Adult Obesity: Assessing Community Health

Adult Obesity: Assessing Community Health

Today, chronic diseases are a significant public health issue that necessitates conducting an accurate assessment of communities and developing strategies to lessen their impact. Community health evaluations are among the most efficient methods for spotting health issues.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a community health assessment is a state, local, tribal, or territorial health evaluation that identifies the most important health needs and challenges in a community through systematic and thorough data collection and analysis. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that public health organizations frequently and systematically review the health of communities, taking into account features of health needs, health status, and epidemiological health statistics.

The IOM report’s advice is put into practice by conducting a community health assessment. in this Adult Obesity: Assessing Community Health, The assessment’s goal is to enable public health organizations to pinpoint population health needs, influencers of health outcomes, and community resources available to address problems as they arise (CDC, 2018). The creation of a community health improvement plan, which calls for long-term, methodical efforts to address health issues in a specific community, is guided by a community health assessment. The topic of this conversation is Portland, Oregon. The goal of this evaluation is to determine the extent of adult obesity in the area and the resources that may be used to combat the problem. This evaluation will look at the local environment, the causes of rising adult obesity, the available preventative interventions, and cooperative actions that can help the community prevent the condition.

Social factors that affect health

The health care system has long been a primary focus of efforts to enhance population health. Evidence, however, points to the fact that population health can be significantly enhanced by taking a more comprehensive approach to social, economic, and environmental variables. Social determinants of health are the circumstances in which people are born, raised, employed, and age, all of which have an impact on their health (Lakerveld & Mackenbach, 2018). They broadly cover things like the neighborhood and physical environment, the stability of the economy, the availability of food and nutritious schooling, the social and community setting, and the health care system. Resources that improve people’s quality of life significantly affect population health outcomes. For instance, socioeconomic position, living expenses, and other economic stability variables affect how people obtain basic services. Low socioeconomic communities may experience difficulties including poverty that restricts access to food and healthcare (Lakerveld & Mackenbach, 2018). A significant factor in determining health is neighborhood and constructed environment, both of which are influenced by economic position. An individual’s health is impacted by things like limited access to transportation, clean air and water, and neighborhoods with a high crime rate. Individuals’ health is influenced by the availability of social support in communities, particularly through civic organizations and workplace cohesion (Lakerveld & Mackenbach, 2018). Communities with educated residents recognize the value of sustaining health along with essential components like health literacy in terms of education access and quality.

Health Problem History

Obesity’s rising prevalence places an increasing strain on individuals, healthcare systems, and societies. The US economy and health care system are under more strain as a result of the nearly 35% of the population who are obese. Adults make for 37% of those who are obese in the Portland community of Oregon, while the rate is 32.3% (America’s Health Rankings, 2021). The Non-Hispanic Black population in the area is the most affected, with a rate of 36.4%. Because obesity is a problem that affects the entire nation, these statistics are consistent with the data there. For instance, according to America’s Health Rankings from the year 2021, the obesity prevalence among Non-Hispanic Blacks is 36.6% nationwide. Since adults are the most affected, the healthcare industry and the economy have been severely impacted. It is vital to prevent obesity because it is a condition that is linked to other chronic illnesses including diabetes and heart disease.

Understanding of Community

The majority of Portland City is divided into recognizable neighborhoods. The oldest neighborhood in the city and the one I chose for this talk is Old Town. In 2019, there were 4758 people living in the neighborhood, with 74% of them residing in urban areas (NICHE, 2022). There are roughly 50.7% women and 49.3% men living in the neighborhood. Compared to which is 45.1 years, the town’s average inhabitant age is 36.9 years. In this area, the projected median household income is $25,708, which is lower than the $62,843 national average (NICHE, 2022). According to data, Non-Hispanic Whites make up 92.3% of the region’s population, followed by Non-Hispanic and American Indians with 421%. Non-Hispanic Black or African Americans make up a tiny portion of the population (0.669%), whereas Asians make about 1% of the total.

Windshield Inspection

Residential and commercial structures

I saw that the most of the residences in the neighborhood were constructed in the middle of the 1990s when I drove through it beginning at Portland Union Station. Few modern buildings were present, and the vast majority of residents resided in rental homes. I could see solar panels and huge water tanks on most homes from the automobile. A handful of the houses showed indications of neglect, but the rest of them had enough room in front and behind them. The majority of the residences were connected as I made my way down to 6th Avenue. The majority of the structures in this region were built for commercial use and featured much more contemporary architecture. In most places, I could see well-kept yards and contemporary plumbing.

