Community programs important in preventing childhood obesity By Marisa Paipongna Posted: While previous studies have examined the role that CPPs play in the health outcomes of students, this study has the largest sample size to date — examining U. The key findings of this study show the value of investing in CPPs that support physical activity and nutrition, which can include increasing the amount of time for students to be physically active, building trails and parks for outdoor recreation, and expanding the availability of healthy foods in schools.
KRAAK Preventing Childhood Obesity The nation must act now, or it will watch its children grow into adults with excessive levels of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other weight-related ailments. After improving dramatically during the past century, the health of children and youth in the United States now faces a dangerous setback: It is occurring in boys and girls in every state, in younger children and adolescents, across all socioeconomic strata, and among all ethnic groups.
Traditionally, most people have considered weight to be a personal statistic, of concern only to themselves or, on occasion, to their physicians.
Both science and statistics, however, argue that this view must change. As researchers learn ever more about the health risks of obesity, the rise in the prevalence of obesity in children—and in adults as well—is increasingly becoming a major concern to society at large and hence a public health problem demanding national attention.
Since the s, when the epidemic began to take hold, the prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled for children aged 6 to 11 years from 4 percent to Although no demographic group is untouched, some subgroups have been affected more than others.
Today, more than 9 million children over age 6 are considered obese, which means that they face serious immediate and long-term health risks.
They are at increased risk as they grow older of a number of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis, and cancer. By being obese in a society that stigmatizes this condition, they also may develop severe psychosocial burdens, such as shame, self-blame, and low self-esteem, that may impair academic and social functioning and carry into adulthood.
Pared to its core, the solution is simple: Preventing obesity will require ensuring that children maintain a proper energy balance. This means that each child will consume enough of the right kinds of food and beverages and get enough physical activity to maintain a healthy weight while supporting normal growth and development and protecting overall health.
At work are a multitude of factors—genetic, biological, psychological, sociocultural, and environmental—acting independently and in concert. Thus, combating the epidemic will be challenging.
But there is precedent for success in other public health endeavors of comparable complexity and scope. Major gains have been made, for example, in reducing tobacco use, including preventing youth from smoking, and in improving automobile safety, including promoting the use of car seats and seatbelts to protect young passengers.
Some lessons can be drawn from these efforts, past and current, and many new ideas and approaches will be needed to meet conditions specific to the task at hand.
One overarching principle is clear: Preventing childhood obesity on a national scale will require a comprehensive approach that is based soundly on science and involves government, industry, communities, schools, and families.
Such an approach is detailed in Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance, issued by the Institute of Medicine in September The report examines the various factors that promote childhood obesity, identifies promising methods for prevention, describes continuing research needs, and assigns responsibilities for action across a broad sweep of society.
Some highlights of the report are offered in the following sections. Strengthening political muscle As many other public health programs have demonstrated, catalyzing national action to prevent childhood obesity will require the full commitment of government at all levels.
The federal government should take the lead by declaring this a top public health priority and dedicating sufficient funding and resources to support policies and programs that are commensurate to the scale of the problem.
The government also should ensure that prevention efforts are coordinated across all departments and agencies, as well as with state and local governments and various segments of the private sector. Toward this end, the president should request the Department of Health and Human Services DHHS to convene a high-level task force including the secretaries or senior officials of all departments and agencies whose work relates in any way to childhood obesity to be responsible for establishing priorities and promoting effective collaborations.
In order to foster full and free communication, the task force should meet regularly with local and state officials; representatives from nongovernmental organizations, including civic groups, youth groups, advocacy groups, and foundations; and representatives from industry.
In addition to providing broad leadership, the federal government should take a variety of specific steps. For example, funding should be increased for surveillance and monitoring systems that gather information needed for tracking the spread of childhood obesity and for designing, conducting, and evaluating prevention programs.
In particular, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which for years has been used to monitor the population through home interviews and health examinations, should be strengthened, with more attention being paid to collecting and analyzing data that will inform prevention efforts.
Special efforts should be made through this and other surveillance systems to better identify and monitor the populations most at risk of childhood obesity, as well as the social, behavioral, and environmental factors contributing to that elevated risk.
Among other steps, the government should increase support for public and private programs that educate children, youth, and their families about the importance of good nutrition and regular physical activity.
Congress should request independent assessments of these assistance programs to ensure that each provides adequate access to healthful dietary choices for the populations served.
In addition, pilot studies should be expanded within these programs to identify new ways to promote a healthful diet and regular physical activity behaviors. Test programs that prove successful should be scaled up as quickly as possible. Congress also should call for an independent assessment of federal agricultural policies, including subsidies and commodity programs that may affect the types and quantities of foods available to children through food assistance programs.
For example, concern has been expressed about whether the increasing amounts of caloric sweeteners primarily derived from sugarcane, beets, and corn that people are consuming are contributing to the obesity epidemic, and whether subsidies for these crops are promoting the production of inexpensive caloric sweeteners.
These possible relationships warrant further investigation.
If problems are confirmed in this or other cases, then the government should revise its policies and programs to promote a U. Preventing childhood obesity will require a comprehensive science-based approach that involves government, industry, communities, schools, and families.
For their part, state and local governments should join in making the prevention of childhood obesity a priority by providing the leadership—and resources—needed to launch and evaluate a slate of programs and activities that promote physical activity and healthful eating in communities, neighborhoods, and schools.Obesity in Children.
In this Article In this Article A child's total diet and activity level play an important role in determining a child's weight. Today, many children spend a lot time being.
Childhood obesity is a grave issue, which needs to be addressed urgently because it leads to several medical and psychosocial problems in children. High prevalence is being increasingly reported in children from developing countries as well.
The combination of our genetic propensity to store fat. Jun 30, · Prevalence of childhood obesity and its complications have increased world-wide.
Parental status may be associated with children’s health outcomes including their eating habits, body weight and blood cholesterol. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for . The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has committed another $ million to combating childhood obesity.
The pledge will be spread across several initiatives, including improving school lunches, encouraging exercise and eliminating sugar-sweetened beverages for children. Childhood obesity has immediate and long-term effects on physical, social, and emotional health.
For example: Children with obesity are at higher risk of having other chronic health conditions and diseases that influence physical health. Pekruhn C. Preventing Childhood Obesity: A School Health Policy GuideArlington, VA: Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, National Association of State Boards of Education; 2.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.