Financial and Data Literacy

Financial and Data Literacy

Financial and data literacy is the upcoming evolution of practice in a wide range of sectors. In many organizations, accountants, bookkeepers and certified public accountants have been offering compliance, processing, tax, reporting and accounting services to their clients. In this regard, the accounting practice has accumulated a wide range of methods and information that are used to improve the quality of financial services. Because professionals in this field possess tremendous skills and knowledge, they do not only offer high-quality financial services but provide significant value to their employers. However, many professionals do not possess adequate cybersecurity knowledge and skills. At a time of increasing information and information system threats, organizations have a significantly high risk of cyber-attacks. Large and small organizations can incur significant financial losses, especially from the loss of confidential data and system compromise. Because of the low levels of financial and data literacy, high profile cybercrimes can have devastating impacts on both organizations and individuals. For instance, Hillary Clinton’s bid for presidency 2016 was significantly affected by a release of confidential information acquired through a phishing attack on her campaign manager, John Podesta (Gilbert, 2016). Despite having significant knowledge and skills in campaign management, the manager released confidential information to phishers, hence putting both the candidate’s privacy and that of his boss at stake. Thus, professionals , especially in health sector must possess adequate levels of cyber security threats and risk mitigation knowledge and skills, to effectively execute their duties.  

Case Study Overview

On Jan 28, the ministry of health in Singapore reported a massive cybersecurity breach that leaked confidential records, including the positive status, of about 14,200 HIV victims, their contact details and identification details. According to the ministry of health report to the media, Farrera Brochez, HIV positive American living in Singapore, used numerous techniques, including lying to the ministry of manpower officials. Bronchez’s case reveals numerous information and information system security threats and vulnerabilities in the Singaporean government institutions, which facilitated the successful execution of the breach. Until the breach, access to confidential information from the HIV registry was still active. Moreover, the ministry of health workers has several untrustworthy individuals, including doctors, which can facilitate cyber breaches. With such vulnerabilities, there is a significantly high number of threats, hence an increased risk of privacy breaches, as well as the security of the information system at the ministry of health.

Threats

Social Engineering

Social engineering techniques are some of the most effective techniques that can be used to successfully access confidential health information from the ministry of health in Singapore. Phishers are a significant threat to the security of information and information system at the ministry of health in Singapore. Without the appropriate information security policy, departments in the ministry of health cannot effectively protect the privacy of patient and employee information. Failure to regularly update records and revise information access requirements significantly increases the chances of losing information to people who are no longer employees at the ministry. Despite having resigned from the ministry in 2014, doctor Ler could still access confidential information from the registry department. With a high number of information system users such as doctor Ler, the ministry it a considerably high risk of losing information to cybercriminals, especially phishers. Retired personnel can sell or manipulate the system for financial gains.

Despite being one of the simplest methods of com, phishing is one of the most popular and effective techniques of cyber security breach execution. While using spam emails, phishers can successfully send malware or acquire confidential information from unsuspecting employees in an organization. Current statistics indicate that phishing cases have significantly increased in the recent past. A high success rate has sustained a high number of phishing cases in the world. According to Marshal and MailGuard  (2018), about 44% of spam emails contain attachments that contain malware.  Moreover, about 44% of spam emails lead to successful information and information security breaches in the world. Thus, because the ministry of health employees in Singapore possesses significantly reduced levels of information security knowledge, social engineering techniques can be used to successfully compromise the information and information security.

Malware attacks

Apart from compromising privacy, phishing can be used to spread malware, including worms, viruses and Trojans. Phishers can use spam messages to spread malware to compromise the information system. Because of the high success rate of phishing in the world and the reduced level of information security at the ministry of health, phishers can use spam emails to introduce malware in the healthcare information system. A large number of workers cannot easily differentiate genuine and malicious emails. Thus they will probably open attachment links from phishers hence enabling to successfully infect the information system at the ministry of health.

