Obesity in children is estimated to be on the rise. Governments and non-profit health organizations have advocated for intervention. The causes of obesity are associated with genetic combination and nutrition lifestyles. Genetic combination cannot be altered but the nutrition may. Thus, the project to ensure that the causes of the obesity, its harm to the body and solution is documented.
Prevalence of obesity among children is associated with many diseases. The World Health Organization estimates that by, “2010, an estimated 43 million children under five will be overweight,” (WHO, 2009, p. 6). Further, the report claims that parents are the chief reason for the situation. Obesity is a direct result of feeding habits, thus obese children are associated with foods rich in sugar and fat. Children, in general, take food that is easy to make such as packed foods. Disabled children also have high chances of being obese due to the reduced mobility and engagement with children in games (WHO, 2009, p. 12).
To reduce the number of obese children, interventions such as introduction of new menus in public canteens, nutrition trainings and sporting facilities are developed. These developments aim at introducing new behaviors among the victims and also as a preventative measure (Walls, Peeters, Proietto, & McNeil, 2011, p. 1 para 7). The health issues related with obesity include; heart disease, diabetes, cancer, “breathing difficulties, increased risk of fractures, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and psychological effects,” (WHO, 2009, p. 8 para1). The psychological effects of obesity is due to the mistreatment that the victims experience. Obesity alters with the body biological processes therefore creating a conducive environment for development of cancer cells.
The recent campaign by World Health Organization has been in a bid to mobilize the public to protect the children against poor eating habits. The campaign was highly successful due to the prevalence of obesity. This policy, however, is limited in its design to advocate for third party integration in fulfilling its goals. The policy calls for not only physical exercises but also for medication of the victims and in extreme cases, surgery (Walls, Peeters, Proietto, & McNeil, 2011, p. 1 para 13). The policy also called for global changes in the nutritional environments in public institutions and regular medical checkup of children (WHO, 2009, p. 15).
Another public health proposal emphasizes the importance of healthy eating habits. Its main policies are; adjustments to food prices, increased exposure to health foods, and improved image of healthy foods among the children. The policy calls for regulation of the food and nutrition industry and companies to ensure that foods with reduced fat and sugar is supplied. The success of the policy is cited from the public’s “recognition of a ‘crisis’ situation as a key factor preceding regulatory intervention,” (Walls, Peeters, Proietto, & McNeil, 2011, p. 1 para 22). The policy also calls for changes in legislative policies to ensure the health of the public. The policy further recognizes that to curb the obesity problem, the availability of foods associated with this condition need to be regulated.
New Public Health Policy Plan
Children have developed perceptions about the kind of food they prefer; sugary, brightly colored and in small portions. Thus, this policy will ensure to market healthy foods in bright and attractive packaging, sweet and in small portions (AshBaes, El-Jabali, & Massey, 2014, p. 6). The new strategy is aimed at making the healthy foods attractive to kids.
First, the policy will raise awareness in families through marketing such as the contemporarily unhealthy food manufacturers do. The children desire fancy and bright foods. Hence, the policy will call for manufacturers to make healthy foods in fancy styles, tasty and bright. The marketing process will then be done on Television to create an impression of good food among the children. Regulation in marketing by the contemporary marketing firms will also be regulated to reduce the daily intake of junk and other unhealthy foods. Campaigns to educate the public on parenting will advise the parents on ensuring their voice in the choices children make regarding the food they take. The World Health Organization (WHO) claims that, “the rate of obesity in developed countries is double that in the developing countries,” (WHO, 2009, p. 8). This is because parents in these countries have neglected their parental duties in a bid to support their families financially. Marketers have taken advantage and capitalized in marketing the foods to children (Walls, Peeters, Proietto, & McNeil, 2011, p. 6). Therefore, this project will seek to reduce the marketing by these companies and increase marketing by health food manufacturers.
It is estimated that about “30% of boys and 40% of girls,” considered obese in their childhood end up being diagnosed with diabetes type 2 (Koplan, C Liverman, & Kraak, 2005, p. 131). The high costs of treatment for obesity and the diseases as a result of obesity justify the policy. $98-$129 was used in 2004 in treating the patients diagnosed with diabetes (Koplan, C Liverman, & Kraak, 2005, p. 131). The costly expenditure thus requires that the causes and influences to the poor eating habits and lack of physical activities be assessed. The 59% of the food marketed to children contains high levels of fat, sodium and sugar (Colby, Johnson, Scheett, & Hoberson, 2010, p. 98). Other nutritional benefits such as high calcium content in the foods aim to mislead the consumers. Thus, this policy will campaign for reduced levels of sugar, sodium and fat in the manufactured foods. Also, the policy will seek to ensure that the proposed nutrition levels are medically proven.
AshBaes, A., El-Jabali, A., & Massey, A. (2014). CHILDHOOD OBESITY: FOOD & PUBLIC HEALTH. University of Calgary Communication Studies(1), 13. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/35736407/CHILDHOOD_OBESITY_FOOD_and_PUBLIC_HEALTH
Colby, S. E., Johnson, L., Scheett, A., & Hoberson, B. (2010). Nutrition Marketing on Food Labels. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 42(2), 92-98. Retrieved from http://www.jneb.org/article/S1499-4046(08)00847-6/abstract
Koplan, J. P., CLiverman, C. T., & Kraak, V. I. (2005). Preventing childhood obesity: Health in the balance: Executive summary. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Diatetics, 105(1), 131-138. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jada.2004.11.023
Walls, H. L., Peeters, A., Proietto, J., & McNeil, J. C. (2011). Public health campaigns and obesity – a critique. BioMed Central, 11(136), 1. Retrieved from https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-11-136
WHO. (2009). Prevention Strategies for Childhood Obesity. Geneva: World Health Organization. Retrieved from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/44312/9789241599344_eng.pdf;jsessionid=50C67D403A78D1E88150D7B87CF827EC?sequence=1