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Health Beliefs Reflection - Health Issues that Pertain to Obesity, Smoking and Alcohol Abuse are Rapidly Rising | Nursing Assignment

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Question:Health Beliefs Reflection - Nursing Assignment

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  1. Reflect on what you believe make each of the below to be health issues, for individuals and


    • Obesity
    • Smoking
    • Abuse of alcohol or another drug.
  2. Reflect on factors that have influenced your beliefs about each of these health issues.
  3. Describe how you would recommend clients manage each of these health issues, with

    reference to current research.

  4. Analyse how you might need to adapt your recommendations in response to clients who do not

    share your beliefs.

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Solution: Health Beliefs Reflection


Health issues that pertain to obesity, smoking and alcohol abuse are rapidly rising. It has been reported that each of these three issues are inter-related with one another. In this assignment I shall be reflecting over my opinions for these three issues of concern. The main purpose of this assignment is to reflect on what I believe constitute to be health issues, for individuals and communities. I will also be discussing the implications of each of these elements on the life of the individual and the community that he or she lives in. In the second part of the assignment focus will be laid on the factors that have influenced my beliefs about each of these health issues. Furthermore, recommendations will be made in response to those clients who do not share the same beliefs as I do. The assignment has given me the chance to reflect about my practise in a medical setup and how I can improve upon my short coming to provide the best services to the clients.


Obesity amongst individuals has been increasing at a rapid rate. This is because of the sedentary lifestyle that we have started following. Most of the time people who are working do not have fixed hours and thus end up spending too much of time behind a desk. This leaves them with no time for a healthy lifestyle (Pi-Sunyer, 1993). It leads to having erratic meals that are unhealthy in nature; contribute towards gaining weight and not taking out time to exercise. However I feel apart from a sedentary lifestyle, the mind set of an individual also has a pivotal role to play in obesity. Since most people who are obese tend to binge eat simply for the sake of eating something. Patients who have been suffering from depression also look towards food as a source of comfort. They eat when they feel low and may not realise the amount of food that they are consuming (Claydon, Austin & Smith, 2015). This leads to a sudden increase in weight that starts off just as a few pounds, but soon enough puts them in an obese range. Obesity comes along with its own set of problems. It causes damage to the joints as extra weight is added to them, the cardio vascular system starts to develop complications and in some severe cases, it can even cause death if it is not controlled well in time. Obesity creates a severe impact on the life of the individual. He or she may not be able to do mundane tasks because of lack of mobility due to the increased weight (van Zutven, Mond, Latner & Rodgers, 2014). Or while living in a community he may not be able to interact with other people because of the low confidence levels, as the effected individual may not feel comfortable with his/her image in front of others. This leads them to spend a life that is alone and away from the eyes of others.


Smoking has become a very common task amongst people who are young. Especially in children who are in college, are simply trying how it feels to smoke a cigarette is increasing. Before they know it these children are hooked on to smoking and it becomes an intrinsic part of their lives. Most of them as per me, smoke only because it is the latest thing that needs to be done to fit in a crowd of people or to become cool. Smoking is injurious to health. We have certainly read this statement a numerous times while reading a newspaper or watching the television. It causes lung cancer and respiratory ailments (Nelson, Van Ryzin & Dishion, 2014). Yet we do not tend to take it seriously. The impacts that smoking can have on an individual is of utmost importance. With regular consumption of tobacco, the oxygen carrying capacity of the lungs is reduced drastically. The skin starts wrinkling and shows sign of aging. A chronic smoker, who smokes a pack of cigarettes daily, will not be able to climb a flight of stairs without breaking into a sweat. Only due to the fact that he/she has a reduced capacity to take in oxygen and a lower stamina because of smoking. Smoking also impacts the community where an individual lives. Personally I would not want to interact with a person who is constantly wreaking of cigarette smell on his/her breath all the time. The addiction of smoking is looked at seriously because the cravings become so severe, that it can hamper the social life of an individual as well if it is not controlled and curbed well in time. For instance if a person is working a job, he may take frequent breaks to get the rush of nicotine which could show up poorly on his responsibility towards their jobs.

Abuse of alcohol or another drug

Drug abuse and alcohol abuse is an issue that has serious implications if it is not controlled and treated. Depression is the major cause for people to start consuming alcohol. The usage of drugs and alcohol, amongst young adults and teenagers has become a very common feature (Knight et al., 2002). The number of cases of drug abuse is escalating day by day. Most drug and alcohol abusers make use of them only for recreational purposes. We have now become very immune about hearing about the usage of drugs and alcohol in the society. The youth is consuming alcohol and drugs only because it sets them apart from the regular children and adults. Being a victim of drug abuse or alcohol abuse, severely affects the life of the individual and the family and friends who are around them. It creates strains in relationships as these drugs and alcohol can cause changes in the behaviour of the individual (Sturm, 2002). The community suffers as well because such drug abusers can become a threat to the safety of the other people, who are a part of the community. They become so dependent on the alcohol and drugs that when they do not get their share, they may have a fit of rage and can cause harm to them and their surroundings.