Social Media attacks

Because there are many people with information system access credentials, the cluster that cybercriminals can focus on to compromise information and information system security is extremely large in Singapore. Through social media platforms and websites, cybercriminals can not only target current employees at the ministry but retired personnel. Unlike compared to when access is given to a set of few employees, hackers and attacks have a high chance of success when there is a large number of users with access to confidential information. The high number of employees with access to information indicates that chances of having untrustworthy or vulnerable users are considerably high. In this regard, attackers do not only have a large number of people that they can exploit but a variety of execution techniques as well (Blake, Francis, Johnson, Khan & McCray, 2017). For instance, cybercriminals can choose to focus on users who have inadequate information system security knowledge and skills to execute social engineering-based techniques or directly acquire direct access from untrustworthy employees. Therefore, because there are many employees without sufficient information security knowledge, it is highly likely that attackers and hackers will successfully conduct information security breaches at the ministry of health in Singapore.

Data privacy

With an expanding economy, data has become one of the most valuable assets in the modern organization. Multinational organizations, such as Facebook, Amazon and Google, focus on gathering, using and sharing of data to ensure enhanced operations. In this regard, there is a need to emphasize transparency on the process in which companies request, consent, manage, and adhere to policies to develop trust and accountability with partners and customers who demand privacy. A high number of organizations have identified the purpose of upholding data privacy through failures that have resulted in huge financial losses (Abouelmehdi, Beni-Hessane & Khaloufi, 2018). The 2014 leakage of patient data in Singapore is a typical example that reveals how organizational failures can compromise the privacy of customers and partners. Despite holding essential patient information, the ministry of health is yet to implement an effective access structure that can safeguard data from cybercriminals. Hackers can easily perform uninvited surveillance; hence violate the patients’ rights to privacy. Because the high sensitivity of the health information data, the ministry of health must implement the necessary information security measures to safeguard the privacy right of patients in Singapore.

Although the ministry of health possesses a relatively secure information system, it cannot guarantee the privacy of patients; there are significant loopholes that can lead to violations. The ministry does not have an effective strategy to govern the process of gathering gathered, utilizing and sharing information. In this regard, Employees, such as Ler, may significantly increase the number of data mishandling cases; hence increase the chances of exposing confidential information to unauthorized users, such as Brochez. Because the ministry is yet to implement effective worker verification procedures, it is extremely difficult to protect the privacy of patients, especially when there are many untrustworthy workers in the country. Therefore, the ministry of health cannot guarantee the privacy of patients in the country.

Data Theft

Despite having become a significant information and information system security in many countries across the world, the ministry of health is yet to formulate and implement an effective strategy to prevent data theft. With a significant increase in the number of recorded cases, data theft is already an overwhelming problem in many parts of the world. In 2016, the United States recorded more than 450 breaches that resulted in the exposure of about 12.7 million records. Despite data theft being a significantly overwhelming issue in the world, Singapore still performs a considerably reduced amount of background checks to foreign health experts seeking employment in the country. In this regard, most likely there is a high number of untrustworthy workers, such as Brochez, who used stolen data to enter acquire an opportunity to work in the country. Thus, the ministry of health faces a considerably increased risk of information security breaches from domestic or foreign medical practitioners.

Data Security

In many countries around the world, some of the most compelling data breaches occur in the health sector. In 2015, the top three data breaches in the United States occurred in the health sector. The leakage of confidential health information is the largest data security breach that has ever happened in Singapore. In this regard, the ministry of health must implement robust information security measures to enhance the security of confidential data. Nevertheless, despite the high vulnerability of confidential health data, the Singaporean ministry of health is yet to formulate adequate risk mitigation measures. For instance, the ministry of health does not have an explicit recruitment strategy to facilitate the recruitment of trustworthy data handlers. In this regard, the ministry has been recruiting untrustworthy employees, such as Ler, who pose a significant threat to the privacy of patients (Wang, Ali & Kelly, 2015). Moreover, the ministry cannot prevent cybercriminal emanating from high-risk regions, such as the United States, from working in the country. With a high number of such employees in strategic positions, the information security system is considerably vulnerable to cyber-attacks, hence cannot successfully reduce or eliminate chances of data breaches at the ministry of health.

