Improving Urban Community Health in NYC

Imagine that you are a Project Manager at a Community Based Organization working to improve urban health in your chosen community.

  • Select and describe an urban community in NYC.
  • Provide some background information about this community, including why the community that you have chosen is considered urban.
  • Explain why you have chosen this community for your assignment.
  • Identify and describe a health issue that exists in your chosen community. In your narrative describe the health issue, explain why the selected health issue is a significant health problem and worth addressing (provide statistics that support your statements).
  • Explain who is most affected by the health issue that you have selected in your selected community. Also, indicate which groups (i.e. adults, children, the elderly, etc…) of individuals you will focus on and explain why you have selected this population (provide statistics that support your statements).
  • Lastly, describe your idea of a program that would help address the identified community problem (you can be creative with your programmatic idea).

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Obese Community in Manhattan – Improving Urban Community Health

Identification of Community Health Problem

Manhattan is one of the urban communities located in New York. It has several features which make it an urban community. Most people in Manhattan engage in administrative and business-related careers. Manhattan has vast population which faces several health problems. This paper will discuss the prevalence of obesity in Manhattan and its surroundings.

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Manhattan, also referred to as the City, is one the five boroughs of New York City. It is one of the oldest counties of this U.S. state. Manhattan stands out as a cultural, financial, business, and entertainment center. Notably, two of the world’s largest stock exchanges related to total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ stock market, are located in Manhattan. Moreover, the city is also home to numerous multinational media conglomerates and is considered a favorable place for setting up books, films, and television shows. According to Kishik (37), Manhattanis believed to have been sold by Native Americans to Dutch colonists in 1626 for approximately 60 guilders. Notably, the roots of Manhattan can be attributed to a trading post established by the Dutch colonists in 1924 (Kishik 37). However, the urban community and its surroundings were acquired by the British in 1664. They were later named New York when the land was given to the Duke of York who was the brother to King Charles II of England (Kishik 36). Additionally, Manhattan is a tourist city which attracts millions of visitors every year. In this sense, Manhattan is one of the most important urban communities in the state of New York.

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Manhattan as an Urban Community

An urban community is a region surrounding a major city. Most inhabitants of urban communities engage in non-agricultural activities. Notably, most urban communities are highly developed and characterized by density of human structures like houses, commercial buildings and transport systems. Essentially, they are the opposite of rural areas which have low population density and large chunks of underdeveloped land. Other features of urban communities include: large area covered, dense population, as well as engagement in industrial, administrative, and other related careers. Furthermore, most of these communities are physically crowded but socially distant as most people are occupied with their professional development and other day-to-day activities.

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Manhattan should be considered as an urban community as it is characterized by features which describe such areas. To begin with, Manhattan is the most populated area of the five boroughs of New York. Kishik (39) asserts that the population of Manhattan was around 1.58 million people during the 2010 Census, representing about 3.2% increase from 2000. By 2013, the Census Bureau estimated that the population of Manhattan had grown to about 1.63 million people (Kishik 39). Additionally, like in other urban communities, the day-to-day activities of most people in Manhattan are not related to agricultural practices as most of them concentrate on administrative and business careers. In this sense, these features prove that Manhattan is an urban community.

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Reasons for Choosing Manhattan

Manhattan is one of the urban communities within the state of New York. Over the years, the urban community has been one of the backbones of New York due to the numerous functions and activities that depend on its operations. In this regard, Manhattan plays a significant role in the growth and economy of New York and the United States of America as a whole. Nevertheless, like any other urban community, Manhattan faces several challenges related to the health of its inhabitants. Notably, most areas in the state of New York including Manhattan deal with health issues related to excessive body weight and obesity. In recent years, the prevalence of obesity in Manhattan and its surroundings has been on the rise among most groups of population. Thus, the decision to choose Manhattan can be attributed to the willingness to analyze and discuss statistics related to the issue of obesity in the urban area, considering that Manhattan is the most populated area in New York.

