Community Action Plan
Brianna M. Cua
BIO201 - Public Health and Environment.
Colorado State University – Global Campus
December 23, 2016
Community Action Plan: For Childhood Obesity In American
showcased in eduBuncee
showcased in eduBuncee
Community Action Plan
Public-Health Issue and Community
Children in America that are affected by obesity are going to not only be affected now but they will also be affected as adults, if childhood obesity does not receive treatment. The effects that are happening to children with obesity right now are at risk for factors of cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. "In a population-based sample of 10- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease" (Freedman, Zuguo, Srinivasan, Berenson, & Dietz, 2007). Children that are obese are more likely to have pre diabetes and a greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems, such as poor self-esteem and stigmatization.
Long-term effects that obesity have on children are an increased risk of different types of cancer; including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate; as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Children that are obese have many risks for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis (CDC, 2015a). "One study showed that children who became obese as early as age 2 were more likely to be obese as adults" (Freedman, Kettel, Serdula, Dietz, Srinivasan, & Berenson, 2005). If children do not get the help they deserve, their already unhealthy state will continue to get worse as they age.
The American society has become characterized by environments that promote increased consumption of less healthy food and physical inactivity. Today there are more advertisements for less healthy foods. Children spend a lot of time in school but nearly half of U.S. middle and high schools allow advertising of less healthy foods which impacts students' ability to make healthy food choices, while advertising for healthier foods is almost nonexistent. America has also build itself so that many communities are built in ways that make it difficult or unsafe to be physically active. Half of the children in the United States do not have a park, community center, and sidewalk in their neighborhood. America has limited access to healthy affordable foods. The inexpensive food people can afford is also the food that is killing Americans (CDC, 2015a).
Diet and activity level play a huge role in a child’s weight and how healthy they are. Children in today's world have become sediment. “The average child spends approximately four hours each day watching television” (Benaroch, 2014). Computer and video games are becoming more and more popular and with that also show that this inactivity could increase which could lead to even higher levels of obesity in children.
Other Countries Suffering From Childhood Obesity
Greece is the number one country in the world that had the highest rate of obesity in children. With 44 percent of boys and 38 percent of girls in the Mediterranean nation.The OECD pegs Greece’s childhood obesity to its draconian austerity measures, which have led to tightened household budgets. With less cash for healthy fruits and vegetables, Greek families are turning to inexpensive processed and prepackaged meals (Dwyer, 2014).
Health officials in Athens, Greece are setting up a campaign to fight growing childhood obesity. The Health Ministry plans to educate children to eat better and make good choices with their foods. There is also a plan to distribute fresh fruit to students.They are planning an observatory that will compile data on weight-gain patterns among different age groups and conduct studies on the nutritional habits of different segments of the population, examining how they make their food choices (The National Herald, 2015).
Italy has the second highest rate of obesity in children. Italy’s Mediterranean diet, is known to people around the world. This nation’s citizens are increasingly turning away from the traditional produce-based, slow food regimen that’s kept them fit for centuries. Italy has a newfound love of fast food and couch-potato tendencies. 36 percent of Italian boys and 34 percent of girls are overweight or obese (Dwyer, 2014)
Italy has set up programs such as Giocampus which is an effective public private alliance that fights against childhood obesity. “The prefix ‘gio’ in Giocampus stands for ‘gioco’ – ‘play’ in Italian” (Vanelli & Finistrella, 2011). Giocampus has put together a team of pediatricians, nutritionists and psychologists that can offer information on improving children’s diet and encouraging physical activity and also family communication. Giocampus is a formidable tool to promote effective strategies that can improve knowledge of nutrition and engender positive lifestyle changes (Vanelli & Finistrella, 2011).
"The dietary and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents are influenced by many sectors of society, including families, communities, schools, child care settings, medical care providers, faith-based institutions, government agencies, the media, and the food and beverage industries and entertainment industries" (CDC, 2015b).
Schools also need to step up and be a part of the solution. Children spend more than 30 hours a week in school while most the time they are just sitting at a desk. Most children only get to have gym class for 45 minutes about twice a week and only get 20 minutes of recess. That adds up to only 3 hours of running around just being a kid. "This does not even include the time that children spend behind a computer playing video games.
"We are teaching children from a young age how to get fat" (Cann, 2015). Schools play a critical role in a child's life by establishing a safe and supportive environment. Schools should increase exercise time to a healthy 30 or more active minutes a day and also increase the nutritional value of school lunches. Schools are a place for children to learn so we need to teach them about healthy eating and physical activity behaviors while giving them a safe place to practice these skills.
