Obesity in children has grown over the years into a problem. We will shed light on this issue because it seems to go unnoticed. Obesity is a growing problem that affects children in many ways. This problem often goes beyond childhood and becomes an even bigger problem, as they become adults. The key to ending this cycle is early education and parental guidance. If you teach youth good habit they will stick with them as they become older.
Obesity is a problem that can be fixed relatively easy by implementing simple strategies and techniques. There are many ways to combat obesity here are a few of the easy ones that can be done on a community level with little or no money. Children spend most of their time at school so promoting healthy food choices at school would help. Also establishing outdoor activities for children to participate in after-school would be beneficial. Educating the parents on ways to prepare lost cost healthy meals instead of getting fast food will also play a big part.
Creating low cost sports and dance programs for children to attend after-school will help to promote physical activity. The community will also get together to form fresh fruit and vegetable co-ops to provide fruits and vegetables to families at lower costs. Speaking at community centers and schools will also help in educating the parents, students and teachers on the benefits of being healthy. Physical activity is key in maintaining a healthy weight healthy food choices wont do it alone. Fun activities will be sponsored in the communities like Fun Day in the park to make the children want to be active.
Childhood obesity has become a growing problem in our communities. Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years. Obesity has seen an increase from 7% in 1980 to 18% in 2010 in children in age ranges 6-11. Early prevention is key in stopping the obesity problems in our communities. If a child learns good eating habits early on they tend to stick with them through their entire lives. Education or lack of education also plays a big part in the rate obesity is growing in our communities. Educating the parents, school officials, and children about the long-term effects of obesity will go a long way in preventing it.
Obesity has grown to epic proportions in our state due to the lack of physical activity. Physical activity among our your youth is at an all time low, due to the use of social media sites and video games. Today’s youth would rather stay inside and get online or play video games, then to go outside and have physical interaction with their friends. Getting our youth to go outside to play has become virtually extinct. It is almost taken as punishment to ask them to turn off their computers and video games and go outside to play. Staying active is one of the key parts in combating obesity. We must encourage our youth to get up and get out to stay active.
The effect that childhood obesity has in the future is quite startling. Studies show that obese youth are likely to develop health related problems. Studies show that obese youth tend to have at least one or more of these risk factors: high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, bone and joint problems, high cholesterol, or pre-diabetes. There are also other effects this has on the body that are not on the medical end. Some of these include low self-esteem, which leads right into one of the other factors, which is bullying. Obese youth are also more prone to suffer from depression and other mental issues. When a child is obese they more often grow up to become obese adults.
Obesity is a problem in all states but it seems that the southern states are the worst. The obesity epidemic is higher in Texas than in most states. The chart below will show why Texas is known as the fat state. Programs to combat obesity in Texas are in great need. Please look at the statistics below: Obese Youth Over Time
New Hampshire, 12
New Jersey, 11
New Mexico, 13
New York, 11
North Carolina, 13
North Dakota, 11
Rhode Island, 11
South Carolina, 13
South Dakota, 10
West Virginia, 15
Nevada Oregon Pennsylvania
Implementing simple policies can solve the obesity epidemic. We will educate children and parents on how to eat healthy. Creating food cooperatives will make fresh fruit and vegetables easy to access. If healthy food is easy to come by the parents will prepare healthier meals. Fresh fruit and vegetable cooperatives will have a good effect on the community; it will provide fresh foods at a cheaper rate. The monies raised from the sale the fruit and vegetables will help to fund the community activities for children.
Sponsored programs for children to attend that promote physical activity will be set up in the community. The sponsored activities will include dance classes, tumbling, basketball, and football. This will help the children to stay active and also introduce them to new friends, which will help to promote outdoor activities. We will also sponsor community events at local parks that give the parents an opportunity to participate in their child becoming healthier. Today’s children have grown dependent on video games and computers as their sources of entertainment. If the children have outdoor activities they perceive as fun they will tend to put the electronics down and go outside.
Education is key in the prevention of obesity. Today we have a microwave and fast food friendly society. There are choices now on every fast food menu that have less calories then the traditional choices. Many restaurants allow you to substitute fries for apples. Soda can be substituted for juice or 2% milk. By making one of these choices it reduces the calorie content by as much as 30% helping to reduces obesity. There are also quick meals to make at home that contain less fat. Parents can choose to buy meals like hamburgers made from ground turkey and served with baked French fries or apple juice.
These are all good ways to help stop obesity, but what good are they without a plan. To help prevent obesity we will solicit help from local FFA programs that will donate fruit and vegetables to be used in the food cooperative. We will also solicit help from local farmers and organic grocers to donate fruit and vegetables. We will meet twice monthly on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each moth to secure donations and to distribute flyers for the co-op. The fruit and vegetable cooperative will take place on the 3rd Saturday of every month. The fruit and vegetable donations will be picked up the Friday before the cooperative and stored at the community center. This will be held at the community center located at 3805 Wallisville Rd. Houston, Texas 77049. This event will start at 8:00 and end at 2:00 or when all of the fruit and vegetables are gone. Any left over fruit and vegetables will be donated to local food pantries.
We will secure grant funding from the government to fund community sport activities for the children. To help in this process we will meet with the grant writing committee located in the court annex on Wallisville road. We will also seek outside donors to help with the cost of the activities. The money collected from the fruit and vegetable cooperatives will also be used to buy equipment and other supplies needed for the activities. Volunteers with experience in the areas of dance, football, soccer, baseball etc. will teach the classes. The dance classes will be taught twice a week in the auditorium of the community center located at 3805 Wallisville Rd. Houston, Texas 77049. The football, soccer and baseball lessons will be given alternately twice weekly at the park located 14350 Wallisville Rd. Houston, Texas 77049.
Educational speeches on obesity will be given at the community center once per month. To secure participation in the speeches flyers will be placed on the community blackboard. We will also ask the head of the HOA to post the speech topic and dates on the billboard located at the entrance of the community. We will also visit the local schools to leave literature and dates for the speeches and after school activities. We will also canvas the neighborhood with flyers to make the community aware of our services. The speakers will be volunteers from the community with backgrounds in health and fitness.
Helping to stop obesity in children will result in the child growing up to be a healthier adult. Studies show that healthy eating habits reduce the chance of developing health problems related to obesity as adults. Some of the factors that can be reduced are type-two diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis, and many types of cancer. Obesity also has effects on the reproductive system and could lead to infertility issues as adults. Exercise and healthy eating habits also promotes a healthier outward image that helps self -esteem and mental issues.
The stay fit campaign is a good source to use to gage the importance of fighting childhood obesity. This campaign urges us to get active on a global level and shows how exercise and healthy eating can be fun. Children that learn healthy eating habits will often grow into healthy adults. Healthy eating doesn’t cost anymore than buying foods with higher calorie content. If we educate ourselves on the importance of healthy diets we can change the obesity epidemic in Texas and not be known as “the fat state.” With a little education and physical activity we can become “the fit state.”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008. http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/index.htm