Using a Health Policy Model to Develop a Change in Policy to Improve the Public’s Health

Using a Health Policy Model to Develop a Change in Policy to Improve the Public Health

Developing a Change Policy to Improve Public Health

The adoption of healthcare policies in the USA aims at addressing the healthcare needs of the diverse populations as well as health equity. Health policies also aim at addressing the social determinants of health that the population experiences. Despite the focus on the above aims, some policy initiatives often fail to deliver their expected outcomes. An example is policies that aim at regulating the sale of sugar-flavored drinks and beverages in communities to promote the health of the population. There is a need for policy initiatives that aim at minimizing the exposure of the population to sugar-flavored sodas and beverages, as way of promoting their health. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to apply the Longest’s policy model in a public policy aiming at taxing sugared sodas/pop/beverages in my community.

Application of the Longest’s Policy to the Proposed Initiative

The Longest’s model is a theory utilized in the implementation of policy initiatives in a state or society. The model is a cycle comprising of steps that include formulation, implementation as well as modification. Each of the steps comprise of unique activities that are applicable to the proposed policy initiative aimed at taxing sugared drinks and beverages in my community. The first stage, formulation, entails the designing of the policy. The policy stakeholders undertake activities such as setting the agenda of the policy, aims, strategies, and alternatives for the policy to be adopted. The activities that would be undertaken in this phase in relation to the proposed initiative would include developing goals and objectives of the policy, informing legislators about the policy, coming up with strategies, and alternatives for policy implementation (Harrison et al., 2019).

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Implementation is the second stage of the Longest’s model where the aim is the translation of the strategies into an action plan. The strategies and alternatives developed in the formulation stage are implemented by taxing the sugared drinks and beverages in the community. The implementation phase will encompass the inputs from various stakeholders such as healthcare providers, public health officials, and the community members. I will implement the selected strategies in this phase to ensure the realization of the desired outcomes of the project. Modification is the last stage where the strategies are re-invented to enhance their

Using a Health Policy Model to Develop a Change in Policy to Improve the Public Health
Using a Health Policy Model to Develop a Change in Policy to Improve the Public Health

relevance and effectiveness in facilitating the desired outcomes. Data will be collected and analyzed to provide insights into the effectiveness of the adopted methods (Harrison et al., 2019). Continuous assessments will be done to ensure the incremental improvements in the outcomes of the policy.

Arguments to Make the Case for the Policy

Sugar-flavored drinks and beverages have negative effects to the health and wellbeing of the public. Accordingly, they predispose the population to health problems that include obesity and diabetes. Evidence-based data recognizes that the prevention of obesity and its associated complications requires the reduction of consumption of sugary diets in daily food intake (Bleich & Vercammen, 2018). The World Health Organization asserts that sugar should comprise less than 10% of the daily dietary intake to minimize their predisposition to health problems. Increased consumption of sugary products also increases the risk of health problems such as tooth decay (Malik & Hu, 2019). Therefore, it is important to regulate sale of sugar-flavored drinks and beverages in the community, as a way of promoting its health.

Arguments that the Opponents Make

The opponents may make arguments that include the fact that the community members are aware of the health risks of overconsumption of sugar-flavored drinks and beverages. As a result, they are well informed in their decisions related to the consumption of the drinks. They will also argue that the companies involved in the marketing of the drinks have informed the public about the health risks of excessive consumption of the sugar-flavored drinks and beverages. Consequently, the public is informed about the risks, hence, no need for the policy.

Getting Buy-In for the Proposed Policy

One of the strategies that would be adopted to get buy-in from the stakeholders is creating awareness among the community members. I will educate the public about the health risks of consuming sugar-flavored drinks and the need for its regulation. Creating awareness will increase the community support for the policy. The second strategy is developing strategies for countering the opposition. I will develop data for use in countering the arguments from the opponents and increasing the need for the policy (Hickey et al., 2018). Lastly, I will aim at gaining support from influential legislators in the region. The legislators will assist in pitching and influencing others to support the policy.

Stakeholder Groups

A number of stakeholders would be needed for the successful implementation of the proposed policy. They will include legislators, public health officials, healthcare providers, and community representatives. The stakeholders will play active roles in the entire processes of policy implementation. They will also influence the community to adopt the proposed policy.

Using a Health Policy Model to Develop a Change in Policy to Improve the Public’s Health Conclusion

Sugar-flavored drinks and beverages have adverse health effects. The implementation of a policy aiming at taxing the drinks and beverages is appropriate. It will minimize the predisposition of the population to the health effects of sugar-flavored drinks and beverages. Active stakeholder involvement as well as lobbying for buy-in from the community members will be explored.


Using a Health Policy Model to Develop a Change in Policy to Improve the Public’s Health References

Bleich, S. N., & Vercammen, K. A. (2018). The negative impact of sugar-sweetened beverages on children’s health: An update of the literature. BMC Obesity, 5(1), 6.

Harrison, J. S., Barney, J. B., Freeman, R. E., & Phillips, R. A. (2019). The Cambridge Handbook of Stakeholder Theory. Cambridge University Press.

Hickey, G., McGilloway, S., O’Brien, M., Leckey, Y., Devlin, M., & Donnelly, M. (2018). Strengthening stakeholder buy-in and engagement for successful exploration and installation: A case study of the development of an area-wide, evidence-based prevention and early intervention strategy. Children and Youth Services Review, 91, 185–195.

Malik, V. S., & Hu, F. B. (2019). Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Cardiometabolic Health: An Update of the Evidence. Nutrients, 11(8), 1840.