Boundaries and Open Space

There is a lot of space between the houses in Old-Town, which allows for easy movement and various recreational amenities. For instance, I saw verdant gardens with lots of room for flowers tucked in between the streets. The grounds were roomy, facilitating smooth mobility for bikes and walkers. Many trees were visible on the streets, particularly those around Burnside Bridge and Swine Pine Street. Adult Obesity: Assessing Community Health. Public open spaces were present in the streets for unrestricted strolling and playing, even though the majority of the free area observed was private. Governor Tom McCay Waterfront Park, which is in the town’s back area, was the largest park I saw. The two nearby villages of Pearl District and Lloyd District served as the city’s limits, which were definite and unambiguous. The Willamette River is the primary element separating the old town from neighboring neighborhoods. I noticed that the Lloyd District’s close-knit neighborhoods could be reached via the Burnside and Steel bridges.


I noticed as I was driving around the area that many folks use Old Town as their main entertainment hub. Hotels and public areas were frequented by people. For instance, I could see several people going in and out of the Deadstock Coffee and Gallery and the Red Robe Tea House. Local footwear workers appreciated these establishments possibly due to their excellent food and services. Across the streets, I could see a number of eateries and doughnut shops where people were enjoying their lunches. Although youth and young adults liked the recreational free areas, the bulk of persons in these locations were adults, about 35 to 50 years old. Due to the large number of patrons present at restaurants and hotels in the evening, the majority of people choose to eat there.


I noticed that the majority of people travel around in automobiles and buses when conducting the windshield survey. While buses traveled around to pick up passengers, I could see a number of parking places across the road. Bicycles and motorbikes might be used for transportation on the roads and streets. Aside from the folks in parks who appeared to be exercising, I could see a few people cycling to work. Major motorways pass through the city, making it easy to get around, and streets and subways offer direct access to the town’s buildings and locations. Along with the Portland Union railway station traveling through the town, I could see a number of gas stations down the streets. Despite the presence of various transportation options, I saw individuals going around on foot. Students leaving schools on foot as well as several other persons walking down the streets were both visible to me.

Stores and Service Facilities

Numerous recreational areas were one of this neighborhood’s standout characteristics, in my observation. Along major highways, I could see parks at least every 800 meters. For instance, the riverfront Park near SW Pine Street was where most people congregated, while others visited Peace Pole Park, the river trail and Pavillion Park, and other parks along the Stillwater River. There were many people in these parks participating in a variety of activities. However, I saw that some parks had inadequate upkeep, which attracted few visitors.

I could see social service organizations and schools on the other side of the road from these locations. In service facilities like Community Aging in Place and the city’s housing authority, I could see clients lining up. The town’s hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies all supplied essential healthcare services. I took note of the accessibility of public general hospitals and healthcare facilities like OHSU Hospital and Providence Medical Center. Additionally, I could see pharmacies where people may buy medicines, as well as doctor’s offices possibly utilized for consultations. To make access to food services convenient, the town had a wide variety of stores. The public had access to a variety of dining options at shopping malls like Pioneer Place and Old Town Shopping Mall. Depending on customer preferences, the majority of malls and shopping centers were open from Monday through Friday. The public might also get a range of fresh goods at markets like the Portland Saturday Market and Portland Night Market.

People Leaving the House

I saw individuals going from one area to another as I drove around the neighborhood. The bulk of persons I encountered were female, some carrying children, and those heading to the markets carried shopping bags. I observed people going to and from eateries, enjoying themselves in parks, and students heading home with bags in the streets. There were a number of hawkers in the town, and the majority walked around buying fast food at the tiny, well-established food outlets. The people I observed were all representative of the neighborhood’s population. White people made up the majority of individuals traveling around, and they frequently traveled in groups. While the teenagers sat or walked in groups talking, I could observe older adults strolling their dogs in the parks. I observed that the majority of people, both adults and children included, were overweight or obese. It took me less than 100 meters of driving to pass large-framed men and women who were stumbling down the streets. Adult Obesity: Assessing Community Health However, because White people made up the bulk of those I saw, I was unable to distinguish racial similarities and variances among the obese persons.