Significance of Obesity in Manhattan and Its Surroundings

Obesity has become one of the major health challenges in the U.S. According to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), obesity levels in the last two decades have increased by about 50% among the American population (Wallace and Debora 143). Wallace and Debora (143) also assert that, in the state of New York, obesity is described to have reached epidemic proportions with about 60% of adult population being overweight or obese. In this regard, the increased rate of obese people in Manhattan and other areas like Bronx in the state of New York in recent years has resulted in the health problem being one of the major concerns. Moreover, obesity has become a significant health problem in Manhattan and its surroundings due to its prevalence among school children and young people. Therefore, it is evident that obesity is a significant health concern which affects a considerable percentage of people living inManhattan and its surroundings.

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The effects of obesity among the residents of Manhattan cannot be underestimated. According to Wallace and Debora (144), some effects of obesity among overweight adults and children in Manhattan include: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arthritis, and cancer. Additionally, young people who are obese are at risk of suffering other life-threatening conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. Wallace and Debora (144) state that young people and adolescents who are obese have blood arteries which are similar to those of adults and it increases their chances of suffering from conditions like heart attack, stroke, and other related problems. Furthermore, such conditions not only limit quality of their youthful life, but also increase the chances that most of them will be obese in their adulthood which is likely to reduce their quality of life and life expectancy. As a result, obesity prevalence in Manhattan is a significant health problem which is worth addressing as far as the urban community is concerned.

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Obesity Prevalence in Manhattan

The rate of obesity in Manhattan and its surroundings has been on the rise in the recent years. In 2015, about 32% of the Manhattan population was considered to be obese or struggling with weight-related problems (Wallace and Debora 143). Over the years, the obesity rates have remained constant among women but the population of men struggling with the health problem has been on the rise. In Manhattan, the likelihood of obesity has been found to increase with age being more common health problem among adults than among young and school-age children. Moreover, African-Americans who live in Manhattan and its adjacent areas were found to have the highest rate of obesity at 37% while the Asian were considered to have the highest obesity increase rates (Wallace and Debora 145). The rate of obesity is also high in persons who have no more than high school education, no health insurance, and who are immigrants settled or working in Manhattan (Wallace and Debora 145). Subsequently, the rate of obesity in the urban community tends to vary depending on such factors as age, gender, race, and educational background.

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Men are the Manhattan population with the highest level of obesity. According to data by Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2016, about 40% of men in the state of New York including Manhattan were experiencing problems related to obesity and overweight. One of the main reasons for the high rate of the health problem among men in the urban community is poor lifestyle. Notably, the lack of physical activities among most men is one of the major causes of obesity. Moreover, environmental factors and growth of technology in Manhattan have created conditions conducive for obesity. High percentage of male population has developed the habit of eating processed foods which have high levels of sugar and fats. According to Willey (477), most men have abandoned eating meals at home ordering takeout and dining at restaurants instead which has led to surge in obesity. In this regard, the prevalence of obesity is highest among male population in Manhattan because of poor lifestyle.

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Program Idea

The increasing rate of obesity in Manhattan has led to the establishment of several programs and initiatives to curb the health problem. Some approaches were successful while others did not achieve the desired objectives. In my opinion, the best program to address the issue of obesity in Manhattan is the establishment of the program dubbed “Eat Well, Live Well”. This is a program which would advocate for healthy lifestyle among people living in Manhattan. One of the major initiatives of the program would be advocating for healthy eating habits among both children and adults. To begin with, the program would involve offering seminars and conferences in workplaces with the aim of educating people on the need to consume healthy foods. Additionally, the program would seek to collaborate with schools to establish school food initiatives aimed at curbing obesity among school-age children. Furthermore, the program would partner will NGOs and well-wishers to ensure the implementation of initiatives to encourage people to engage in physical activities. Evidently, the “Eat Well, Live Well” program would play a significant role in addressing obesity in Manhattan. 

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Manhattan is one of the urban communities in the state of New York. It plays a significant role in the contribution to economic growth of the U.S. Similarly to other urban communities, Manhattan faces several health problems. One of them is obesity which has been on the increase in the recent years. Poor lifestyle and consuming low-quality foods are the major causes of obesity in Manhattan. However, the problem can be addressed with the help of well-thought initiatives, such as  the “Eat Well, Live Well” program.

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