Ethical Implications of the Public Health Change Model

Ethical Implications of the Public Health Change Model


  1. Identify and discuss the ethical implications or concerns of team’s public health change
    model for childhood obesity. Assess and discuss this from each of these levels:
     Individual

 Organizational/group/institutional
 Community

  1. Summarize the basic ethical principles and theories that are applicable here.
  2. Identify the skills and resources a leader would need to bring about the proposed
    changes in your model in an ethical way.

Ethical Implications of the Public Health Change Model

Ethical implications or concerns
Individual level: the ethical implications/concerns of team’s public health change model
for childhood obesity from the individual level are that people should not be coerced by public
health programs into healthy lives. Kersh, Stroup and Taylor (2011) stated that a major ethical
concern brought about by policy interventions entails the association between the authority of the

state and an individual’s autonomy. The other concern is that interventions should not be
developed and introduced without the involvement or consent of the individuals who are affected
by those particular interventions (Kersh, Stroup & Taylor, 2011). As states try to protect school
kids by measuring as well as reporting their body mass index, concerns regarding stigmatization
and confidentiality should be addressed appropriately.
Organizational/group/institutional level: governments need to make sure that their
actions do not affect people of particular communities disproportionately. Taxes on soft drinks,
for instance, should not unfairly punish people from lower socio-economic status. Interventions
provided by the states should be accessible to kids who have special healthcare needs (Kersh,
Stroup & Taylor, 2011).
Community level: there are concerns regarding the extent to which parents along with
other members of the community are accountable for offering kids an environment that is safe.
Another concern is that, should childhood obesity be regarded as a child protection issue – just
like child abuse – that warrants societal intervention? There is also the concern with regard to
how the stigma linked to the usage of the word obese can be addressed in the communities.
Moreover, there is concern regarding the role of media literacy as well as restrictions on the
usage of celebrities, cartoon characters, or health claims considering that marketing activities
carried out by the food industry have a great impact (Kersh, Stroup & Taylor, 2011).

Applicable basic ethical principles and theories

Autonomy: kids do not have autonomy both at school and at home considering that they
lack the experience as well as knowledge necessary to select foods basing on the nutritional
quality. Therefore, parents need to offer foodstuffs from which their children could choose

reasonably. At school, school administrators should provide foodstuffs from which the school
children can pick but limiting the foods to only those which offer nutritional benefit and not
harm (Crawford, Gosliner & Kayman, 2011).
Justice: this implies that everyone has to be treated in a fair manner. One of the
fundraising techniques used by schools is allowing food marketers to market beverages and
foods on school ground. Crawford, Gosliner and Kayman (2011) pointed out that recurrent
exposure to such marketing in schools in areas of low income in which kids are at a higher risk is
actually in disagreement with social justice and fairness.
Nonmaleficence: any intervention must not bring harm, for instance offering foods that
are nutritional. Offering easy access to foods of low nutritional quality has to be interpreted as
causing harm. According to Crawford, Gosliner and Kayman (2011), the current situation
whereby schools along with their suppliers profit from selling to school kids foods that are not
healthy could be masked by the efforts made in schools to teach children how to avoid choosing
foods which are less healthy that are being offered.

Skills and resources needed by a leader

The skills and resources that a leader would need in order to bring about the proposed
changes in the model in an ethical way include the ability to advocate for health-policy
interventions that ensure all populations have adequate access to services. The leader should also
endeavor for justice and fairness in health; she should underscore attention to the children’s
health as well as the health of other populations that are vulnerable such as disabled persons
(Kersh, Stroup & Taylor, 2011). The leader needs to have the ability of developing programs

which make living a healthy life simple. They should also be able to promote health through
giving information and coming up with interventions which assist populations in maintaining
healthy diets and exercise (Kersh, Stroup & Taylor, 2011). The resources needed include
financial resources as well as personnel.


Crawford, P. B, Gosliner, W., & Kayman, H. (2011). The ethical basis for promoting nutritional
health in public schools in the United States.

Kersh, R., Stroup, D. F., & Taylor, W. C. (2011). Childhood obesity: a framework for policy
approaches and ethical considerations.

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