Community Activity

I observed that the Old Town neighborhood was a thriving one distinguished by connectivity and creativity. The presence of many businesses, families, and possibilities showed that the town was cohesive. The town has wide, well-lit streets, well-built roadways, and signs all over the place to direct guests. The elderly were seated in the circle telling stories, and I could see people around them grinning and laughing. I saw that local communities in the town were distinguished by features like houses that showed varying levels of economic stability. Due to the availability of affordable housing, certain regions were overpopulated, while others had unoccupied homes. The neighborhood seems to have varying levels of economic stability, as shown by the shopping preferences of the various ethnic groups. For instance, I saw that white people preferred to shop in supermarkets while non-Hispanic Blacks or African Americans primarily shopped in outdoor markets and on the streets. In town halls, I saw several flyers for neighborhood meetings, and there were political posters all over the place. While others engaged in activities in the parks, I saw a few people—mostly young adults—leaving the gym. Adult Obesity: Assessing Community Health

Physical environment and health

Chronic illnesses and other health issues were evident as I traveled through the area. For instance, the majority of people were overweight, they commuted by automobile, and some attempted to combat their obesity by going for nighttime walks. I saw advertisements for healthy eating and exercise on the streets. To motivate people to exercise, signs announcing the successes of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) initiative were placed all around the city. Throughout the study, I didn’t notice any indications of violence or mishaps on the streets. Regarding the surroundings, I could see a lot of bars and shops that sold booze. Numerous locations offered fast food, and a line of customers waited to be served.

Results and Interpretation

Overall, I would say that Old Town is one of Portland City’s most desirable districts. The neighborhood features a walkable physical plan with broad streets and appealing structures. The presence of many enterprises shows how linked and supportive the community is of development. During this Adult Obesity: Assessing Community Health, I saw that Old Town is a thriving community built on religious convictions, and the presence of reasonably priced homes, professional services, and shopping opportunities adds to its allure. Safety, inexpensive housing, development, cohesion, and community vitality are some of the community’s advantages. The area has opportunity to grow because it is situated between two sizable districts. The accessibility of recreational parks offers a chance for leisurely enjoyment and physical activity-based health enhancement. Adult Obesity: Assessing Community Health

I found that the town lacked sufficient educational facilities, particularly colleges. I only passed the Duck Store and Oregon College of Oriental Medicine while driving. I could see that the town had a number of public schools, but the absence of colleges was a significant barrier to its development. I also noticed that the town’s buildings were not updated to reflect its growth and expansion. The majority of the residences dated from the mid-1990s, and the neighborhood’s inclusion of museums suggested that it was more of a conventional one.

In addition to health-related characteristics, a healthy community also has adequate housing, safe areas, work opportunities, and transportation (Caffrey et al., 2018). Generally speaking, the Old Town neighborhood is a safe place with good access to food, transportation, and affordable housing. I did not notice any homeless persons on the streets or any indications that people had housing problems, despite the fact that most places appeared to be congested as a result of housing issues. However, I noticed that adult obesity was a significant problem in the neighborhood. People were eating in the majority of restaurants and fast food outlets in the evening, which is a sign of bad lives. The vast majority of people traveled by vehicle or bus, reflecting sedentary lifestyles that exacerbated the issue. Despite the fact that there were parks and walkways, not many people could be seen making use of them.

In conclusion, a community assessment aims to collect precise data that accurately reflects the needs of a community. The evaluation highlights a community’s advantages, difficulties, and strengths to help with development planning (Caffrey et al., 2018). In general, Portland City’s Old Town area is a healthy neighborhood with good housing, average economic stability, and health care systems to meet the demands of the populace. Obesity, which is linked to unhealthy eating patterns and a lack of physical exercise among adults, is the leading health issue in this area. A community development strategy should emphasize educating the local population about the disease’s burden and the value of early prevention through a balanced diet and regular exercise.



America’s Health Rankings. (2021). United Health Foundation annual report: Obesity, Oregon, United States.

Caffrey, A., Pointer, C., Steward, D., & Vohra, S. (2018). The role of community health needs assessments in medicalizing poverty. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics46(3), 615-621.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Public health professionals gateway: Assessments & plans.

Lakerveld, J., & Mackenbach, J. (2017). The upstream determinants of adult obesity. Obesity facts10(3), 216–222.

NICHE. Portland: Old Town-Chinatown.

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