to implement the policy. The third phase is the implementation of the action plan, including outlined vital steps that must be taken to carry out the plan. This stage is the most important because the Committee can seize this opportunity to educate the public about obesity through multi-media platforms, notifying proper authorities such as federal government representatives and requesting action. Offering open communication with the public and government officials paves the way for positive reception on the issue. The implementation stage is also the most difficult because it requires a constant, positive, and open communication with all parties involved in the policy development process in addition to keeping actions positive, constructive, and tactful to gain support. The last phase involves the monitoring and evaluation of policy progress. The Committee monitors and evaluates progress made this far with the goal of identifying positive changes and areas of improvement. Identifying these areas of change is
POLICY POSITION: CHILDHOOD OBESITY PREVENTION 4 critical because it influences the outcome. Public education, awareness, and support are the goals here; therefore, it is crucial to follow these changes and take action when necessary. The Need for Policy Development Obesity is threatening future generations of the United States citizens with one-third of children in the nation suffering from obesity increasing health care spending to about $150 billion per year. Obesity is significantly a public matter of concern, one that needs immediate action. According to National Conference of State Legislature (2014), 17 percent of youth from ages two to 17 are obese, and the figure has nearly tripled in the past 30 years. The total number of both overweight and obese children and adolescents in the nation is 31.7 percent. The high percentage rate puts a strain on health care thus, increasing costs because of high spending on chronic diseases associated with obesity. Health care spending on obesity is about $150 billion every year as mentioned previously; taxpayers fund about half of these costs and about $60 billion comes from Medicare and Medicaid programs. Obesity also poses a threat to national security affecting 25 percent of applicants. Obesity is the number one reason for military services disqualifying factor, and much attention to this matter is necessary for the future of our national security. Stakeholders and Interest Groups The key stakeholders and interest groups involved in health care policy generation include the government, health professionals, food industry, employers, and ordinary individuals. The government allocates tax dollars and is a major contributor to Medicare and Medicaid thus making them one major stakeholder to the childhood obesity epidemic. The majority of children who are overweight will likely grow up and experience more health-related issues compared to healthy children. The government is the biggest stakeholder and contributor to medical funds and
POLICY POSITION: CHILDHOOD OBESITY PREVENTION 5 can assist to reduce childhood obesity by state and federal regulations. These rules would create
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- Fall '14
- Childhood obesity, childhood obesity prevention