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Adolescent Health

By:   •  July 30, 2019  •  Research Paper  •  1,697 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,750 Views

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Adolescent Health

Student’s Name


Adolescent health

 Healthy people 2020 was launched by the Department of Health and Human Services in December 2010 to help in attaining a healthy population in the US by 2020 (Brown et al, (2014). The plan has been organized to tackle 1300 health objectives in only 42 topic areas among which Adolescent health is included. The paper examines how nutritional related problems affect the adolescents; causes of these problems, public health communication strategy that will help reduce this problem, the plan for the communication and see how a specific communication method will be of help to each of the adolescent groups.

Adolescent health

An estimation of about 1.3 million adolescents dies every year from treatable or preventable causes. The causes of these deaths range from road traffic injuries, suicides, violence, common childhood diseases and HIV/AIDS (Taghizadeh Moghaddam et al 2016). This period is also accompanied by heavy mental and psychological challenges which lead them into drug and substance abuse that causes severe effects to their health. Pregnancy in adolescent girls is another challenge. Every year 16 million girls between 15-19 years become pregnant and 2 million girls under the age of age 15 become pregnant. Due to their biological orientation, they are found to have contributed 23% of the total pregnancy and childbearing related problems which are commonly nutritionally developed hence a risk to both maternal and child survival (Taghizadeh Moghaddam et al 2016). Generally, adolescence is a time of rapid changes. Biological, emotional, and cognitive development coupled up with behavioral changes makes adolescent health an important area to address.

Nutritional-related problems among adolescents

Adolescents get involved in unhealthy eating habits. Some of the unhealthy eating habits of the adolescents especially in the USA include snacking, meal skipping, irregular eating patterns and use of fast foods for meals. Adolescents tend to choose fast foods over healthy snacks which are nutrients dense hence a perfect match to their energy requirement. They eat away from most of the times and scarcely do they take fruits, vegetables and dairy products. They employ this just to maintain their body images and weight to attain the envied public figure.

Undernutrition, obesity and pregnancy are other nutritional challenges faced by adolescents. Undernutrition is generally associated with childhood deficiencies and sometimes may also be caused by unhealthy eating habits and poor access to food. Pregnancy is characterized by increased metabolic requirements in the affected adolescents which may lead to nutritional deficiencies hence maternal mortality and morbidity. Obesity in adolescents is the number one risk factor to adulthood chronic diseases and diabetes that is the current number one killer disease. The nutrition-related diseases among adolescents are true of great concern and relevant communication systems should be established.

Contrasting causes of nutritional problems among different populations.

The American population consists of diverse demographic composition. This includes African Americans, Latin Americans/ the Caribbean, Native Americans among others. Each of these populations is affected by a unique major adolescent nutritional health problem (Shor and Vang 2017). This reflects on the differences in diet, as well as the incidence, prevalence, mortality and the burden of the disease between specific population groups.

Ethnicity and racial disparities create a difference in the nutritional status of different populations among Americans. Black Americans are said to have a low nutrient profile compared to their white counterparts.  Black Ameri0cans tend to eat a diet high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables and high in salt. This also owes to the fact that the whites are at a greater socio-economic advantage than the Black Americans.

Environmental differences are also major causes of nutritional disparities among Americans. Certain nutritional related diseases affect people within a certain geographical location (William and Collins 2016). For example, the adolescents in the African American population develop nutritional health problems different from those that come from the Native American population. The probable reason is because the feeding habits in the two environments are quite different.

Public health communication strategy to reduce disparity and promote health

The best method of communication that can be used is Educational and Community -Based Programs. The method aims at increasing the quality, availability and effectiveness of educational and community-based programs (Gleason and Von 2018). It plays a key role in preventing any nutritional problems among adolescents, improving their health and enhancing the quality of life. Health status and behaviors are influenced by different factors; personal, institutional, and environmental. Since there are interrelationships among these factors, educational based programs are the most effective way to create awareness among adolescents concerning their nutrition way of life.

Since a large population of adolescents is still attending schools, the educational forums in schools create a good platform to incorporate nutrition education and talks.  When they are away from school, the community nutritional forums also extend the good message. In general, this method nearly touches on nearly every social setting that an adolescent may be part of.

Plan for the communication

Drawing a plan for the communication process is very important to ensure message delivery is effective. The first step is to adopt a whole school, the whole community and whole child, in this case, an adolescent. This approach helps in bringing together the government and all the available stakeholders in ensuring that the adolescents' nutrition in schools is achieved (Lune and Berg 2016). The number two step is to establish an evidence-based community nutrition health and education policy interventions to determine their impact. The last step is to increase the number of skilled health workers to assist in the nutrition campaign. The plan will yield effective results and help in solving the nutritional challenge among adolescents.

Evaluation plan for the communication

To make a systemic assessment of this communication method, an evaluation plan is needed to provide the information needed for decision making. The first item on the evaluation plan is to plan the program and evaluation, this will give me the overall guidance of what am going to do and the goals am planning to achieve. The second step involves implementation of the program so as to realize the set goals. During this stage, data will be collected which is the primary figure (Lewin et al 2015). The next step is to review the data and establish whether my desired outcome is being achieved. Finally, the program will be adjusted as in relation to the collected hence adjusting the evaluation to refine data collection. In this way, the communication strategy will be effective.


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