Obesity in Seniors and Influence of Neighborhood Essay Example


Firstly, seniors exemplify an increasing section of the population in the majority of highly advanced countries. Studies have indicated by the middle portion of the twenty-first century the total amount of people who are at least sixty-five years of age will be 88.5 million. Additionally, over 33% of the United States senior population is identified as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least thirty or higher. The demonstration of a higher body weight and reduction in physical exercise is frequently associated with the onset of aging. This can result in a diminished level of ambulating, decreased ability to maintain activities of daily living and mitigating an individual's appreciation for life. The rapid increase in individuals who are overweight and obese over the past few years has influenced the prevalence of debilitating long term illnesses. There is a positive correlation amongst aging and obesity related concerns resulting in an increased demand for immediate medical services. The components of the social environment consist of an individual's career, annual financial-income , educational attainment, social circumstances and differences over the life trajectory. Henceforth, a general perspective of the physical surroundings encompasses accessibility of food, paved paths, capability of engaging in physical activities and personal awareness of one's safety. The traits of physical and social surroundings were perceived as affecting an individual's exercise capability, emotional discomfort level, amount of daily food consumption, partaking in smoking and having difficulty sleeping. These physical and social surroundings traits could increase an individual's likelihood of experiencing various health concerns such as high blood pressure, unhealthy BMI readings and heart disease. There have been relatively new studies that demonstrated a BMI measure of more than thirty five ' is correlated with a dramatically higher mortality risk due to pleura of serious medical conditions. This is in contrast to individuals that registered a lower BMI and had a reduced risk of succumbing to numerous diseases and illnesses. Finally, this pertaining study analyzes the actual and acknowledged insight regarding their community environment and how this directly influences overweight and obese seniors who reside in an urban setting.


Secondly, this pertaining study utilized information from the 2009 articulate to your Health Community questionnaire, the 2010 United States Census and Location Incorporated. The Articulate to your health is a telephone based questionnaire administered by the Prevention analytical institution of Michigan to tabulate statistical, environmental, assistance, and medical data from a cross-section of people residing in Genesee County Michigan. Therefore, Location Incorporated has an extensive collection of nation-wide community based information that is utilized in this study. The researchers utilized comprehensive crime data from Location Incorporated which transpired during November 2010 in the city of Flint, Michigan for this corresponding study. Additionally, to locate United States calculated plot material the researchers employed Tiger Shape-lines for analyzing Genesee County Michigan during the 2010 national census. The city of Flint, Michigan is constituted as the primary urban core of Genesee County. There were over 1,698 participants who completed questions on the Articulated your health questionnaire and the researchers choose two hundred and seventeen people who were at least sixty-five years of age and resided in Flint Michigan to participate in the study. The researchers tabulate each participant's BMI which is collected from their documented weight and height. The active participants were assigned into three groups that had been based on their BMI scores. These three groups were defined as individuals, who have an average weight had scores that ranged from 18.5-24.9, above normal weight which varied from 25-29.9 and extremely over-weight that is constituted as at least thirty or more. The neighborhoods were designated according to a census plot which usually consists of areas that range in population size from 2,500 to 8,000 people. Henceforth, the neighborhood surroundings were analyzed by four indicators which are: accessibility of a nearby public green space, library located within close proximity, food store nearby and local misconduct. The level of crime in the neighbored was indicated by the participants utilizing a numerical index from one to a hundred. The participants recorded crime score was then compared to other residential areas in regard to their prevalence of illegal activities. These individuals were then asked if they had ever been victims of criminal misconduct. The researchers inquired about the senior individual's health and whether they had been medically diagnosed with any forms of chronic illnesses. Finally the people who facilitated this study asked the participants about how often they engage in physical exercise.


Additionally, the total number of participants that engaged in the study was two hundred and seventeen individuals who varied in age from sixty-five to ninety-one years old. There had been approximately one hundred and twelve Caucasian and one hundred and seven African Americans who partook in the questionnaire. The majority of the questionnaire participants had been female. There had been 70% Caucasian women and 30% men measured and 73% African American females in contrast to 23% African American males. The median age was comparable for Caucasians and African Americans at seventy-four years. In addition, the BMI measure of African Americans was more than the reported score for Caucasians. The average BMI rates for this test were relatively similar in Caucasians which was 28.39 and African Americans 29.80. Henceforth, senior African American participants articulated increased levels of physical activity in comparison to older Caucasians. The amount of days that African Americans exercised per week were 3.25 and Caucasian's 3.06 which is very identical. The obese seniors from this study demonstrated that 63% did not live within proximity of a public green space in contrast to people that have a healthy body weight. There was an ascertainable relationship between crime and an individual's body mass index score. On the other hand 74% of overweight seniors did not reside in an area that is crime-ridden. The researchers concluded that seniors who consider their neighborhood as inundated with crime were twelve times as likely to display an above average body weight. In addition, 85% of over-weight participants did not mention being victimized by crime over the past few years in contrast to individuals that had a healthy body weight. When comparing with average BMI and above average weight individuals the heavier seniors were two to three times more inclined to articulate they had engaged in minimal amounts of physical exercise or neglected to exercise during that pertaining week . There are over 80% of obese and overweight participants that do not regularly engage in neighborhood events. Finally obese and over-weight participants frequently were not involved in neighborhood activities in contrast to healthy weight individuals.

Discussion/Critique of Article

On the other hand, the study found that the surroundings and neighborhood characteristics could dictate the participants BMI scores. The obese seniors in the study resided in areas that did not have open green spaces or food stores, but had an increased likelihood of living near a public library. In addition the study concluded that a senior individual's perception of their neighborhood regarding crime levels and their personal safety was the most significant influence on a participant's body mass index score. The individuals who lived near public parks and had greater accessibility to supermarkets would have more opportunity to engage in physical activity and purchase healthy and nutritious products at the grocery stores.The seniors who regularly partook in community events and activities have a greater chance of becoming acquainted with neighbors and building a meaningful and supportive connection with these individuals. These participants who have friendships with their neighbors can request for assistance if they are experiencing a serious health condition which requires immediate medical care. Additionally, this study offers pertinent insight into the varying social and environment factors that can influence the health and well-being of seniors who reside in an urban setting. This study implemented a cross-sectional format which is relatively affordable and simplistic to conduct. The various variables being investigated in the study can be analyzed simultaneously. The researchers only used Caucasian and African American participants for this study which is not an accurate but possibly biased representation of urban inner city neighborhoods. These researchers could have incorporated additional minority and ethnic groups in the study to make the findings of this more relevant for future research purposes. This study should have also focused upon factors such as an individual's education level, their current living situation and marital status which can dictate a person's BMI score. In closing this study will hopefully enlighten the general populace and people who are employed in the field of gerontology to advocate for implementing innovative programs and services that can improve the bio psychosocial well-being of senior's that currently live in an urban setting.


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