Final Examination: Global Health Issues

Posted on: 16th May 2023


Research has shown that there is an increased prevalence of adult and childhood obesity in Black and Latino populations in this country. What factors are contributing to this disparity? What are some of the public health laws that have been enacted to address obesity in this country? What about in our home state of California?

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Global Health Issue

Obesity rates in children and adolescents aged 2-19 and adults have been stable in the United States since 2003-2004, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to current prevalence estimates, overweight or obesity among children and adolescents in the United States has increased around thrice during the previous 30 years (Barner et al., 2019). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when both types of weight gain are considered, a disturbing 31.7 percent of children and adolescents in the United States are either obese or overweight. Therefore, this paper will discuss on what causes obesity and some set legislations to fight it in the US.

Obesity has a more significant impact on minority children than on white youngsters. Disparities in adolescent obesity by race/ethnicity are now widely acknowledged to be a result of socioeconomic inequality (SES) (“Global Childhood Obesity Update,” 2014). Children from low-income families are more likely to be overweight than children from higher-income families. Ethnically and culturally diverse communities can also be found in the lower tiers of American society (Barner et al., 2019). According to studies, racial and ethnic disparities in childhood obesity can be attributed to various factors. While the socioeconomic position is a significant factor in a person's well-being, it is not the only one. Anxiety and melancholy may be contributing factors to the differences in childhood obesity rates.

 Obesity disparities have been related to cultures that encourage the use of obesity-causing foods. Minority children have cited fast food businesses and cultural preferences for unhealthy meals as barriers to healthy eating. Obesity in youngsters may also be influenced by cultural norms regarding what constitutes a fit body size. According to a poll, many Latina mothers believe that having a slim child is a sign of bad parenting.

Since the issue of obesity is becoming a public concern, the government has put some of the legislation to help fight this pandemic from schools and in society (Barner et al., 2019). State legislation and resolutions that complement and supplement federal programs have supported the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-296) and other measures that make nutritional foods available to pupils throughout the school day. In 2014, 22 states in the United States, including California, passed school nutrition legislation or issued resolutions (“Global Childhood Obesity Update,” 2014). Enacting these rules will make school lunches and other school-sponsored nutrition initiatives healthier. In 2014, legislators in several states emphasized the need to provide students with a nutritious school breakfast to guarantee they were ready to study when they got up in the morning.

In California, after-school programs must provide nutritional snacks, meals, or both and a physical exercise component for high school students (Barner et al., 2019). It allows schools to use cafeteria funds for central food processing, housing and equipping cafeterias, and providing drinking water in restaurants, including cafeteria building and equipment costs. Extends by half an hour the existing school nutrition law forbidding the sale of less nutritious foods and beverages, as well as items containing trans fats, at school (“Global Childhood Obesity Update,” 2014); compliance must be tracked. This initiative makes nutrition pilot participation possible.

On or after January 1, 2015, the California Child Day Care Act requires at least one instructor or an educator at each daycare center and each family day care home licensee who provides care to complete at least one hour of childhood nutrition training as part of the preventive health practices course, in adding to any other essential training.

Obesity and excessive weight, on the other hand, are considered a global pandemic, with children and adolescents bearing the lion's share of the burden. As a result, to help fight against this disease, the government's laws and regulations must be followed appropriately.



Barner, Y., Sung, J. H., Akil, L., & Leggett, S. S. (2019). Association between Health Insurance and Obesity among Adolescents. European Journal of Environment and Public Health3(2), em0031.

Global Childhood Obesity Update. (2014). Childhood Obesity, 10(1), 85–88.

Jordan Barney

Jordan Barney

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