Subject: Healthcare Sciences and Medicine
Language: English (U.S.)
Pages: 6
Before beginning any health education program, an assessment must be completed to determine not only the major health concern and the target population, but also the specific needs of the target population. Health literacy, cultural factors, and disabilities may impact the ability of the individuals within a target population to access and/or learn the health information provided. Your assignment for this week must contain each of the following sections: Review the five steps of health education needs assessment in the article, "A Health Needs Assessment (HNA) Guide by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).” (pages 20-49). Also, review phases 1 and 2 (describe and analyze the problem) of the CDCynergy Guide. Using the health challenge you selected (Child Obesity), assess the health needs of your hometown or local area (Phoenix, Arizona). For example, if you selected cardiovascular disease as the health concern to develop a program plan for, then you will assess the health education needs of your local area regarding cardiovascular disease. Determine and discuss the target population and the health education needs of this population. Justify the health concern and target population selections using epidemiological data. Provide a minimum of two scholarly references, and if available, links to the data. Examine other needs that will help shape the design of your program, such as the education level, socioeconomic status, gender, age, ethnic/racial background, access to health care, volunteers, stakeholder roles, etc. Avoid stereotyping and assess all needs using data from reliable and credible sources. Examine the current health education programs available to this population regarding this particular health concern. Describe the current health education program. Determine the strengths and weakness of these programs. Evaluate the gaps of the current health education programs in addressing this particular health concern and target population. What further assistance needs to be provided in terms of health education? Summarize your findings. Predict how you would use this assessment information in a health education program.

Health Needs assessment in Phoenix, Arizona

Health needs assessment (HNA) is an important concept in the modern day medicine because it helps in identification of a prevalent health issues and suggesting ways of educating the community affected as well as allocating more resources towards alleviating the health problem. HNA is also important in identifying the needs of a specific population that is affected by the health problem. For instance Child Obesity is among the prevalent health problem in the US. There is a widespread of obesity rate across the population from children to adults. However, there are many variations across the states where some of them indicate that the rate of obesity is declining whereas other shows that the rate is rising. A good case of study is Phoenix, Arizona where the rate of obesity and overweight among the youth population is rising and currently stand at 30% of the population.

Child Obesity

Arizona is currently ranked 34th highest in terms of the adult obesity in the US according to latest data released in 2016. Statistics indicate that the prevalence of obesity in Arizona show that at least 30.6% of children are either overweight or obese. The statistics also show that the rate has risen since 2003 and against the national data which currently show decreasing rates of obesity. The data also indicated that in 2008, Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System showed that the prevalence of obesity among children in Arizona mostly affected the low-income families where 30.6% children at the age of 2-5 in Phoenix, Arizona were overweight (Sherry, 2006). The statistics also showed that children at the age of 10-17 years were highly affected. The problem of overweight and obesity is also very common among the adult population indicating that 64.8% of the population was overweight. The same data also revealed that 14.6% of them were overweight while 13.1% of them were obese (Sherry, 2006). Data from CDC indicate the most significant contributor to obesity in Arizona is the high intake of sugary diet. The data showed that 28.1% of the population drank a bottle of sugary drink such as soda at least one time every day (Ogden et al., 2012). The data showed that only 33.7% of the population consumed fruits at the recommended rate. On the same note 24.4% of the population did not consume vegetable at the recommended rate. Studies indicate that some of the basic reasons that contribute to increase in obesity rate include sedimentary life, children speeding more time playing computer games and watching TVs, lack of exercise and poor eating habits. Studies also indicate that parents especially in Phoenix, Arizona from low income families fail to consider diet as an important part.

Health Effects of Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity contributes to significant problem in Arizona because it contributes directly to severe health effects. One of the major problems is the fact it contribute to increase of the risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure. CDC data indicate that 70% of the obese children in Arizona indicate one of the risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Chronic disease in Arizona is the largest cause of death. CDC data show that there was 29, 500 deaths in 2010 (Budd & Volpe, 2006). Heart disease contributed to 6,789 deaths in 2010 and data show that the rate is still rising. The increase in heart disease in Arizona is directly linked to increase in the rate of obesity among the population. 

