Smoking cessation and Obesity/ Diet Essay
The productivity of every person is affected by his or her health status. Any country envisioning increasing its output must first check the health of its citizens. In the United States, the health sector is one of the departments that heavily use state’s financial resources to treat the myriad health complications that arise. More resources are being channeled to research on health problems to enable the country minimize avoidable diseases and treat those that have cure. Previously, the health policy focused more on curative measures but based on the studies that have continually added knowledge on causes of diseases, more focus is being given to preventive measures.Among the leading causes of death in the United States is cancer and diet related diseases. Cancer is the most feared disease in America and the major contributor to cancer is tobacco use and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. Diet related complications have given rise to obesity which also contributes to many deaths in the U.S. Research has shown that obesity has extended to young children at alarming rates (http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/ADVISORY/pcp/pcp07rpt/ExecSum.pdf). The rise in the number of obesity cases is mainly associated with some lifestyle behaviors that encourage unhealthy eating habits. Fast food junctions increased and caused similar increment to obesity cases. If the United States and the world over will win the battle over these preventable health complications, the overall productivity of the world will improve, according to President’s Cancer Panel 2006-2007 Annual Report.Governments and other organizations that deal with health problems have also proposed new approaches. Business entities have also been seen to actively participate in programs that serve to maintain good health in the workplaces. Indeed, many companies have defined health schemes in their profiles, a phenomenon that was nonexistent. Employers and the governments are aiming at developing wellness programs as they strategize on cutting health related costs. Such programs are developed with the view of promoting a culture of wellness and individual empowerment regarding personal health.Among the current trends to curb unnecessary loss of life is by reduction of the numbers of people who smoke. The youth are the most prone to engage in tobacco use and they also contribute to the continuity of the practice. If tobacco is discouraged among this group this group, much could be achieved. Many firms in their contribution to this initiative have declared their working environment as non-smoking areas and set other places as smoking zones. Laws have been enacted to enforce these. The move is, however, opposed by tobacco companies that view the issue only in terms of profits.An important initiative taken by the government is aimed at reduction of obesity cases. Current trends indicate that half of the U.S. population is obese. The initiative is aimed at reducing the number of obesity cases among children especially those below 10 years. It is believed that this approach will contribute to the overall reduction of obesity cases. The initiative is targeted on children through their parents and the institutions of learning. These have more access and influence on the children (Jenner, 2005).The other trend that is increasingly noticed among the general public is the emphasis on exercise. Most health problems like obesity and other dietary and heart complications have been studied and lack of exercise had been a major contributor. Exercise is emphasized across people of all age groups more so the working population. This is because work schedules may be tight as to deny such people a chance to engage in activities. The workplace has received more attention as a leading cause of health problems and now focus has been shifted there. Companies are actively now involved in programs to encourage their workers to participate especially in sporting activities. Exercise sessions are now available in some companies as well as establishments of sports teams. Companies have in fact been seen to encourage competition between these sports teams. However well meaning such activities are, they weigh heavily on the companies’ budgets. Various governments have enacted laws requiring companies to have health programs for their employees especially the high-risk companies dealing with chemical production. Protective gear should be availed by the companies, according to The Health Communication Unit.A most important trend is that aimed at improving diet and nutrition. As the major contributors to health problems, it is very important to adopt strategies to address them. Public education forums have become a normal way to raise awareness of the causes and preventive measures. These forums are aimed at the working people and in educational institutions. The government and other non-governmental organizations are aggressive in these campaigns. Though there lacks any law to direct this, the public health policy encourages raising awareness to the public. A change of lifestyle is proposed.Another important initiative to maintain good health is by involvement in research. The state funds research studies that are aimed at discovering the underlying causes of some health complications and the preventive method s that can help alleviate the impact on the individuals. Funding such research will always be expensive bearing in mind that health research may take several years to be conclusive.Good health cannot be attained unless it is a personal aim. The government may employ all the machinery to educate the public on the best ways to be health. But unless such advice is backed by a personal desire to engage in healthy practices, there will be no change to the already worsening situation. Discipline is highly demanded of all people. The personal desire should be extended to family and spread to the whole society. If health problems could be avoided, all persons should work to ensure this is achieved.