Proposed Mitigation Strategy

The ministry of health requires an effective information security strategy to reduce or eliminate the chances of information security breaches that can lead to significantly compromise the privacy of patients. In particular, the ministry must ensure that relevant departments possess procedures and tools to prevent threats from getting into the health information system. Moreover, must align its IT management strategies with the organizational structures to effectively reduce or eliminate the occurrence data breaches that may emanate from any part of the organizations. For instance, to minimize the chances of doctors exposing confidential information, the cyber security team must change access rights for several categories of system users. Although doctors should be able to access confidential records, they should be able to copy, print or transfer the materials from the internal information system. Apart from changing the information access structure, the ministry must implement an effective event handling procedure to minimize the impact of information security breaches (Attema et al., 2018). By making such adjustments, the ministry will reduce the rate of security breaches occurrence, as well as their impacts on the patients.

Data Security Policy Changes

The ministry of health must make a wide range of policy-related changes that can yield a significant reduction in the rate of security breaches that can lead to the loss of data and the violation of patient privacy rights. For instance, the ministry should implement information access rights to reduce the chances of privacy breaches and data thefts. Although information security users should be able to access confidential information, they should not be able to make changes that can yield a significant reduction in the risk of data theft from the ministry registry. Furthermore, it is necessary to implement policies to enhance the training of the information system users to increase the level of literacy in all the departments in the ministry.

Conclusion

In Singapore, there is a considerably high risk of information data security breaches, hence data theft and the violation of the patients’ privacy rights. The 2012 information security breach in the country reveals that there exists a high number of information and information system security issues within the ministry of health. Because the ministry does not conduct adequate background checks to significantly reduce or eliminate malicious insiders, who can facilitate the compromise of the information system security. In this regard, malicious insiders and external insiders, such as Brochez and Ler, can easily acquire access to highly confidential information of patients. Furthermore, because the ministry does not conduct information system security training, do not possess adequate skills and knowledge to differentiate genuine requests and malicious actors. Thus, the ministry must make comprehensive changes to its data information security policy to reduce the chances of breaches, especially facilitated by malicious insiders. For instance, the ministry must introduce information system access rights to ensure to reduce the chances of data theft. Furthermore, the ministry should introduce information security training programs that can equip employees with knowledge and skills that can reduce the vulnerability of the information security systems. With such programs, the ministry of health can effectively minimize or eliminate information security breaches, hence reduce the cases of data theft or privacy right violations.

References

Abouelmehdi, K., Beni-Hessane, A., & Khaloufi, H. (2018). Big healthcare data: preserving security and privacy. Journal of Big Data5(1), 1.

Attema, T., Mancini, E., Spini, G., Abspoel, M., de Gier, J., Fehr, S., … & Cramer, R. (2018). A New Approach to Privacy-Preserving Clinical Decision Support Systems for HIV Treatment. arXiv preprint arXiv:1810.01107.

Blake, L., Francis, V., Johnson, J., Khan, M., & McCray, T. (2017). Developing robust data management strategies for unprecedented challenges to healthcare information. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics14(1).

Marshal, E., & MailGuard P. (2018). MailGuard Blog ? Breaking alerts, news and updates on cybersecurity topics. Retrieved from http://mailguard.com.au/blog/clinton-campaign-phishing

Wang, P., Ali, A., & Kelly, W. (2015, August). Data security and threat modeling for smart city infrastructure. In 2015 International Conference on Cyber Security of Smart Cities, Industrial Control System and Communications (SSIC) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

Gilbert, B. (2016, October 31). Hillary Clinton’s campaign got hacked by falling for the oldest trick in the book. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-campaign-john-podesta-got-hacked-by-phishing-2016-10?IR=T

Eat Drink man woman

Eat Drink man woman

Eat Drink man woman

            Literary elements play an extremely essential role in film, by enhancing director-viewer communication, as well as unique methods of articulating the message. Film directors can use scenes to articulate their intended message or evoke a particular reaction from the viewer.

Eat Drink man woman is a Chinese romantic-comedy film directed by Ang Lee .The story revolves around the life of Mr. Chu, a widower living in Taipei city of Taiwan with his three daughters. The drama balances on the relationships within this family of a master chef who’s lost his sense of taste. In this typical Taiwanese family of the 90’s entanglement is observable with every member of the family struggling with their own baggage in a society where traditions are still affecting the lives of those living in Taiwan.

Nevertheless, failure to use literary devices in a consistent manner can send conflicting messages and evoke unintended reactions, as well as confuse the viewers. For instance, some of the scenes in Eat Drink man woman film are highly disturbing and emotionally affecting, while the movie is a romantic-comedy drama; hence supposed to be comical.