With the above statements that are pertaining to obesity, smoking and alcohol abuse, I can state that these are all interlinked with one another. They give rise to serious health issues and have become a major point of concern for the well being of individuals (Johnson & Grant, 2005). Smoking leads to an increment in weight, while excessive consumption of alcohol can damage the liver. The repercussions of all these three factors pose to be of grave concern and it is imperative that steps are taken to restrain them from taking place.

2. Reflect on factors that have influenced your beliefs about each of these health issues.

My beliefs over these health issues that have been mentioned above have evolved over a certain time frame. I have been a person who tends to put on weight very easily despite the fact that I take out time to exercise daily. However, I once watched a television program series that was called “The 600 pound life”, this program was based on severely obese persons who were unable to get out of their own houses due to their excessive weight. It spoke tremendously about the harmful impacts that obesity can have over the health and well being of an individual, that it shook me to the core. Thus being a slightly overweight person, it made to stop and ponder that if I did not take control over my life and eat healthy I could end up being like one of these people. Also as a student in the medical professional it is important that I practise what I preach to others. Smoking and alcohol abuse is a topic that has been very emotionally disturbing for me since I lost a very close friend due to lung cancer. He smoked several packs of cigarettes in a day and consumed copious amounts of alcohol. After this episode I was aware of the ill effects that these substances can have on our health. Having alcohol in its stipulated limit is acceptable however consuming it beyond our control is something that I would never want to indulge in. For this reason these factors have had a very unambiguous influence in my beliefs about the health issues dealing with obesity, smoking and alcohol abuse. After studying in the medical profession I have become more aware of the numerous diseases that can be caused because of these health issues and I personally prefer to make sure that I am not a victim of any of these vices. We have been given one life thus we have no right to cause self harm by becoming morbidly obese or a substance abuser.

3. Describe how you would recommend clients manage each of these health issues, with reference to current research.

There are various health care programs that have been initiated by community hospitals all over the world. The main aim of these health care programs is to make people aware of the impacts that these health issues can have in our lives, if they are not dealt with in the appropriate time frame. For clients who are obese, I would recommend visiting a nutritionist so that they can be given guidance on what they need to do to follow a healthy lifestyle and at the same time to make sure that they lose the excessive weight that they are carrying (Havassy, Hall & Wasserman, 1991). For substance abusers and chronic alcoholics there are programs such as the alcoholics anonymous, where meetings are conducted from time to time to help victims to live a life that is free from any form of substance abuse (Brownell, Marlatt, Lichtenstein & Wilson, 1986). Psychologists have also played a pivotal role in current research that is based on the behaviour model theory that has been given by Hochbaum, Rosenstock and Kegels, who have stated in their research that the health of an individual is based on their own attitudes and beliefs (Rosenstock, 1974). Thus if such clients visit a psychologists they can be provided with the help that they need to overcome these issues. As they will be provided counselling that is based on their primary concerns. The session with a psychologist are conducted in such a manner that the client is comfortable and is looking to find a solution to prevent these health concerns from escalating (McLellan, 1983). Further I would want to suggest that all schools, colleges and organisations should conduct awareness campaigns from time to time. By doing this, they are educating the people over the impact that obesity, smoking and alcohol abuse can have in their lives (Kirby, Marlowe, Festinger, Garvey & LaMonaca, 1999). If the people become aware of damage that can be caused to them they are sure to take steps to prevent it from taking place.

4. Analyse how you might need to adapt your recommendations in response to clients who do not Share your beliefs.

As a student of the medical profession I have my own set of beliefs and values that reflect in my day to day practise. Thus when I come across a client who does not share the same beliefs as me it is very important to strike the balance with them. As medical professionals it is important that we are able to practise our medicine as per our values and belief. However such cases of clients help us to ensure that we treat them in a fair and just manner without any discrimination. While making sure that all actions that are being carried out are in accordance to the law and do not deny the client access to treatment or give them any form of distress (Mendes, 2015). Spending time getting to know the client is essential as it provides the medical professional an idea about their values and beliefs (Croker, 2006). The client should be given time to express his/her thoughts so that a new plan can be designed keeping in mind the needs of such a client. Therapy may work for one client while the other client may simply become aware of the harmful impacts of obesity, smoking and drug abuse by watching an audio visual. Hence it is important to make use of the following methods to provide help to the client:

  1. Provide helpful suggestions in a way that they are forced upon the client.
  2. Make use of counselling sessions to get to understand the beliefs of the individual.

  3. Become an active listener.


The reflection has provided me to have a better understanding about how obesity, smoking and alcohol abuse are health issues (Bray, 1996). They all have a severe impact on the well being of the health of the individual. I have been able to understand the shortcomings that I have while dealing with clients that do share the same beliefs that I have for these health concerns. Thereby providing me with the opportunity to expand my horizons and learn new innovative methods that I can use to provide help to them. This reflection will also assist me in learning more about how the individual choices of a person play a pivotal role in their wellbeing.

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