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Childhood Obesity in Boston

Introduction

The present situation of the world is facing a major epidemiological change, and from the perspective of healthcare and medical institutes, this is considered to have reached a critical stage. This is evident from the prevalent state of nutritional values undergoing constant variation with zinc, iron, and anemia deficiencies rising rapidly. These changes have been noticed in both developing and underdeveloped countries around the globe. Among these, childhood obesity has been considered to have gained a spotlight since it serves as a base for identifying the cause of obesity in the general public. Most children, around the age of five, are likely to develop unhealthy eating habits, which seem to be harmless at first but eventually lead to the development of un-communicable diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular. Some are likely to develop some form of cancer throughout their life. Most of these obese children are likely to carry this on into adulthood, with evident signs of emotional instability, social insecurities, and noticeable physical health deterioration.

Discussion

Need Assessment

The focus of the Study/Program Planning

The study is focused on childhood obesity and its effect in Boston, Massachusetts. To study the rising trend in obesity among children and to identify the instigating factors behind the habit (Eagle et al., 2012). Devising healthy nutritional plans and proposing a possible method of spreading awareness. Since childhood obesity has become a leading cause for most social changes noticed presently and to avoid it, the best possible strategy is to fix it right where it first takes root.

Health Awareness Plan

The health awareness plan will serve the purpose of selecting a community in Boston, Massachusetts, to research and study the trends of obesity in the selected community. These trends will assist in developing an understanding of whether the curiosity trend in children is ascending or descending. Children today are less aware to warsare effects of good holds on their bodies (Wang 2006). The awareness plan will be designed to address this prevalent problem and will work on possible ways of introducing healthier habits into the lives of these children in the targeted community.

Program Relevance

The relevance of the program exists in the fact that presently, with the introduction of new and emerging fast food companies in the region, children have not been fully educated about the harmful effects of eating sweetened food items or the intake of high-cholesterol products. Having free reign over their decisions, most children leisurely spend on junk food, benefiting these companies but ultimately investing in a decreasing life expectancy program (Reilly et al., 2005). The focus of the program is not to ruin the image of fast food companies or to vote against the use of it but to educate the younger population about the effects of using something in excess.

The program will include elements that will aim towards educating children about the harmful effects of obesity, the diseases that come along with obesity, and the benefits of a healthy, healthy lifestyle. The elements of the program will include:

  • Identification of obesity levels by using Body Mass Index (BMI), measuring skin thickness and circumference of the waist.
  • Categorizing obesity trends and elements of influence
  • Educating awareness among children about the ill effects of obesity
  • Introducing benefits of a healthier lifestyle
  • Planning and charting out a healthy diet plan to follow
  • Scheduling maximum outdoor activities and exercises while defining possible ways of decreasing screen time

Resource Allocation & Feasibility

The healthcare program, after undergoing a proper analysis to select essentials while subtracting out the rest, will assist in designing a structured layout of it. The program structure is based on the priority of spreading awareness among masses in the area of Boston (selected community) will be based on several sub categorized programs.

  • Conducting seminars and workshops in schools
  • Addition of a healthcare program initiative in the curriculum
  • Promotion of healthy food items in school cafeterias
  • Conducting seminars for parents (informing them about the influence of parenthood on a child’s health and habits).
  • Bringing children and parents together for an organized outdoor activity

From the feasibility report’s perspective, the resources allocated to carry out these activities present high success presented because a similar healthcare program was carried out in Boston, targeting children from two lower-income communities. The aim of that study was to trend out the percentage of obese children, chart out their habits and eating patterns, and propose a method to tackle the problem in an effort to provide them with a healthier benefit. The survey was initially conducted by a community advisory board of parents. Their statistics revealed that around 92 percent of the parents attended and took part in the campaign, revealing that a CPBR approach leading to a campaign design has proven to be an effective method. A similar approach in this regard will be taken, including the participation of the parents from the targeted community and inviting them to share their opinions on the matter (Rogers et al., 2015). This will aid in designing a campaign structure that will accommodate and develop an interest in parents and children in the area.