 On the other hand cultural pattern, such as low context communication is used to express how cross-age communication is inclined in this culture and the taboo of talking about sensitive life topics when Mr. Chu openly talks to his daughters about their relationship life’s.  The low-context communication is portrayed in the manner by which the family emphasizes verbal messages so as to know about the family members’ wellbeing. The Chu’s family has a Sunday dinner where each member of the family can share verbally, about recent developments.

Therefore, Eat Drink man woman film, utilizes scenes that contradict the belief that in the Chinese culture  such issues cannot be openly discussed amongst family members and especially in a father to daughter setting like this one.

Scenes and camera angles focus vastly on the cuisine and magnifying Mr. Chu’s culinary skills more than anything else. These off the rail shots draw the emphasis away from the intended theme of comical and romantic effect .It is because of this that most reviews about the film give appraisal to the families culinary traditions giving less emphasis on the entire emotional drift that was meant to be a key theme of the film.

Show the manner in which cultural patterns such as the low context communication language contradict the Chinese culture; hence reinforcing the change theme in the movie, which is the primary theme in the movie. Low context culture is associated with individualism where individual affairs are valued higher than the groups and members are independent and value privacy even in the presence of family. In the Chinese culture members of the same family do not openly talk about their relationships at the family table hence the theme of the film contradicts the culture it is representing.

The scenes articulate particular emotions and send a message regardless of the viewers’ expectations. All the scenes were professionally taken to evoke the intended and unintended reactions. On the other hand the cultural patterns exemplified in this movie are low-context communication, individualism and equality; evident in the manner by which the family emphasizes verbal messages, the manner in which the daughters aggressively pursue their personal goals and, how the family members seem to share roles and duties.

References

Legislation Comparison Grid and Testimony/Advocacy Statement

Legislation Comparison Grid and Testimony/Advocacy Statement

Legislation Comparison Grid and Testimony/Advocacy Statement

The United States has made history by amending the Family First Prevention Services Act as the policy will not only improve the welfare of children, who are the future of the nation but also enhance unity among family members. The amendment on Title IV-B and Title IV-E of the social security act to child welfare policies will be of great significance to the public since it intends to improve children welfare programs countrywide by offering services to families who risk entering foster care. I expect the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide further directions on how to implement the Family First policy as soon as possible.

It is important to note that the manner and environment in which children grow up influences the character of the children in their adulthood. Children have a right to stay with their family members where they can receive special attention. When children grow in foster care families, they are likely to have traumatic experiences as a result of the restrictions put in place in foster care homes. Failure to control the number of children that grow in foster care will result in a generation with no values or skills to raise a family. By allowing reimbursement for substance abuse treatment, offering mental health services, and training parents on parenting skills, the law will help reduce the cases of children joining foster care. In the unavoidable situation of children entering foster care or those who are already in foster care, the bill aims to improve the well-being of the children by offering special needs and ensuring that they grow up in an environment with a family-like setting.

Furthermore, the policy of not reimbursing states which hold children in foster care for longer than the stipulated period should be viewed as motivation and not a punishment to the respective state authorities. Investing in the future of young people is the sure way of securing the future of the country.  The federal government should, therefore, observe strictness on the period within which a state is allowed to keep a child in foster care as it explores alternatives. 

References

KILLETT, S. (2018, November 8). Implement the Family First Prevention Services Act. New York Amsterdam News, p. 12.

Development of a common future

Development of a common future

The phrase “development of a common future “ refers to development that satisfies the needs of the present without affecting the ability of the coming generations to meet their own needs. Conversely, the phrase “future of commons” refers to the future of resources which belong to the whole community. Implementation of the project by the Malaysian government to construct the proposed Bakun Dam which will cost $10 billion, will impact negatively to the environment. Besides the huge budget, the dam will lead to the clearing of forests and forcing the natives out of their land. The government intends to provide water and hydro-electric power but at the expense of the people’s source of livelihoods and homes.

