laziness, greed, to mention but a few. Therefore, an obese person is at a high risk of feeling depressed and unwanted due to the stigma associated with his or her health condition.

Due to the stigma that is attached to this health condition, many obese people find themselves socially affected because their relations with their immediate family, friends, and other people in society are greatly affected. An obese person may fear interacting with other people due to the fear of being criticized and judged for their body size. Unhealthy social relations between an obese person and his or her immediate family members, close friends, and other people in the society negatively affect their social wellbeing which is a vital component of their complete wellbeing.

In order to effectively meet all the health needs of an obese person, it is not enough for a nurse to focus only on treating the condition. It is necessary for a nurse to consider all the social and psychological factors that play a role in ensuring the complete wellbeing of the person with obesity. Loos (2012) explain that apart from social, physical, and psychological factors which contribute to obesity, there also some genetic factors that contribute to this health condition.

Biologically, it is argued that genes are involved in metabolism and that women and men differ in the manner in which they store fats. It has also been established that some drugs affect weight gain and weight loss, due to the impact they have on body hormones (Loos, 2012). Loos explains further that there are several hereditary and biological factors which not only influence a person’ s food consumption but also the number of calories an individual can burn through metabolic processes such as generation of body heat, food digestion, resting to mention but a few.

Dennis, Potter, & Estabrooks, e al (2012) explain that an individual, history of physical, sexual, or even emotional distress can also greatly impact his or her weight status. According to the three authors, these factors are included in what is sometimes referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). These factors have been studied to establish the relationship between poor health outcomes such as obesity (Krauss, Powell & Wada, 2012). A better understanding of all these genetic factors will allow nurses to effectively meet all the health needs of an obese person. Why a broader understanding of health determinants is important for the role of the nurse and the nursing care of a person with obesityVarious researches (Ojala, Tynjala & Valimaa, et al 2012; De Ridder, 2012) have supported the argument that a broader understanding of all the determinants of obesity such as social, environmental, and behavioral is highly important for the role of a nurse and nursing care in order to ensure effective treatment and management of the health condition.

Any efforts to treat or manage obesity take place at the crossroads of all the determinants e. g. social, environmental, and behavioral. This implies that it is highly important for a nurse to fully understand all these factors in order to effectively take care of a person with obesity. When various approaches which put into considerations all these determinants are applied by nursing care, they are highly conducive to meeting all the health needs of a person with obesity. An article by Krauss, Powell & Wada (2012) investigated the role of the social environment in the treatment and management of obesity.

In particular, the authors investigated the role that parents play in the treatment and management of obesity in their adolescent children. The authors found out that parents’ readiness to assist their adolescent children in cutting weight motivates them to stick to the healthy social behaviors that are necessary to manage their health condition. According to these authors, it is important for a nurse taking care of a person with obesity, to understand the role of such social factors such as the role of parents in effectively managing obesity.

A nurse who is fully aware of such social factors that play a part in the management of obesity knows how to integrate them so as to effectively manage the health condition. Some other researchers Silva, Markland & CarraÇ a et al (2012 investigated the various behavioral factors that play a role in the management of obesity. According to these authors, an individual’ s motivation is one of the most important factors which greatly influence the behavioral factors that play a role in obesity management and treatment.

According to the authors, healthy social relations and interactions with other people in the community are highly important in motivating an obese person in engaging in activities aimed at regulating weight. Other researchers Phelan, Liu & Gorin et al. (2009) argued that there are various environmental factors such as prenatal exposures, toxins, viruses, and inadequate sleep which play a significant role in obesity. According to these authors, evidence-based interventions focusing only on healthy eating habits and physical exercise without taking into account these environmental factors, cannot be effective in addressing the epidemic of obesity.

It is important for a nurse to fully understand all these social and environmental factors in order to lay down strategies that are effective in treating and managing obesity. ConclusionFrom the paper, there is more than enough evidence that a broader perspective of health as defined by WHO 1948 is highly important in order to effectively meet all the health needs of a person with obesity. There are various social, environmental, biological, and behavioral factors that cause obesity and therefore using a common-sense approach and putting into consideration all these factors is important in taking care of an obese person.

A deep understanding of all health determinants of obesity is a necessity to not only effectively treat obesity, but also to ensure obese individuals stick to the social and behavioral lifestyles necessary to manage their health condition.

References

Breland, J. Y. Fox, A. M. Horowitz, C. R. & Eventual, H. (2012). “Applying a common-sense approach to fighting obesity,” Journal of Obesity, vol. 2012, Article ID 710427, 8 pages.

Dennis, E. A. Potter, K. L. Estabrooks, P. A. & Davy, B. M. (2012). “Weight gain prevention for college freshmen: comparing two social cognitive theory-based interventions with and without explicit self-regulation training,” Journal of Obesity, vol. 2012, 10 pages.

De Ridder, D. (2012). “Themed issue: plans, norms, motivation, and cheating a little—the curious case of healthy eating,” Psychology & Health, vol. 27, supplement 2, pp. 1–6.

Fuglestad, P.T., Jeffery, R.W. & Sherwood, N.E. (2012). “Lifestyle patterns associated with diet, physical activity, body mass index and amount of recent weight loss in a sample of successful weight losers,” The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, vol. 9, no. 1, p. 79.

Just D.R. &. Payne, C. R. (2009). “Obesity: can behavioral economics help?” Annals of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 38, supplement 1, pp. S47–S55.

Karhunen, L. Lyly, M. Lapvetelainen A. et al., (2012). “Psychobehavioural factors are more strongly associated with successful weight management than predetermined satiety effect or other characteristics of diet,” Journal of Obesity, vol. 2012, 12pgs.

Krauss, R. C. Powell, L. M. & Wada, R. (2012).“Weight misperceptions and racial and ethnic disparities in adolescent female body mass index,” Journal of Obesity, vol. 2012, 9 pages.

Lakerveld, J., Brug, J. & Bot, S. et al., (2012).“Sustainable prevention of obesity through integrated strategies: the SPOTLIGHT project's conceptual framework and design,” BMC Public Health, vol. 12, no. 1, p. 793.

Loos, R.J. (2012). “Genetic determinants of common obesity and their value in prediction,” Best Practice & Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 211–226.

Ojala, K. Tynjala, J. Valimaa, R. Villberg, J. & Kannas, L. (2012).“Overweight adolescents' self-perceived weight and weight control behavior: HBSC study in Finland 1994–2010,” Journal of Obesity, vol. 2012, 9 pages.

Phelan, S., Liu, T. & Gorin A.et al.(2009). “What distinguishes weight-loss maintainers from the treatment-seeking obese? Analysis of environmental, behavioral, and psychosocial variables in diverse populations,” Annals of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 94–104.

Silva, M.N., Markland, D. & CarraÇa E.V. et al., (2012). “Exercise autonomous motivation predicts 3-yr weight loss in women,” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 43, no. 4, pp. 728–737.

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