According to a report by Lewis, Edwards-Hampton, and Ard (2016), South Carolina ranked the thirteenth State with the highest number of obesity rates among adults and ranked number seven with the highest obesity in children. As of 2016, Carolina had obesity index of 31.2% of the total population in the States. The obesity rates in the State have been consistently rising for the past four decades from 12% in 1990 and 21.1% in 2000. Between the years 2009 and 2011, other southern states have used various health care models to enhance positive lifestyle, which had reduced obesity rates. On the contrary, the approaches adopted by the South Carolina State government seem to be less effective considering the prevailing rates. The challenge calls for the in-depth examination of the causes of obesity in the region and offers valid and reliable recommendations. Due to the dynamism of the data used for the analysis, the paper focuses on Florence Country, South Carolina.
The obese data in Florence County greatly reflects the data for the entire State but with specific aspects. While the State data focuses majorly on the comprehensive data, a study on a specific country increases the accuracy and the details of the data collected. In 2011, Florence County had an obese index of 34.9% while the entire nation had an average of 36.6%. On the other hand, Columbia City has a higher obesity index when compared to the Florence County. Despite the homogeneity of the cultures and health practices, the lifestyles depicted by the two groups lead to a difference in their physical health (Florence County, 2013). The dynamic data indicates that there a set of confounding variables that result in the different indexes.
Lifestyle, as identified earlier, is the leading cause of obesity in South Carolina. Following the technology advancements, more than 85% of the employees in the USA rely on machine labor. In the end, the corporate life turns individuals into mechanized programs where they ignore their social life and dietary recommendations. As outlined in the CDC dietary guidelines, an active man should eat at least 2500 calories of energy while an active woman requires only 2000. However, the changes in the food market increase the intake of energy, fats, and sugars, while the social life minimizes the physical activity. In the end, the body stores the unused fats and sugars leading to gradual weight gain and finally obesity.
Secondly, despite the physical activity of an individual the common diet also determines the body mass. Allen et al., (2016) points out that, despite the necessity for obesity awareness, the programs should focus on long-term solutions, as obesity is not a single night condition. The disease follows a lifestyle trend characterized by poor choices of food, activities, and drinks. For instance, most people become obese when exercising on a daily basis during their corporate routines due to poor diets. If a person burns 2000 calories in a day and then takes five beers on the same day, he will have consumed in the energy (Avery et al., 2016). Similarly, the inadequate information about the risk factor and consequences of Obesity to the public domain also increases the number of obese individuals in the State. Other determinants include the food choices, drinking sugar drinks, and excessive eating.
In the past few years, the South Carolina State governments in collaboration with the country and federal governments have undertaken various programs to reduce the obesity index as well as the mortality rates associated with the condition. Firstly, the government and private industry run obesity awareness campaigns that seek to educate people on the preventive measures and the consequences of obesity. Secondly, the local government promotes healthy eating through compulsory labeling of food products with the accurate measurements of the ingredients. The food information helps the citizens in the county to follow their prescribed diets. The NGOs also take part in the campaign by creating social motivators towards health living in South Carolina. The most appropriate methods are campaigns and social cooperation where an individual receives social recognition after making right dietary choices and remaining committed to them.
However, despite the efforts, the Statistical analysis indicates that the efforts by the government remain to reduce obesity in the State remains ineffective leading to a gradual rise in adult and children obesity since 1990. The State government should adopt more appropriate and people oriented mechanism to enhance health eating habits and medically beneficial lifestyles. To begin with, the government should not focus on the legal health system structures but rather focus on the socialism of the residents. Instead of focusing on the systematic education from medical perception, it should target the social connotation of being obese. If the government clearly outlines poor lifestyle habits and low physical activity as the leading cause of obese, obese citizens would feel more obligated to contain the situation and avoid social ridicule. Similarly, the government should focus on social effort rather than individual prescription. For instance, in France, people from social settings that follow the health condition of the group members and encourage each other to take the right actions. In such a setting, residents of South Carolina are likely to improve their social health.
- Allen, R. T., Hales, N. M., Baccarelli, A., Jerrett, M., Ezzati, M., Dockery, D. W., & Pope III, C. A. (2016). Countervailing effects of income, air pollution, smoking, and obesity on aging and life expectancy: a population-based study of U.S. Counties.Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, 151-10. doi:10.1186/s12940-016-0168-2
- Avery, C. L., Holliday, K. M., Chakladar, S., Engeda, J. C., Hardy, S. T., Reis, J. P., & …
- Zeng, D. (2016). Disparities in Early Transitions to Obesity in Contemporary Multi-Ethnic U.S. Populations. Plos ONE, 11(6), 1-12. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158025
- Florence County. (2013). COUNTY PROFILE: Florence County, South Carolina. Retrieved from http://www.healthdata.org/sites/default/files/files/county_profiles/US/County_Report_Florence_County_South_Carolina.pdf
- Lewis, K. H., Edwards-Hampton, S. A., & Ard, J. D. (2016). Disparities in Treatment Uptake and Outcomes of Patients with Obesity in the USA. Current Obesity Reports, 5(2), 282-290. doi:10.1007/s13679-016-0211-1