Currently, the rate of deforestation in Sawarak is severe, and if the trend persists, there will be no forests in the region except for the already gazetted National parks. Allowing timber companies to continue logging activities is also increasing the rate of corruption in the country. As a result, the logging activities have adversely polluted rivers and water sources in the area. The population which lives in the forest are forced to flee from their homes while the timber companies refuse to compensate for the damaged farmlands, crops and burial grounds.

The intention of constructing a dam is suitable for both the current and future generations. However, clearing down forests will lead to permanent environmental damages which will affect the future generations. The rainfall received in the region will reduce significantly. People will be left with no homes or land to till, and the government will have reduced their source of revenue and thus affect the provision of social amenities such as health and education facilities.  As a result, the government will subject the current generation to suffering with a promise of improving the living conditions of the coming generations. Unfortunately, deforestation affects both today and the future.

AOL and Time Warner Merger

AOL and Time Warner Merger

Business mergers and acquisitions usually face setbacks some of which are very disastrous and may lead to the closure of a company. An example of such a disaster occurred in January 2000 when the AOL and the Time Warner combined their resources as AOL paid $ 165 billion to acquire Time Warner. AOL was dominating the industry at the time. Its stocks had high values in the market which made the company be at the top of other blue-chip companies. Conversely, Time Warner was struggling in the industry, and they thought a merger would result in mutual benefits by both companies. AOL was to benefit from Time Warner’s cable network while Time Warner would enjoy a massive number of subscribers.

The experts, however, failed to investigate the cultures of the companies and only did due diligence on the figures. During the economic recession in 2002, AOL lacked enough cash and consequently had to write off approximately 99 billion dollars. The number of subscribers and subscription revenue also reduced drastically. AOL’s stock fell from $226 billion to about $20 billion (Munk, 12). Internet broadband was also gaining popularity and was replacing AOL’s dial-up internet . The company’s payment on usage and monthly subscriptions system was no longer marketable, and the merge could no longer stand.

Analysis of the AOL and Time Warner Merge using the Meta–Model Change

Mergers and acquisitions require commitment and strong planning to be successful. Most of the challenges encountered during merges arise from the human factors and therefore need leaders from both companies who understand the value of the employees to the company to oversee the process.  Below are some of the factors to be considered when merging.

The power of communication.

Communications fall under preparation in the meta-model of change. It encompasses goal setting, preparing strategies and planning interventions. The merging parties should share merger information such as merger goals, key milestones, and the workforce plan to eliminate fear and suspicions.  The communication would also help in setting the purposes of the merger which includes identifying how each party would benefit in the process. The companies can also lay down strategies that would be used in the process and formulate intervention programs that would be initiated should problems occur during and after the merger.

Definition of roles

Definition of roles appears under the transition in the meta-model of change. The leaders of both organizations have to take proactive roles here to keep the organization inclined with change (Achim, 73). When making acquisitions, the employer adds employees to the existing number. It is crucial to define the functions of employees to avoid duplication of roles which may bring conflicts. Well-defined responsibilities would make it easier to identify upcoming issues in the merged company so that they can be handled earlier. In the case of AOL, the company recognized mistakes when it was too late which hindered proper intervention.

Culture

Experts attribute the problems of the merger between AOL and Time Warner to their different cultures. The issue of culture falls under the validating the need in the meta-model change. It involves the leadership of both companies evaluating the importance of changing the status quo. It is advisable that the managers acknowledge that the stimulus warrants change in the organization. Maintaining cultures of the previous companies may result in a culture clash and hence conflicts among employees or consumers and may affect the company in the long term.

The fall of the two companies became irreversible from the beginning of the merge when the people chosen to effect the merge failed assumed important aspects like the difference in the culture of the businesses. The difference gave rise to conflicts between the aggressive employees and customers of AOL and the employees of Time Warner. Besides, the companies did not predict how changes in the environment could impact the organization and consequently had inadequate measures in place to handle the situation should it occur. 

Work Citations

Achim, Sorin Adrian. “Recent trends in the study of merges and acquisitions.” Economics and Management (2015).

Munk, Nina. Fools Rush in: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of Aol Time Warner. , 2009. Internet resource.

biological remains of human beings

biological remains of human beings

biological remains of human beings

Anthropology

Studying the biological remains of human beings is one of the most controversial activities anthropologists undertake. Most people misunderstand the motives of physical anthropologists in studying the remains of humans as it seems unfathomable. The native Americans among many other communities have very different beliefs concerning touching remains of the dead. However, to the anthropologists, studying the remains along with the burial context is of much significance. The study of the remains help the scientists to u7nderstsnd the origin, heritage, movements and the behaviors of the individuals regarding their adaptation and survival of the people in the environment.

