A Community-level Strategic Plan for Addressing Obesity

A Community-level Strategic Plan for Addressing Obesity


An Overview of Obesity

Obesity emanates from an abnormal or excessive accumulation of body fat perpetrated by imbalances in energy intake and expenditures. According to Kaboré et al. (2020), the significant risk factors of obesity include behavioral issues like an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and alcoholism. Also, sociodemographic aspects like a place of residence and socioeconomic status can increase individual susceptibility to obesity. Further, Kaboré et al. (2020) identify clinical and metabolic factors such as the total cholesterol level, high-density cholesterol (HDL), and triglycerides as causes of obesity and overweight. While behavioral, socioeconomic, clinical, and metabolic aspects are modifiable, genetics, age, gender, and ethnicity remain profound non-modifiable factors for obesity.

Based on the modifiable and non-modifiable factors, it is valid to argue that people with poor social determinants of health (SDOH) like poverty, low education attainment, neighborhood issues such as limited access to physical activity opportunities, alcoholism, and sedentary lifestyles are susceptible to obesity. Also, adults and women are at-risk populations for obesity and overweight. It is essential to note that excessive accumulation of fat is a risk factor for chronic diseases that increase mortality rates, lead to prolonged hospitalization, increased care costs, and compromised quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022), obesity can perpetrate multiple chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancer forms. Therefore, it is vital to implement a community-level strategic plan for addressing this problem by focusing on improving social determinants of health and community deficiencies.

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Obesity Prevalence Inside and Outside the United States

Children, adults, and older adults remain susceptible to overweight and obesity globally and nationally despite the knowledge of the pathophysiology of obesity, including its risk factors, consequences, and clinical implications. According to the World Health Organization (2021), about 1.9 billion adults struggled with overweight and obesity in 2016. Out of this number, over 650 million were obese. In the same breath, over 340 million children and adolescents were overweight or obese in 2016. In 2020, approximately 39 million children under the age of five were either overweight or obese.

In the United States, obesity and overweight are highly prevalent, especially in women, ethnic minorities, and people with unfavorable social determinants of health. Hales et al. (2020) argue that the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity among US adults was 42.4% in 2018, 44.8% for middle-aged adults (40-59 years), and 42.8% among older adults (≥60 years). In terms of ethnicity, non-Hispanic black adults had the highest obesity prevalence in 2018 (49.6%) compared to Hispanic adults (44.8%), non-Hispanic white (42.2%), and non-Hispanic Asian adults (17.4%). Regarding gender-based prevalence, women had a higher prevalence of severe obesity (11.5%) than men (6.9%).


Potential Monetary Costs Associated with Obesity in the US

Increased care costs and massive economic burdens are among the adverse consequences of obesity and overweight. It is essential to note that obesity is the leading cause of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Therefore, it inflicts economic burdens on the American healthcare system by prompting the need to invest in preventive and management Interventions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022), the estimated cost of obesity in 2019 was about $173 billion. In the same breath, this issue leads to nationwide productivity costs of about $3.38 billion related to absenteeism. Other problems related to obesity that increase care costs are preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services.

Advance Practice Roles and Management Strategies that Affect Change at the Community Level

Obesity is preventable by encouraging effective preventive and management interventions, including increasing opportunities for physical activity, increasing people’s awareness and knowledge of self-care approaches like proper diet plans, and enhancing early screening practices. According to Schroeder et al. (2018), healthcare professionals like advanced practice nurses play a forefront role in tackling obesity by promoting behavioral education, counseling community members to enable them to develop plans for healthy weight management, connecting obese people to relevant resources, and involving people in low and high-intensity training and regular exercising. These approaches can improve obesity prevention and control at the community level.

Community Resources that Negatively and Positively Affect Obesity

Limited proximity to physical exercise infrastructure, the unavailability of walkways and parks, poor access to healthy food groceries, and less access to recreational facilities can increase obesity prevalence at the community level. In this sense, compromised access to sidewalks, paths, and parks are among resource constraints that exacerbate obesity prevalence. Equally, the availability of these resources can enhance preventive interventions for obesity. Brehm & D’Alessio (2019) argue that high neighborhood walkability, proximity to recreational facilities, and access to sidewalks, paths, and parks are facilitators of physical activity. Therefore, they are essential community resources that can positively influence preventive and management interventions for obesity.