Skills & Competencies Influencing Behavioral Change

The childhood obesity prevention program will focus on the points that have been previously listed underneath the heading of program relevance. Priority has been given to the fact that habits form as one of the most distinguishable factors of a child’s development towards their personality and character as they enter adulthood. Addressing and properly aligning these habits against healthier options will ensure that the child does not undergo the harmful effects of emotional instability and that academic performance can be improved (Ogden, Carroll, Kit & Flegal 2014). A point of emphasis exists in the predominant fact that parents and caregivers hold a significant influence on children’s dietary preferences and screen time (consisting of watching television, playing video games using their laptops, or computer physical activity indulgence). The purpose of the obesity prevention program among children will be mostly based on promoting family-based activities and initiating targeting behaviors that hold dominance over behavioral elements.

Strategies – Identification & Implementation

One of the most promising insights into studies that have been conducted for communities based in Boston has revealed that parents, even though they do recognize the harmful effects of diseases that come along with obesity, still have not fully accepted the fact of their child being obese. Recognition of a problem is always considered to be the first bold step towartowardvery. The obesity prevention program for children will necessarily be more prioritized towards caregivers and parents since they form as they are the prominent influential factors in a child’s growth and development (Criss et al., 2016). Advocating the case and presenting them with other possible alternatives to adopt will strengthen the chances for a better outcome on the program’s completion. In this regard, the program will be broken down into various segments, each focused on a specific topic.

The subcategories falling under the main program will be specifying the financial costs of healthcare, possible diet change plans, introducing various outdoor activities or home-based exercises, and promoting the option of going green and natural as part of becoming appreciative of a healthy lifestyle.

Program

Program Elements

The healthcare obesity prevention program for children will consist of outdoor activities inviting the participation of families, conducting seminars within schools and communities, promotion of the healthcare program through flyers and on social media. Seminars will focus on the diseases that come along with obesity, topics based on physiological and emotional changes due to obesity, and effects of it on a child as they carry it into adulthood.

Presentation

Conducting the workshop will include making use of slides, inviting professionals from healthcare organizations to present their views on obesity, and displaying charts and trends to parents to inform them better. Breaking down the overall effect of a child’s obesity problem and implementing it on various other behavioral changes that parents neglect to notice. Providing them with a financial analysis of the cost it takes to tackle the problems that arise due to obesity (health and therapy costs) costs and finally presenting them with statistics on how soon adapting to a healthier lifestyle will increase life expectancy.

The presentation forms one of the critical parts of a campaign since people are more likely to incur an effect from a visual aid rather than sitting down to read helpful benefits from something written. The presentation is focused on obesity among children, otherwise known as childhood obesity, and will determine various options for preventing children from undergoing it.

Target Audience

The target audience for the prevention program will consist of parents, caregivers, and children from the selected community. Teachers are also a good source of conveying this information since they serve as the next best instructors other than caregivers and parents. Schools, being the secondary school where children spend most of their time, are also a good source, and they are initiating this campaign. Keeping the target audience in focus will also aid in the development of the campaign structure, selection of topics to present, and choosing the best way of delivering it to them in forms digestible. The difference towards the target audience will also focus on ways of bringing in major contribution from parents, children, and caregivers in the selected community (Franckle et al., 2017). Involving the process of meeting with parents in an individual manner will prove to be a hectic process and may slow down the process of implementing the program in the community. A major portion of the audience can be targeted through the process of inviting people through the use of advertising on social media, blogs, and through the use of online welfare community service websites.

Cost Estimation

The cost for moflizing the health care prevention program will be consistent with the measures undertaken and as s,uch may ,present variations at the time of implementation. However, a general estimate of the overall cost can be analyzed by inquiring into the cost of conducting seminars and workshops in the targeted areas. The cost for selecting a venue and hosting a workshop over a defined number of days, inviting public speakers and professionals from the field of medicine and healthcare disciplines, printing and posting flyers, opening up “Go Green” outlets around various shops and food courts to promote healthy, diet-friendly food items and promoting these items in school cafeterias as an alternative to sweetened drinks and other variations of junk food.