Scientists make a microscopic diagnosis from the remains to understand the characters of the people. For example, by observing the skeletal remains and conducting microscopic diagnostics scientists can tell the shape, size, and process of development of the body. Additionally, combining medical knowledge with the observation of the remains enables researchers to determine chronic lesions that could have been influenced by joint, genetic, neoplastic, traumatic,  infectious, and metabolic processes. The study also helps in establishing their surgical and methods of treatment. The process involves examining the remains and the objects found in the surrounding. Similar observations indicate that some communities of the past performed forms of medical treatment like splinting of fractured bones.

Macroscopic diagnostics on human beings have previously been used in obtaining demographic information like the gender of the individuals, ethnicity, age and the population distribution of the people. Since people of different genders performed different roles in many communities, scientists have focused on information regarding ethnicity and gender in combination with palaeopathological material to the genesis of diseases that face humans today. Scientists also use the age of the remains to approximate the number of old people, adults, youth, and children found in mass graves. The statistics can then be used to establish life expectancy and mortality rates of the people of that generation which are determinants of the health of a society.

Scientists can also reveal little details like blood cells, particles of chromosomes and organic molecules using the scanning electron microscope (SEM). The structures are examined to establish the availability of pathogens which attack body structures to cause diseases. The information obtained can be genetically scrutinized to give more details about the spread of diseases such as malaria. The electronic scanning microscope is also used in determining whether bones found at a particular place belong to the same person. The scientists achieve this by scientifically surveying the structure of the bones including the connective fibers of ossein and collagen.

Ethics of studying human skeletons

People have different views concerning the study of human remains. Most arguments are based on religion and other beliefs. However, the research of archeology is beneficial not only to scientists but also to society. Archeology studies a set of human remains to get information concerning the background of the society from where the person comes from. The data obtained from a single body needs to be compared and contrasted with other remains. The information gathered is used to better the lives of the society by preventing the possible causes of death. The data can be used to detect the social status of individuals and the nutrition levels of the people. It is therefore essential to note that bone specialists can get information using a single body, but they would need more human remains to be accurate on their findings. Furthermore, the information obtained is beneficial to all individuals in the long-run.    

Freedom and Responsibility at Netflix

Freedom and Responsibility at Netflix

Freedom and Responsibility at Netflix

Discussion Questions

3-14. Would you want to work at Netflix? Why or why not?

Yes, I would love to work at Netflix for several reasons. First, it is one of the biggest companies in the world, and it would be interesting to work with smart people. Secondly, the fact that it values individual freedom and thus cultivates responsible employees is highly ettractive because it makes employees grow their skills. Freedom enables an employee to try new ideas without restrictions. The company also gives no limit to financial and time resources, and thus, one has got the freedom and necessary resources to try out new ideas. The company further encourages teamwork among its employees, thus facilitating the process of sharing ideas which promote individual growth.

3-15. Does Netflix have characteristics of an innovative culture?

Netflix has characteristics of an innovative culture. First, the company hires smart people who are can discover new ideas. To assist the hired employs, the company gives them freedom and both financial resources, provided that the money is spent in the interest of the company, to explore new ideas. The company also allows them adequate time to try out new projects by offering unlimited vacations too. However, failure to be productive and offer new ideas to the company is punishable by dismissal or allowing an individual to “move on” as they put it.

3-16. Do you agree that Netflix’s culture contributes to the organization’s success? Why or why not?

It is a fact that Netflix’s culture contributes to the organization’s success. The company is known to come up with new products in the industry more frequently. This is because the company only rewards innovation, and thus, the only way an employee stays at Netflix is by being innovative and being able to provide new ideas consistently. This means all people working at Netflix are creative and productive and thus contributing to the organization’s success.

3-17. Could another company copy Netflix’s culture successfully?

