The purpose of this proposal is to inform and educate parents, children, and adolescents of the importance of having a good balanced diet and exercise in their daily lives to avoid obesity. The latter is a serious problem in contemporary society. It is the main causative factor of a number of health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, and cancer, among others.
Current statistics reveal that childhood obesity has been on the rise by close to 100% over the past three decades (Gollust, Niederdeppe, & Barry, 2013). Children who experience overweight at the tender age are highly likely to be obese in their early growth stages even before they approach adulthood.
Consequently, they are highly likely to risk their life owing to the onset of health complications noted above. Our goal is to develop a program that can assist in alleviating instances of childhood obesity by encouraging healthy eating habits and physical activity.
The target group for this obesity prevention and management program will be the grade school children. This age group was chosen because it is usually prudent to initiate an obesity prevention program as early as possible. Children should grow, knowing very well that physical exercise is important, and binge eating is harmful to their heath.
There are several reasons why children and adolescents become obese or overweight. These include inadequate or lack of physical exercise, poor eating habits, and in some cases, genetic problems.
As it stands now, children tend to spend most of their time consuming readily-made junk food, watching television programs for long hours, or playing physically-inactive games within their homes. Since parents are often very busy working, they have limited time to prepare balanced meals back home. As a result, children end up eating fast foods frequently.
In order to prevent and manage obesity, there is a need to promote a healthy lifestyle among children. Overweight should be controlled from childhood (Yang, Goldhaber-Fiebert, & Wein, 2013). Doctors should counsel parents and children in their office visits in order for them to know the importance of eating healthy foodstuffs and exercising regularly.
Physical activities such as walking around enjoying the natural environment, playing with balls, and running can indeed prevent overweight and childhood obesity. Obesity is an epidemic challenge that our country continues to face.
As Advanced Nurse Practitioners, we should be aware of the current Healthy People focus area in our community and be actively involved to take the adequate steps toward the national goals. Developing nutritional counseling, behavior modification, and encouraging the population to have daily physical activity are some ways of overweight Prevention.
It is very important for health providers and advanced nurse practitioners to focus on obesity prevention at an early stage since this is becoming a pandemic in our society. Having knowledge of the cause and consequences of being overweight or obesity will help the next generations to avoid serious illnesses in the future.
Family-based intervention is the best approach that can be adopted to address obesity among grade school children. Families tend to spend most of the time with children in this age group. Besides, grade school children tend to agree more with their family members than teachers or other acquaintances (Vos, Huisman, Houdijk, & Wit, 2012).
This type of intervention program has yielded positive results according to the outcomes of most past studies on childhood obesity. However, there is a need to establish or identify mediating mechanisms before this intervention method can be adopted.
This intervention method against childhood obesity should entail an observational study comprising grade school children. In this case, parents and close family members should also be involved so that their input in obesity prevention and management can be established. In order to obtain the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the grade school children, both their heights and weights should be taken from the beginning of the study.
Both the concerned family members and children should separately report both sedentary and physical activities as well as eating habits. The reports obtained from children and family members (such as parents) should then be compared to each other.
From the outcomes, it will be possible to use parametric tests and descriptive statistics to ascertain the change in BMI with the corresponding lifestyle reports. Thereafter, it will be possible for family members to develop viable and practical measures for preventing and managing obesity among grade school children.
Family-based intervention against childhood obesity is highly likely to increase physical activity because it is keenly monitored and implemented. In addition, parents and other family members are in a better position to make a follow-up in the eating habits of their grade school children.
Family members can also provide the much-needed impetus for physical activity so that the grade school children can also emulate the same. As a matter of fact, children at this stage mostly learn through examples.
This explains why both the physical activity and eating habits of children can improve when family members equally behave in the same line. Parents and other family members have the responsibility for increasing the physical activity of children, lowering sedentary time, and encouraging healthy eating patterns (Chang, Gertel-Rosenberg, & Snyder, 2014).
During the development of this work, I reviewed articles in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and current literature in the South University library.
Chang, D. I., Gertel-Rosenberg, A., & Snyder, K. (2014). Case Study: Accelerating efforts to prevent childhood obesity: Spreading, scaling, and sustaining healthy eating and physical activity. Health Affairs, 33(12), 2207-2213.
Gollust, S. E., Niederdeppe, J., & Barry, C. (2013). Framing the consequences of childhood obesity to increase public support for obesity prevention policy. American Journal of Public Health, 103(11), E96-E102.
Vos, R. C., Huisman, S. D., Houdijk, E. C., & Wit, J. M. (2012). The effect of family- based multidisciplinary cognitive behavioral treatment on health-related quality of life in childhood obesity. Quality of Life Research, 21(9), 1587-94.
Yang, Y., Goldhaber-Fiebert, J., & Wein, L. M. (2013). Analyzing screening policies for childhood obesity. Management Science, 59(4), 782-795.