Change or Enhancements in Community-related Services for Obesity

Amidst the resource constraints at the community level, it is essential to implement change and enact various enhancements to reduce obesity prevalence. The first enhancement would be improving access to healthy food groceries and farm markets for people with limited access to healthy foods. Secondly, improving access to recreational facilities such as gyms and parks in all neighborhoods would be vital to promote physical activity. Also, enhancing towns’ walkability by revamping sidewalks is a profound enhancement for preventing and managing obesity.

A Strategic Plan for Decreasing Obesity Prevalence

A strategic plan for reducing obesity prevalence would focus on implementing time-bound enhancements to address risk factors for obesity, improve health literacy, and manage socioeconomic factors and cultural differences. The plan would include the following goals:

  1. Introducing community members to a health promotion campaign that educates people about the importance of a healthy diet and physical activity in preventing obesity. Introducing this campaign within a month after conducting community need assessments would be essential.
  2. Involving overweight and obese people in regular physical exercise sessions developed according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. This initiative would take place six months after completing a health promotion program. Also, healthcare professionals would establish a long-term plan for follow-up activities after completing a 6-month weight management program.
  3. Collaborating with the county, state, and national stakeholders to construct more healthy food groceries, social facilities like gyms, and revamping walkways to support physical activeness. Also, this objective would include rolling out school-based nutrition programs and education initiatives to prevent childhood obesity. The timeframe for implementing these interventions is 2 to 5 years.

These strategic goals are consistent with evidence-based recommendations from reputable organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the current scholarly literature that emphasizes the urge to consider healthy diets, physical activeness, improvement of health literacy, and improvement of socioeconomic status to address obesity.


Undeniably, obesity is a public health challenge, considering its association with adverse health and economic consequences, including the high prevalence of chronic conditions, increased mortality rates, massive financial burdens, and prolonged hospitalization. Health promotion initiatives like community-based education programs, improving essential social amenities such as walkways, and constructing healthy food groceries can reduce obesity prevalence. These interventions form the basis of a community-level strategic plan for preventing and managing obesity and averting its ramifications.



Brehm, B. J., & D’Alessio, D. A. (2019, October 12). Environmental factors influencing obesity. MDText.com, Inc. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK278977/

CDC. (2022, April 8). Causes and consequences of childhood obesity.. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/basics/consequences.html

Hales, C. M., Carroll, M. D., Fryar, C. D., & Ogden, C. L. (2020). Prevalence of obesity and severe obesity among adults: United States, 2017–2018. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/index.htm

Kaboré, S., Millogo, T., Soubeiga, J. K., Lanou, H., Bicaba, B., & Kouanda, S. (2020). Prevalence and risk factors for overweight and obesity: A cross-sectional countrywide study in Burkina Faso. BMJ Open, 10(11), e032953. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032953

Schroeder, K., McCormick, R., Perez, A., & Lipman, T. H. (2018). The role and impact of community health workers in childhood obesity interventions: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 19(10), 1371–1384. https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.12714

World Health Organization. (2021, June 9). Obesity and overweight. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight

For this assignment, you will research and prepare a community-level strategic plan that addresses a key public health issue.

Potential topics may include:

Using prenatal and infancy home visits to prevent child abuse and neglect
Preventing falls in the elderly
Reducing population salt intake
Reducing tobacco use among adults
Preventing risky sexual behavior among youth and young adults
Reducing drug experimentation among young adults
Include the following in your paper:

Provide an overview of the community health issue as described in Part A with identified causes and influences, including knowledge gaps.
Detail the prevalence of the issue inside and outside the United States.
Describe potential monetary costs associated with the issue in the United States.
You must include data as part of your introduction (images, charts, graphs, etc., may be included as well as written data).
Describe advance practice roles and management strategies that affect change at the community level.
Identify key community and social resources that negatively and positively affect the selected issue.
Identify changes or enhancements in community-related services for your selected topic.
Develop a strategic plan that could decrease the prevalence of your selected topic.The goals for this plan needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Include how your plan takes into consideration health literacy, socioeconomic factors, and cultural differences.
A summary of the goals and challenges
An assessment of the outlook for action/progress
Appendix A: Include your community assessment from Week 3 as Appendix A.
Your paper should be 3–5 pages in length (not including the cover or reference pages). Use APA throughout.

Include 2–3 scholarly sources that are carefully selected and appropriate to the topic. References should be current—no more than four years old.

Extra Resources :



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