Other companies can copy Netflix’s culture successfully. Any company is free to exercise freedom and responsibility among its employees. What matters is how they build the culture to fit their line of production. Furthermore, before copying the culture, a company has to consider their values keenly. For example, a company that values hard work and loyalty may find it challenging to copy Netflix’s culture.

Obesity due to Lack of Education

The Health Disparity: Obesity due to Lack of Education (Information) for Teenagers

The Health Disparity: Obesity due to Lack of Education (Information) for Teenagers

The Health Disparity: Obesity due to Lack of Education (Information) for Teenagers
Introduction
Obesity and overweight among young people have become a critical and alarming public health issue across the globe. According to Paula Braveman, obesity is a crucial risk factor for chronic disease and can impact negatively on not only longevity and quality of life but also economic productivity (Braveman et al., 2011). There exist ethical and practical reasons for handling the social disparities in obesity among children which require applying research and relevant policy. The total population of obese people was expected to be approximately 711.4 million in 2015. Among them, 107.7 million were estimated to be children. In 2015, there were 4 million BMI- related deaths globally which represents 7.1% of all causes of deaths. In China, the number of obese students increased from 1.1% to 9.6% between 1985 and 2010 as seen in the figure below from the data from obesity CHNS ( Moreno & Ahrens, 2011).

A similar trend was experienced across in several other countries globally. The increasing prevalence of obesity can be as a result of changing lifestyles. Other health issues related to obesity include type-2 diabetes, arterial stiffening, liver dysfunction, sub-fertility, skeletal disorders, renal failure among other conditions (Frisco et al., 2016). These conditions are contributing significantly to the decline in life expectancy and low quality of life among adolescents and children. Studies indicates that some of the factors that lead to obesity among teenagers are poor sleeping habits, poor eating habits, lack of exercise. It is unfortunate that most of the factors that influence the condition are avoidable if the youth are equipped with the right information. Considering the elements, it is evident that a lack of education (knowledge) contributes to increased rates of obesity among teenagers.
Lack of Exercise
Exercise is an essential factor in the prevention of obesity among both young people and adults. Recent research has indicated that physical exercise impacted positively various health conditions including obesity, type-2 diabetes, weight gain, dementia to mention but a few. A survey on the relationship between physical fitness and overweight during childhood indicates that a quarter of the adolescent population of many countries is either obese or overweight (GLINKOWSKA et al,., 2018). The young generation needs to be informed of the importance of being active and the consequences of being inactive.
Cultural Beliefs
Cultural beliefs and religion also play an essential role in the issue of obesity. Research indicates that Muslims are at a lesser risk of being obese as compared to their Christian counterparts while hindus are at the highest risk, thanks to their different socioeconomic status and food habits (Dewan, 2017). The young people need to learn on the values that they may follow and food habits that may adopt to reduce their risks of being obese.

Poor Sleeping Habits
Sleeping habits also show a significant association with obesity. Even though there is still a debate on the relationship between the two, a study in some counties in Zheijang China, found a U-shaped relationship between sleep and obesity. According to the survey, young people who sleep for long hours are at high risk of becoming overweight and obese (Wang et al, 2018). The same applies to people who sleep for extremely short periods. On the contrary, people who sleep for an adequate period are less likely to become obese.
Conclusion
It is a fact that lack of education (knowledge) enhances the problem of obesity among young children in China. The issue of obesity offers the public health department an opportunity to conduct more research on how to control the issue. Many children unknowingly fail to engage in exercise which is affecting their health remarkably. Some cultural beliefs and poor sleeping habits also impact adversely on the health of an individual. The points are aligned with the thesis and that enlightening students about obesity would have a positive effect in fighting obesity.
Implications.
Engaging in school intervention programs may reduce the obesity epidemic significantly. Public health practitioners should promote nutrition education and lifestyles to help control the epidemic. Health practitioners should educate the society on culturally competent health promotion which should include community members to reduce the increase of obesity cases. The public health sector should also advocate for more policies that may enhance their actions in the fight against obesity.