Evaluation

The methods for conducting an evaluation will be based on the outcome of the workshops and seminars held towards bringing a change in the life of the targeted audience. However, to conduct a physical form ation process, parents will be asked to take provider feedback at the end of the program’s completion. The feedback will analyze the amount of influence the parents, caregivers, and children were able to acquire from it. Surveys will be conducted in school for a designated period of time to assess whether the given program for the selected community was useful or not. The data gathered from the analysis will assist in providing factual data to work on (Sleddens et al., 2011). The evaluation process will be helpful in charting out a trend that can assist in future programs in the area as well. The data acquired from this prevention program can then be compared with the programs conducted in Boston in the past years to analyze if any major changes have been brought in over the years or if the current prevention program was useful or not.

Conclusion

Childhood obesity is a daunting and horrifying fact but noticeably obesity ,among children ,is on a rise for the lashas beenfew theears, in the United States. he growing trend is mostly contributed by parents aattributedrtooffering little attention towards the child’s phystotivity, exercise, dietary options and the time they spend, in front of the computer, laptop or television screens. ,One of the most horrifying facts is that these children, being obese in their childhood, are known to carry it on into their adulthood. Most of them are known to be developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases quite rapidly. A portion of these children are noticed to getting exposed to cancer symptoms as well, due to their obese pattern in life. The obesity prevention program for children is designed to bring forth awareness among children, parents, and caregivers towards the diseases and ailments that come along with bad eating habits and with the exclusion of exercises in their daily routine. Parents still have not fully accepted the fact of their child being obese. Recognition of the problem is always considered to be the first bold step toward recovery. Childhood obesity has become a leading case for most social changes noticed presently, and to avoid it, the best possible strategy is to fix it, right where it first takes root.

References

Criss, S., Cheung, L., Giles, C., Gortmaker, S., Viswanath, K., Kwass, J. A., & Davison, K. (2016). Media competition implementation for the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Study (MA-CORD): adoption and reach. International journal of environmental research and public health, 13(4), 403.

Eagle, T. F., Sheetz, A., Gurm, R., Woodward, A. C., Kline-Rogers, E., Leibowitz, R., … & Mitchell, L. R. (2012). Understanding childhood obesity in America: linkages between household income, community resources, and children’s behaviors. American Heart Journal, 163(5), 836-843.

Franckle, R. L., Falbe, J., Gortmaker, S., Barrett, J. L., Giles, C., Ganter, C., … & Land, T. (2017). Student obesity prevalence and behavioral outcomes for the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Project. Obesity, 25(7), 1175-1182.

Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Kit, B. K., & Flegal, K. M. (2014). Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. Jama, 311(8), 806-814.

Reilly, J. J., Armstrong, J., Dorosty, A. R., Emmett, P. M., Ness, A., Rogers, I., … & Sherriff, A. (2005). Early life risk factors for obesity in childhood: cohort study. Bmj, 330(7504), 1357.

Rogers, R., Eagle, T. F., Sheetz, A., Woodward, A., Leibowitz, R., Song, M., … & Jackson, E. A. (2015). The relationship between childhood obesity, low socioeconomic status, and race/ethnicity: lessons from Massachusetts. Childhood Obesity, 11(6), 691-695.

Sleddens, E. F., Gerards, S. M., Thijs, C., VRIES, N. K., & Kremers, S. P. (2011). General parenting, childhood overweight and obesity‐inducing behaviors: A review. Pediatric Obesity, 6(2Part2).

Wang, Y., & Lobstein, T. I. M. (2006). Worldwide trends in childhood overweight and obesity. Pediatric Obesity, 1(1), 11-25.

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