Adults should educate children. Teach them about healthy eating and how to be physically active. Also help them to understand the benefits of what 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity can do to their body. Teach them they can strengthening their bones and decreasing blood pressure, reducing stress and anxiety, increasing self-esteem and help to maintain a healthy weight. Get out and play with your kids. Go for a walk, play tag, jump rope, play soccer, or dance. Just do something to get kids moving and make sure they are not staying sedentary throughout the day can make a whole world of difference for their health (American Heart Association, 2015).
Ending childhood obesity in America would be a huge step for our nation. American children would be saved from health issues now and later on in life. Which, would also save them a lot of money on medical bills. In 2008, $147 billion was spent on medical bills associated with obesity so eliminating childhood obesity would save billions of dollars in medical bills in the future (CDC, 2015b). They would also live longer, be happier, and be more productive. Today there are statistics showing that parents could outlive their children (Carroll-Scott, Gilstad-Hayden, Rosenthal, Eldahan, McCaslin, Peters, & Ickovics, 2015). Preventing future child from being obese and ending obesity in children today would make America a more
healthy and productive country.
Frieden would be a huge asset to this project because of his vast experience with improving health security at home and around the world, reducing the leading causes of death and illness, and strengthening public health & health care collaboration. Friden would benefit from partnership with this project because one of his main goals is "Helping Americans to reduce childhood obesity through focused programs" (CDC, 2013).
Janet Collins, PhD, Director Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity for the CDC. Collin received her job for DNPAO in March 2013. This Division provides national leadership on nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention.Dr. Collins recently published a book that focuses on policy interventions including reducing childhood obesity through policy change and using health impact assessment to influence public health policy (DNPAO, 2015).
Collins would be a great asset to this project because her division of the CDC works to improve dietary quality to support healthy child development and reduce chronic disease, increase health-related physical activity for people of all ages and decrease prevalence of obesity
through prevention of weight gain and maintenance of healthy weight. The DNPAO also promotes healthy food and activity choices through environments that ensure the availability of free, good-tasting water, safe locations for physical activity, and healthier foods including affordable fruits and vegetables (DNPAO, 2015).
Timeline For Action Plan
Benaroch, R. (2014). Preventing obesity in children, causes of child obesity, and More. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/children/guide/obesity-children
Cann, K. (2015, September 16). Childhood obesity: Can we stop it before it starts? Retrieved from http://robbwolf.com/2015/09/16/childhood-obesity-can-we-stop-it-before-it-starts/
Carroll-Scott, A., Gilstad-Hayden, K., Rosenthal, L., Eldahan, A., McCaslin, C., Peters, S. M., & Ickovics, J. R. (2015). Associations of neighborhood and school socioeconomic and social contexts with body mass index among urban preadolescent students. American Journal Of Public Health, 105(12), 2496-2502. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302882
CDC. (2015a). Childhood obesity facts. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/facts.htm
CDC. (2015b). Combating childhood obesity. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/features/preventchildhoodobesity/
CDC. (2013, May 17). The CDC Director. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/about/leadership/director.htm
DNPAO. (2015, October 27). About Us. Retrieved from
Dwyer, L. (2014). Childhood obesity in Greece. Retrieved from http://www.takepart.com/photos/these-10-countries-lead-world-childhood-obesity-nope-us-isnt-no-1/1-greece
Freedman, Kettel, Serdula, Dietz, Srinivasan, & Berenson. (2005). The relation of childhood BMI to adult adiposity: The Bogalusa Heart Study.Pediatrics, 115, 22-27. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/115/1/22
Freedman, Zuguo, Srinivasan, Berenson, & Dietz. (2007). . Cardiovascular risk factors and excess adiposity among overweight children and adolescents: The Bogalusa Heart Study. Journal of Pediatrics, 105(1), 12-17. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17188605
Jackson, R. J., & Sinclair, S. (2012). Designing Healthy Communities (1st ed ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
The National Herald. (2015). Greece goes after childhood obesity. The National Herald. Retrieved from http://www.gqs.gr/greece-goes-after-childhood-obesity/
The State of Obesity. (2011). State briefs. Retrieved from http://stateofobesity.org/states/
Vanelli, M., & Finistrella, V. (2011). Italy’s Giocampus – an effective public private alliance against childhood obesity. Health Delivery, 56(2). doi:10.1016/s1361-3723(02)00318-4