Annotated Bibliography
Article 1: Braveman, P. A., Kumanyika, S., Fielding, J., LaVeist, T., Borrell, L. N., Manderscheid, R., & Troutman, A. (2011). Health Disparities and Health Equity: The Issue Is Justice. American Journal of Public Health, 101(S1), S149–S155
Summary: The article is about the society’s target of eliminating health disparities given the diverse definitions of health disparities used. There is a general agreement by the authors that health disparities are systematic and avoidable yet they affect the health of individuals drastically.
Analysis: The issue of health disparities particularly obesity among children is the basis of my thesis. I find the article very relevant as Braveman is digging into the matter and trying to offer solutions and implication which may be of assistant to my study.
Article 2: Dewan, M. (2017). Connection of Religion and Health: Relevance in the Study of Obesity Amongst Children and Adolescents. Bio Science Research Bulletin-Biological Sciences, 33(1), 11–17. https://doi.org/10.5958/2320-3161.2017.00003.7
Summary: This article talks presents a study on the qualitative analysis of adolescents aged between 10 – 19 years with obesity and type-2 diabetes. The study constitutes people from different religions. The author concludes that culture and religious beliefs serve as indicators of religious groups and interest in religious differences is targeted with the hope of discovering the extent of genetic homogeneity through inbreeding, preserved environmental consistency, a difference in dietary habits, etc.
Analysis: the study supports the thesis because it shows how teenagers are brought up in different religions. Different beliefs and cultures affect dietary which is a significant contributor to obesity.
Article 3: Frisco, M., Quiros, S., Hook, J., Frisco, M. L., & Van Hook, J. (2016). One Size May Not Fit All: How Obesity Among Mexican-Origin Youth Varies by Generation, Gender, and Age. Demography, 53(6), 2031–2043. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13524-016-0525-3
Summary: The study examines how vulnerable immigrants are to the risk of childhood obesity. The author finds that age moderates ethnic differences in obesity among people of different genders. People of different ages with different origins are differently exposed to various health conditions.
Analysis: The author seems to agree with the thesis that age is a significant contributor to obesity, but the author also suggests that ethnicity does not affect how different people are exposed to chronic health conditions.
Article 4: GLINKOWSKA, B., GLINKOWSKI, W. M., & Glinkowska, B. (2018). Association of sports and physical activity with obesity among teenagers in Poland. International Journal of Occupational Medicine & Environmental Health, 31(6), 771–782. https://doi.org/10.13075/ijomeh.1896.01170
Summary: The article presents a survey of adolescents between ages 10 – 19. The author finds that youths who engage in physical activities are more active which makes them less vulnerable to chronic health conditions compared to teenagers who are inactive.
Analysis: The findings are in agreement with the thesis since adolescents fail to realize that physical exercise is an essential activi9ty to avoid obesity. The study indicates that engaging in physical practice will significantly reduce the chances of one becoming obese.
Article 5: He, J., Cai, Z., & Fan, X. (2017). Prevalence of binge and loss of control eating among children and adolescents with overweight and obesity: An exploratory meta-analysis. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 50(2), 91–103. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.22661
Summary: The article is a study linking prevalence of binge and loss of control eating among children and adolescents with overweight and obesity. The meta-analysis showed that binge or loss of control eating was prevalent among many children and adolescents with overweight and obesity.
Analysis: Eating disorders contribute immensely to obesity. This indicates that the findings of the meta-analysis are in line with the thesis since the youth lack more information regarding proper eating methods which is a significant determinant of chronic health conditions.
Article 6: Wang, H., Hu, R., Du, H., Fiona, B., Zhong, J., & Yu, M. (2018). The relationship between sleep duration and obesity risk among school students: a cross-sectional study in Zhejiang, China. Nutrition & Metabolism, 15(1), N.PAG. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12986-018-0285-8
Summary: The article is about a qualitative study 18,403 students in China. The findings of the survey show that adequate sleep duration is an essential component of obesity prevention initiatives among teenagers. Oversleeping or having less sleep proved to impact on chronic illnesses and obesity.
Analysis: The article concurs with the thesis as it shows how poor sleeping habits contribute to various health conditions including obesity and the young people are becoming victims of their poor sleeping habits due to lack of information.
Moreno, A. L., Pigeot, I., & Ahrens, W. (2011). Epidemiology of obesity in children and adolescents: Prevalence and etiology. New York: Springer.
Summary: The article contains data on the secular trends of obesity among adults in children across the world.
Analysis: The data are evidence of the increasing trends in the cases of obesity among children globally including in China which is aligned with my thesis.