Education needs

Most of the obese children come from low –income earners. The highly affected children were from African American at 13%, Asian and Hispanic community at 41.4%. Statistics from CDC also indicate that 53% of the children affected by obesity came from parents without a college degree (Finkelstein et al., 2012). The data show a high rate of obesity among children from parents without a high school diploma. The data indicated that obesity was evenly distributed among children with both boys and girls indicating the same prevalence rate. The data also revealed that the rate was higher to single parent especially among the African American community which was recorded at 47%, 14.4% Whites non-Hispanic females (Finkelstein et al., 2012). There was a significant increase in the rate of obesity especially among the house headed by women with suggesting a prevalence rate of 26%.

Current Health Education programs

The prevalence of obesity among the population in Phoenix, Arizona has force medical practitioner to establish programs aimed at reducing the rate of obesity. Among the current measure to reduce the rate of obesity include an education program that aims at education children on the need for proper eating habits and exercise as primary means through which to reduce the rate of obesity. The curriculum highly emphasizes the need for physical exercise that is mandatory to all children. The education to children also emphasizes the need to avoid sitting long hours and also spending most of their time playing video games. Another current program used to reduce the rate of obesity targets young mothers and aims at providing them with education of proper eating habits such as increase intake in vegetable and fruits.

Strength and weakness of current methods

The high advertisement used in the local media network in recent past as a strategy to encourage parents to adopt healthy eating habits have helped to reduce the rate of obesity. Exercise in school and advice from teachers to parents on the importance of physical exercise has helped to reduce the rate of obesity among children. However, the major weakness of the current model of emphasizing improved exercise is that it is hard for teachers and parents to follow up and ensure that they children follow a routine especially when excising. Another problem is that it sometimes the use of commercial advertisement does not send the message to the intended audience.

Existing gaps

The rate of obesity in Arizona is on the rise meaning that there are some of the existing gaps that needs to be addressed. There is a high emphasis on physical exercise in schools to reduce the rate of obesity. However, it is hard to follow up at homes to ensure that mothers encourage their children to perform physical exercise. There is a high emphasis of encouraging the use of vegetables and fruits as a necessary step to reduce obesity. However, data show that most of the children affected come from low income earners who cannot afford to properly follow a scheduled diet. The low education status among parents with obese children is another factor that complicates implementation of current strategies.


Child obesity is a prevalent problem in children and adolescent in Phoenix, Arizona. Data from CDC indicate that about 30.6% of children aged between 2-5 years are either obese or overweight (Ogden et al., 2012). Data also show that prevalence of obesity among the adolescent population is estimated at 14%. Major reasons for child and adolescents are poor eating habits and lack of physical activities. Currently, some of the major focus to reduce child obesity includes using commercial advertisement to reach out to parents and educate them the need for healthy lifestyle. Education and exercise are among other methods that are currently used. However, the current gaps such as measuring the impact of advertisement and failure of follow up to ensure children constantly engage in physical activities are some of the major barriers to reducing obesity.  This information will be important especially in developing health program to counter the growing concern of child obesity.


Finkelstein, E. A., Khavjou, O. A., Thompson, H., Trogdon, J. G., Pan, L., Sherry, B., & Dietz, W. (2012). Obesity and severe obesity forecasts through 2030. American journal of preventive medicine42(6), 563-570.

Budd, G. M., & Volpe, S. L. (2006). School‐Based Obesity Prevention: Research, Challenges, and Recommendations. Journal of School Health76(10), 485-495.

Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Kit, B. K., & Flegal, K. M. (2012). Prevalence of obesity in the United States, 2009-2010.

Wareham, N. J., van Sluijs, E. M., & Ekelund, U. (2005). Physical activity and obesity prevention: a review of the current evidence. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society64(02), 229-247.