Prevention of Obesity


Not all public health programs are effective. Many programs fail because the administrators have not fully assessed the barriers and issues that contribute to the
public health issue. Understanding the target population is one of the most important elements for implementing a successful public health program. It is critical
that public health practitioners have in-depth knowledge of the social and behavioral factors that may contribute to a higher likelihood of disease in the target
population, as well as the theoretical and practical approaches to address those risk factors. However, the understanding of social and behavioral factors is not
limited to the target population but the community as a whole. The community has to fully understand the extent of the public health issue and accept that
intervention is required so that the community can be healthy.
For example: The public health issue is hepatitis C infections transmitted through the sharing of hypodermic needles, and the program is a needle exchange. The
target population is IV drug users with specific social and behavioral risks; the behavioral risk factor is sharing of needles, and the social risk factor is the lack of
access to clean needles. The social and behavioral risk factors for the community as a whole may be different and may impede the program. Community
members may distrust government programs, may distrust outsiders coming into their community, or may believe that the dispensing of needles may increase
drug use. The success of the needle exchange program relies on addressing the risks of the target population and the social and behavioral factors that will
prevent community support.
Prompt: Write a short paper that critically analyzes the public health program you have selected for your final project. Specifically, the following critical elements
must be addressed:
 Provide an overview of the program, including the public health issue, administrating agency, time, setting, and population; include the social and
behavioral risk factors that are associated with this public health issue
 Determine the social and behavioral risk factors that are being addressed by the program, and include the theoretical approaches used in the program
to facilitate social and behavioral change in the target population, as well as the social and behavioral theoretical strategies employed by the program to
engage the community
 Examine the social and behavioral factors that the program neglected to identify and address why these social and behavioral factors are important,
justifying your response with specific examples from the literature
 Analyze the public health data and trends to determine whether the program has met the intended outcome
 Summarize the overall impact of the program, including its successes, failures, strengths, and weaknesses, and indicate and explain opportunities for

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