Social media continues to prove to be a valuable resource. In fact, since 2004, the use of social media in healthcare has continued to grow and ignoring its presence can no longer be considered (Smailhodzic, Hooijsma, Boonstra, & Langley, 2016). Social media is the way of the future for marketing, educating, and overall communication. The purpose of this project is to identify a specific behavior and utilize social media to promote health to save the target population from possibly contracting the chronic condition of diabetes.
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The title of this social media project is “Liquid obesity: The road to diabetes”. The consumption of sugar in beverages has increased globally and the prevalence of childhood and adult obesity cannot be ignored (Avery, Bostock, & McCullough, 2014). Sugary drinks or consuming drinks with calories are nutrient poor and result in insulin spikes with empty energy bursts that quickly come and go. The consumption of these drinks leads to ingesting a large number of calories while still not satisfying hunger. This can lead to obesity and diabetes.
The objectives of this project are to educate the target audience in (1) identifying empty calories in liquids, (2) how many extra calories are consumed just from drinking your calories (3) how continued consumption can lead to obesity and diabetes and (4) how to pick other healthy options.
The target audience for this project is adolescents age 14 through adulthood. Based on this target audience the information should be prepared at a 6th-grade education level. This will ensure that the health literacy of the target audience is met and the information is understood.
According to Cook (2014), approximately 91% of children live in a house that has internet access. Cook (2014) continues reinforcing that Facebook is the most widely used social media platform since 2012. Based on this finding Facebook is the best platform for this project. This platform will help reach the intended target audience of both adolescents and adults both looking for health information regarding obesity, weight loss, and diabetes management. This social media platform can also be utilized with multiple media formats including pictures, memes, and videos. Image sharing and video sharing is one of the most popular forms of social media, especially in the younger populations. For this reason short, funny educational video presentations that can be shared on Facebook would be the best platform to ensure they are viewed, shared and commented on the most.
The topics to be covered in this project will be tied directly to the objectives to ensure that the intent is met and the health promotion is received appropriately but the target audience. The topics will be as follows:
Approaching care in a primary care setting has to be a team approach. Although as a provider typically the clinician sees the patient alone, however, the clinician should be armed with a wealth of resources. Those resources can be in the form of a referral to other professionals who can help approach care for the patient in a collaborative team approach. As professionals, we then become a treatment team in which collaboration occurs for the best health outcomes for the patient. With regards to this project, an example of a collaborative approach could be with a registered dietician and possibly a physical therapist if dealing with physical limitation due to obesity or diabetes. No patient ever wants to approach their illness alone. This is also where the power of social media comes into play. Online patients can find peers who are on the same health journey they are on. Social support is the most common type of social media used by patients (Smailhodzic, Hooijsma, Boonstra, & Langley, 2016). Finally, another important aspect of collaborative care is to ensure the patients family, friends, or loved ones are supportive of the plan of care for the patient. When the patient has a support system at home the likelihood of a positive outcome to reach treatment goals is greatly improved.
During this terms clinical rotation diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia were seen in almost every patient appointment. In each of these patients, there were also overweight, or obese. Many of these patients would report that they would try to lose weight and make better decisions regarding their diet. During the interview when questioned about specifics, it was apparent that many patients just did not have a good understanding of how to make good dietary choices. Their literacy on how to read food labels or how certain foods affected their disease was very minimal. Patients also reported little adherence to an exercise program. Most patients made it more difficult then it needed to be and most did not have an understanding of how exercise can help them. Regular exercise is shown to improve cardiovascular health, including blood pressure, blood lipids and insulin sensitivity as well as weight loss with more calories burned (Kumar, Robinson, & Till, 2015). While the patients were in the clinic it was important that they were educated that a simple walk of 30 minutes 5 times a week just after dinner, or working in the garden for 30 minutes was effective. Exercise did not have to be a scheduled regimen in a gym or a class. The patients were receptive to this and seemed willing to participate.
The lack of knowledge overall collaboration with a registered dietician and diabetes educator could greatly fill the knowledge gap and assist patients to become more independent in their own health care decisions with their diet. The clinic during this rotation did have a staff dietician in which a referral was generated during each of these visits. With patient follow-ups in the clinic patients reported positive results and experiences in which they were taught how to read labels, how to shop at the grocery store, how to cook at home and how to make the best food decisions when dining outs. These were all directly related to actual life skills in which the patients could participate in.
This assignment really reflected the ease at which caloric intake could lead to obesity and diabetes. This should be a huge concern to those in public health. The amount of obesity in this country could be viewed as a possible public health failure. The price of a sugary beverage is typically much cheaper than that of a bottle of water or other nonsugary beverage. With a search on Facebook, there were also less than 5 resources when searching for how to avoid sugary beverages. There is little information for the target audience on how to identify and avoid sugary beverages. This is a project that is truly needed.
The overall physical and financial health of the United States is in jeopardy due to the rising trend of obesity and diabetes mellitus. Large-scale attempts with policy change to limit sugary beverages to both adolescents and adults have proven unsuccessful (Zimmerman, 2014). In order to impact this serious public health concern, smaller approach needs to be initiated to achieve change. The outline of this project is an example of how we can start a smaller initiative through education of the target audience.
Social Media Resources. (2019, Apr 10).
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