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Application: Health Information Patient Handout

One of the pivotal goals of consumer health literacy efforts is to design educational materials that attract as well as educate users. In this Assignment, you design a health information document on a topic that is of interest to you.

To prepare:

Select a health issue of interest to you.

Identify the audience or population that you seek to educate about this issue.

Search the Internet to find credible sites containing information about your selected topic.

Review the two health literacy websites listed in this week’s Learning Resources. Focus on strategies for presenting information.

To complete:

Design an educational handout on the health issue you selected.

Include a cover page.

Include an introduction that provides:

An explanation of your issue and why you selected it

A description of the audience you are addressing

In the handout itself:

Develop your handout in such a way that it attracts the attention of the intended audience.

Include a description of the health issue and additional content that will enhance your message (i.e., key terms and definitions, graphics, illustrations, etc.).

Recommend four or five sites that provide clear, valuable, and reliable information on the topic.





Subject Nursing Pages 7 Style APA


Health Information Patient Handout: Overweight and Obesity

Obesity and overweight refer to the body mass that is greater than what is perceived as healthy for a given height. BMI (Body Mass Index), which is calculated from one’s weight and height, is employed as a measure of obesity and overweight. According to Hohwu, Zhu, Graversen, Li, Sorensen & Obel (2015), millions of Americans and individuals worldwide are obese or overweight, a condition that puts people at risk of many health issues such as Type 2 diabetes, gallstones, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, breathing problems, and certain cancers. An individual’s weight is attributed to many factors such as family history, environment, metabolism, genetics, and habits among others. Some factors like family history can be changed, while some such as lifestyle habits cannot be changed. For example, one can shift from unhealthy eating plan to a healthy one by keeping his or her calorie in mind.

Figure 1: Images of Obese and Non-Obese Persons




Lack of energy balance happens to be the principal cause of obesity and overweight. However, other factors such as environment, inactive lifestyle, smoking, emotional factors lack of sleep, genes and family history, pregnancy, age, medicines, and health conditions also cause obesity and overweight.

Considering the aspect of energy balance, obesity occurs over time when an individual consumes more calories than his or her body uses. Environment issues such as fixed works schedules and lack of neighborhood sidewalks also increases one’s chances of being obese (Kahan & McKenzie, 2015). An inactive lifestyle increases a person’s chances of being obese since he or she does not burn calories taken from drinks and food.

 Individuals often gain weight when they quit smoking because food always tastes good during this time. In individuals who smoke, being obese is not easy since nicotine often enhances the rate at which the body burns calories (Elias-Boneta, Toro, Garcia, Torres, & Palacios, 2015). Lack of sleep has also been noted to increase a person’s chances of being obese.

A person’s chances of becoming obese are higher when his or her both parents are overweight since obesity runs in families. During pregnancy, women always gain more weight to support their unborn babies, leading to obesity. When a person gets older, there is rapid muscle loss, which decreases the rate at which calorie is burnt (Kahan & McKenzie, 2015). As such, older people have higher chances of being obese than young individuals. Some medicines such as antidepressants, corticosteroids, and seizure medicines make people gain more weight. Consequently, health conditions such as hormonal problems may lead to obesity and overweight.


            Hohwu, Zhu, Graversen, Li, Sorensen, & Obel (2015) argue that obesity puts individuals at risks of acquiring many health problems such as reproductive issues like infertility and menstrual issues in women, gallstones, obesity hyperventilation syndrome, sleep apnea, cancer, osteoarthritis, abnormal blood fats, metabolic syndrome, stroke, coronary heart disease, and high blood pressure among others.

Who is at Risk?

Obesity and overweight affect individuals of all sexes, ages, and ethnic/racial groups

Sign and Symptoms

Gaining of weight often occurs over time. Some of the symptoms associated with weight gain are scales indicating that one has gained weight, clothes needing a larger size or feeling tight, having additional fat around the waist, and higher than normal waist circumference and body mass index (Kahan & McKenzie, 2015).


The best way to gauge if a person is obese is figuring out the BMI.  BMI is calculated from a person’s height and weight. Besides, online BMI calculators like the one provided by NHLBI (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) can also be employed in measuring the BMI. Figure 2: BMI Chart for Adults

Figure 3: Meaning of BMI ranges


BMI for Teens and Children

BMIs for teens and children compare their weights and heights against growth charts consider sex and age. This is known as BMI-for-age percentile.

Figure 4: Meaning of BMI-for-age percentile mean



According to Elias-Boneta, Toro, Garcia, Torres & Palacios (2015), effective weight-loss treatment involves goal setting and making life style changes like being physically active and eating fewer calories. Weight-loss surgery and medicines are alternatives to some individuals in situations when changes are not enough. An example of a weight-loss goal for an adult is losing between 5% and 10% of the current mass over 6 months. Lifestyle changes include cutting back on calories, having a healthy eating plan, limiting the intake foods rich in cholesterol and trans fats. Examples of foods rich in cholesterol are shrimp, egg yolk, organ meats, and whole milk among others. Engaging in physical activity is also an example of change of lifestyle. Behavioral changes include keeping record, seeking support, and rewarding success. Examples of weight-loss medicine are sibutramine, orlistat, lorcaserin and hydrochloride, and qysmia among others.


Adhering to a healthy lifestyle can help a person prevent obesity and overweight. Many lifestyle behaviors commence during childhood. As such, families and parent should motivate their children to make health decisions such as adhering to a healthy diet as well as being physically active.

Figure 5: health Diet (Fruits)


Four Sites Providing Clear and Valuable Information on Obesity and Overweight

  1. “Aim for a Health Weight” Patient Booklet< http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/heart/obesity-lose-wt-booklet
  2. Aim for a Healthy Weight Web Site <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/>
  3. “At A-Glance: Facts About Health Weight” <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/heart/obesity-lose-wt-at-glance>
  4. “At A-Glance: Physical Activity and Your Heart”<http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/heart/obesity-physical-active-at-glance>


Obesity affects millions of people across the world. Some of the risk factors associated with obesity are high blood pressure, gallstones, reproductive issues, obesity hyperventilation syndrome, cancer, and sleep apnea. Prevention of obesity can be realized by changing lifestyle, exercising and adhering to a healthy diet.



Elias-Boneta, R., Toro, J., Garcia, O., Torres, R., & Palacios, C. (2015). High Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity among a Representative Sample of Puerto Rican Children. BMC Public Health, 15(1), 1-8.

Hohwu, L., Zhu, L., Graversen, L., Li, J., Sorensen, A., & Obel, C. (2015). Prenatal Parental Separation and Body Weight, Including Development of Overweight and Obesity Later in Childhood. PLoS ONE, 10(3), 1-10.

Kahan, D., McKenzie, L. (2015). The Potential and Reality of Physical Education in Controlling Overweight and Obesity. American Journal of Public Health, 105(4), 653-659.





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