8 Jan 2023


The Three Basic Human Needs

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Academic level: Master’s

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 716

Pages: 2

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Of all the three human basic needs, food or lack of proper nutrition seems to bear a huge brunt of ripple effect. The reason behind this argument is that nutrition usually affects a huge part of an individual’s life, from conception to death. Poor nutrition during the early stages of life usually leads to several consequences ranging from physical growth and development problems, mental development problems and social development problems which have long consequences. Also, there is a spectrum of diseases which are usually aggravated by dietary deficiency either excess intake of certain foods or lack of balanced diet. Some of the diseases which are associated with dietary factors include coronary diseases, non-insulin dependent diabetes and even some types of cancer (World Medical Association, 2016). Obesity is another crucial dietary deficiency which has predisposing victims to other diseases and disability. This paper is going to assess the incidents of childhood obesity in the US and ways through which this menace can be tackled. 

Obesity is a condition where someone has accumulated a huge amount of body fat bringing negative effect to their health. This condition is usually affected by various factors such as environmental, behavioral and genetic factors. Today, overweight or obesity is believed to affect over a third of the US population. In fact according to data from CDC (2013), incidents of childhood obesity within the USA have been found to have increased two-fold in children and four-folds in adolescents compared to 30 years ago. In 1980 the percentage of children below 11 years who were obese stood at 7% only. Since then the number had increased to 18% in 2012. Likewise, within the same period, the percentage of obese teenagers has also increased from 5% in 1980 to 21% in 2012. Some of the immediate side effects of diabetes in children include predisposing them to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and disability which result from the huge weight exerted on bones and joints. The long-term effect of obesity is the actual development of several health conditions ranging from heart problems to diabetes and even cancer. 

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When further broken down to demographic analysis, children from low-income families especially from African and Hispanic families (15%) have been found to be affected by obesity. The prevalence rate of obesity has also been found to be higher among the children living in Mississippi and other southern states (Food Research and Action Centre, 2016). Hispanic boys between the age of 6 and 11 plus African American girls between ages 12 to 19 have been found to report very high and alarming rates of obesity. Their rates are 25.8% and 24.4% respectively. Also of note is that obesity risk has been rise among immigrants as they become introduce themselves to the American diet and health behavior. As such, children from these families are usually at a higher risk of developing obesity compared to their mates from settled immigrants or native families. Though genetic factors play a role in causing obesity, social factors i.e. behavioral and environmental factors have also been found to play a crucial role. As such a very broad perspective including the social determinants and lifestyle choices should be considered when coming up with ways of tackling the problem. 

The first step which I would take to perform an obesity needs assessment in within the southern region, for instance within Mississippi would be first to obtain data on the prevalence childhood obesity in the area. This would be followed by assessing all the opportunities for physical activities available for children in the area. The third step would be to assess the feeding habits of children also considering the availability and accessibility of healthy food choices for families and their children. The fourth step would be to talk to several stakeholders such as parents, teachers, and other community members and find their input concerning this issue of childhood obesity. Here I will be interested in finding some of the reasons why children are not involved in physical activities, the opportunities and barriers involved. Also the choices of food these parents make for their children will be considered. The final step would be coming up with suggestions for tackling the obesity issue which should be done in a collective manner including parents, teachers and all members of the community. 

To conclusion, I believe obesity has become a serious public health issue which if not addressed early and corrective measures taken, everyone in the country stands to lose. An unhealed generation is an unhealthy economy with a less productive population with the high cost of maintenance. Childhood obesity should be tackled now before the situation escalates further. 


Centers for Disease Control (CDC). (2013). Childhood obesity facts . Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/facts.htm 

Food Research and Action Centre. (2016). Obesity in the US. Retrieved from http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/obesity-in-the-us/ 

World Medical Association. (2016). Public health. Retrieved from http://www.wma.net/en/20activities/30publichealth/ 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 17). The Three Basic Human Needs.


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