Childhood obesity is exhibited when surplus body fats affect children’s health. It is extremely difficult to ascertain body fat directly; therefore diagnosis of obesity is always done using Body Mass Index (BMI). Rise in cases related to childhood obesity pose a serious public health concern and possible ways of curbing its prevalence are being mitigated. This research paper is going to focus on possible ways in which parents, schools and government can prevent the spread of childhood obesity.
Givhan reports that in a project dubbed “Lets Move”, the government of the United States of America together with other stakeholders intends to spend one billion US dollars a year in federal funds in fight against childhood obesity. President Obama has signed a formal memorandum that will see the formation of a national taskforce on childhood obesity. Membership is to be drawn from departments of interior, Health and Human Services, Agriculture and education. This task force is mandated to actualize Mrs. Obama’s proposals into action. The task force activities are going to be hinged on dissemination of more nutrition information, increased physical activity, enhanced access to healthy food and personal responsibility. In paragraph four Givhan quotes the first lady saying that the fight against obesity is not about trying to turn the clock back to days when people made five course meals from scratch every night neither is it about being hundred per cent perfect, 100 percent all the time but there will always be a place for cookies and ice cream, burgers and fries that is part of childhood fun. Obama’s initiative has called upon the food and drug administration to liaise with food and beverage manufacturers to improve package labeling. This will make the ingredients more prominent and easier to understand. This would make it easier to know the number of calorie counts in one serving. In paragraph five, Givhan says the government intends to address the schoolhouse nutrition by pushing for the reauthorization of Child Nutrition Act.
The Obama administration is requesting for 10 billion dollars within a period of ten years to improve school meals. Companies like Sodexo, Chartwells School Dining services and Aramark, the leading food suppliers to schools have to cut salt and fat content to the food rations. They have agreed to supply more whole grains and more fresh fruits to schools. In paragraph ten Givhan reports that the US government intends to include in its 2011 budget a Healthy Food Financing Initiative. The government will spend 400 million dollars to set up grocery stores that provide healthy food deserts. Stores will be given the mandate to diversify food options for convenience. This is geared towards eliminating produce- free wastelands. In his text Givham states that the American Academy of Paediatrics looks forward to standardize BMI measurements while working in collaboration with doctors and players in the health provision sector. They propose that children whose BMI are higher be given a prescription for lowering it. The Presidents council on physical fitness and sports will now focus its energy towards health and well being away from the tradition of athleticism and other aspects of physical exercises. The first lady also proposes health partnerships with a variety of foundations to ensure health in America. Givhan says that sports clinics will be set up, projects like bike paths and play grounds will be availed, the government contemplates developing a new website and public service announcements will be put in place in the government’s effort to fight childhood obesity.
Mail Online reports that the government is urging parents to partner with schools to stem out childhood obesity. The government in the year 2006 through the department of health committed itself to weighing the children four to ten in school but some parents adamantly advised their children against taking part in that activity due to fear of stigmatization. The government is considering making weigh in compulsory and even writing letters of warning to parents who have refused their children opportunity to take part in these activities. The government feels that, if a primary school finds that a child is obese, then the parents must be furnished with the information as shelving this information would mean subjecting the child to serious health problem. The department of health is contemplating coming up with the best way of divulging this information to parents who play central role in solving these problems.
Kolbe say in first paragraph that schools can, more than any other social institution can help curb the increase in cases of childhood obesity. Kolbe claims that the K-20 infrastructure set for education ensures dietary and physical activity awareness and betterment. He articulates 23 specific policies that schools consider to contain obesity in children and adults. Administrative or legislative policies according to Kolbe help schools provide physical education, with at least 30 minutes moderate or intensive physical exercise activity a day. Physical activities like recess will allow for physical activity. Intramural and interscholastic activity can be done by children outside class hours. Children with physical disabilities can also enjoy school sponsored physical activity that promotes life long physical activity. Kolbe suggests that stakeholders in fight against childhood obesity should work together with school heads and school employees to help them come up with most effective policies and closely follow national actualization of the policies. The Dean of School of Physical Education and Recreation of Indiana University David Gallahue say that whether by increasing physical activity, diversifying nutritional habits, skillful movement or initiating personal leisure behaviors the breakthrough is in living well through healthy life style. In Kolbe’s research where he works with schools to come up with amicable ways of improving students and school employ health he finds a link between student health and academic performance.
CBC News reports that only 9 per cent of parents in Canada acknowledge the weight associated problems dogging their children’s life. Canada’s Physical activity Guide advises children to aim for 90 minutes a day of physical exercise. The Canadian federal government has come up with incentives like the children’s fitness tax credit as away to entice parents to encourage their children to be active. With this package parents get a maximum of 500 dollars a year for eligible fitness expenses which include getting involved in significant amount of physical exercise that enhances cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and balance.
Boyse suggest that if parent suspect that their children are overweight, they should take them to a physician. Doctors have mechanisms with which they can confirm or deny that a child is actually overweight. They use quite often the BMI index. Boyse advise parents to ensure they embrace the prevention aspects in fight against childhood obesity. Parents are urged to ensure their children have healthy habits from the beginning for it is easier to maintain healthy weight than losing it. Parents are advised to make obesity issues a family issue rather than becoming a child’s affair as this will go along way in sensitizing others who may be struggling with weight problems silently. Parents should help children in setting out short term goals for changes in child’s diet and weekly exercise activities. Children should be rewarded when they meet the demands of these goals. Children should also be in a position to keep record of the calories of food they take and the exercises they do. This encourages self awareness among children. When children share their records with their peers, they get positive feedback from their peers. Children should be praised by their parents for taking healthy food choices as criticizing them will be counterproductive. Boyse in paragraph three urges parents to help their children to come to terms with signal of hunger and fullness to prevent them from taking excess amounts of food.
The fight against childhood obesity should be an initiative of the parents, the government and the school and no party should work in exclusivity.
Boyse, Kyla. “Obesity and Overweight”. University of Michigan Health System. University of Michigan: UMP, 2008. Print
CBC News- Health. Fighting childhood obesity: Is phys-ed enough? 2007. Web.
Givhan, Robin. “First lady Michelle Obama: Let’s move and work on childhood obesity problem”. Washington Post. 2010. Web.
Kolbe, Lloyd.” The role of schools in fighting obesity, poor health”. Indiana University. Bloomington: IUP, 2010. Print.
MailOnine.” Government will target parents in fight against childhood obesity “. MailOnline. 2007. Web.
Raising Children Network.” Childhood Obesity”. Raising Children Network. Australia, 2006. Print.