NU 629 Discussion 1: Obesity – An American Epidemic

Sample Answer for NU 629 Discussion 1: Obesity – An American Epidemic Included After Question

Initial Post

For your initial post, present a visual picture that reflects the state of obesity in our country. Consider: If a photo is worth a thousand words, then a photo on obesity must be worth a thousand pounds. So, ask yourself, how do we drive home the need for change? How do we show the price our children are paying?

The written part of your discussion post should include:

  • A brief explanation, three to four sentences, of your visual submission.
  • Using statistical data, your home state’s data related to obesity and how your state fairs compared to national statistics.
  • The type of health disparities you see in your own community related to obesity.
  • Remember to provide at least three scholarly references to support your statements and provide validity to your work.

Reply Posts

Reply to at least two of your classmates that live in different states (replies must be on two separate days). Compare and contrast your state’s obesity data to theirs and discuss obesity preventive guidelines in one reply and healthy dietary recommendations in your second reply. Replies must use at least two scholarly references per peer post.

Please refer to the Grading Rubric for details on how this activity will be graded.

Obesity is a rising epidemic in the United States, leading to significant health complications like hypertension, diabetes, stroke, and cancers. Overweight and obesity are often have detrimental effects on physical and psychological health (Gray et al., 2018). The picture used for this post illustrates that obesity is a global threat, just like global warming and bird flu, but it far outweighs the two. This picture, in many aspects, demonstrates the epidemic proportion of obesity.

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NU 629 Discussion 1: Obesity – An American Epidemic

Title: NU 629 Discussion 1: Obesity – An American Epidemic

In Massachusetts, where I reside, more than 50 % of adults and 1 in 4 middle and high school students are obese or overweight; less than half of adults and children are not eating the recommended five or more servings of vegetables and fruits (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, n.d.). 83,000 residents between the ages of 4 and 17 were recorded as obese, giving Massachusetts a ranking of 25 out of 51 for this age group among all states. However, from the year 2000 to 2014, the obesity rate between 2- to 4-year-old reduced from 17.1% to 16.6%, ranking 6/51. The same decline has been reported in teenagers (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, n.d.).

Health disparities contribute to health inequity, and as soon as some of the disparities are reduced, health equity can be achieved. Various health disparities impact the obesity rates in the country and the state of Massachusetts in particular. One of these health disparities is racial disparity. African American children gain a more rapid weight when they are younger compared to white children. According to Byrd et al. (2018), one of the groups at significant risk is African Americans, especially women who have a higher prevalence than men. Another health disparity that has led to community-related obesity is income and/or wealth status. Individuals from low-income households have a higher risk of obesity than those from medium to high-income households.

Obesity is a global health threat that remains a priority even during the global pandemic that is the novel COVID-19 virus. In fact, obesity is listed as one of the primary health risks related to severe complications of Covid-19. Obesity disproportionally affects low-income racial-ethnic minorities at a higher rate than any other group. As Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, we should strive to optimize behavioral and lifestyle interventions, pharmacologic therapy, nutrition, and access to care to include bariatric surgery if needed to benefit the affected population and decrease the prevalence of obesity.

Byrd, A. S., Toth, A., & Stanford, F. (2018). Racial Disparities in Obesity Treatment. Current Obesity Reports, 7(2), 130-138.

Gray, L. A., Hernandez Alava, M., Kelly, M. P., & Campbell, M. J. (2018). Family lifestyle dynamics and childhood obesity: evidence from the millennium cohort study. BMC Public Health18(1).

Massachusetts Obesity Statistics. (n.d.).


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A Sample Answer 2 For the Assignment: NU 629 Discussion 1: Obesity – An American Epidemic

Title: NU 629 Discussion 1: Obesity – An American Epidemic

A brief explanation, three to four sentences, of your visual submission

I decided to use this picture because it is not the typical image you would see when one thinks of obesity. For many of us, if we were to calculate our BMI, accordingly to the parameters, we would be considered overweight or obese. This is a picture of Ashley Graham (no relation) who is a well-known American plus-size model). She is 5’9”, 201 pounds and wears a size 16. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s BMI calculator, her BMI is 29.9 which is a decimal point from 30 which is considered obese.

“The formula for BMI — weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters — was invented in the early 19th century as an easy measurement of obesity in the general population and not necessarily for individual fatness, according to NPR. BMI is still used regularly today by medical professionals to determine if a person has a healthy amount of body fat. Though it can be useful in a general sense, BMI misses important factors such as family history, genetics, lifestyle, age, sex, and muscle mass when considering a person’s overall health and their risks of developing diseases.” (Schmidt, 2021)

Using statistical data, your home state’s data related to obesity and how your state fairs compared to national statistics

According to United Health Foundation America’s Health Ranking’s 2020 Annual Report, Pennsylvania’s obesity rate was 33.2% while the United States is 31.9%. The following table gives a detailed breakdown regarding the subpopulations of Pennsylvania’s statistical data:

Gender  Female   Male  
United States32.130.6  
Race/EthnicityAfrican American  Hispanic Multiracial Caucasian
United States40.734.633.930.4
United States28.436.829.3 
Income  < 25,000    25,000-  49,999    50,000- 74,999   > 75,000
United States38.935.633.729.6
    Education  < High School  High School Graduate  Some  College  College Graduate
United States37.637.135.625.9

(United Health Foundation, 2021)

*Percentage of adults with a body mass index of 30.0 or higher based on reported height and weight.

The type of health disparities you see in your own community related to obesity

I live in Philadelphia. Too often I woman, men and children that are overweight or obese. Every once and a while, I will see an elderly person, on a motorized scooter, that has one or both of their lower extremities amputated, possibly due to diabetes (some of the men are war veterans; no sure if they lost their extremities in battle.) I see several elderly people walking around with portable oxygen tanks and nasal cannulas possibly due to COPD, uncontrolled asthma, emphysema or lung cancer. Despite there being primary care offices, dentists, easy access to main hospitals, grocery stores with health food options, there is a heavy gravitation to the less healthier fast food companies which aide in poor foods choices where hypertension, diabetes and cholesterol issues can take root.

Obesity is a significant health problem in the United States that has encouraged a search for modifiable risk factors, such as walkable neighborhood designs. (Kowaleski-Jones, L. et. al., 2016) The socioeconomic element in my neighborhood is actually quite diverse, going two blocks in any directions and the community looks completely different. Philadelphia, known not only as the City of Brotherly Love but also as a City of Neighborhoods, is a dense collection of relatively distinct and diverse neighborhoods, each characterized by highly particular ethnic and cultural make-ups with unique strengths and challenges. (Alicea, N. et. al., 2016)


Alicea-Alvarez, N., Reeves, K., Lucas, M. S., Huang, D., Ortiz, M., Burroughs, T., & Jones, N. (2016). Impacting Health Disparities in Urban Communities: Preparing Future Healthcare Providers for “Neighborhood-Engaged Care” Through a Community Engagement Course Intervention. Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 93(4), 732–743.

Kowaleski-Jones, L., Brown, B. B., Fan, J. X., Hanson, H. A., Smith, K. R., & Zick, C. D. (2017). The joint effects of family risk of obesity and neighborhood environment on obesity among women. Social science & medicine, 195, 17-24.
Schmidt, A. &. (2021, June 11). 7 signs you don’t have overweight or obesity, regardless of BMI. Retrieved from

United Health Foundation. (2021). America Health Rankings 30 Years – Annual Report. Retrieved from