Schools can help change obesity rates in schools through education.Introduction
In America it is well known that obesity is a common ailment. This is an issue that must be attacked at the core. How do we attack this epidemic and what is the core? To find out the answers I must look at statistics from the past and the present to find my answers Parents often have less time to spend with their children therefore, even less time on themselves. Childhood obesity is a result of poor genetics and or unhealthy lifestyles or sedentary lives. Obesity can lead to an array of weight related health and psychological problems to these individuals. Schools can help families maintain a healthier balanced lifestyle through decreasing obesity rates utilizing education and overhauling the breakfast and lunch programs. We do live in a fast paced world leaving a byproduct of a fast food generation has not helped, actually hindering attempts to live healthier. This epidemic has caused a 16 percent increase in childhood obesity from the age group 12 to 19 a close first to a 15 percent increase in age group 6-11, over a two year span. My research will be focused on how schools can help prevent obesity through education and what meals they serve for school age children.Body
My thesis structures on what programs are available for schools, if they are being utilized and if education along with proper dieting will help our future generations. Healthy eating, regular physical endurance and education hold a powerful role in preventing obesity. Schools can help with obesity rate in schools through education. The concept of rearing a completely rearing a health conscious society is possible however that does not mean that obesity and poor eating habits will disappear. It means that awareness will improve and with that comes an increase in healthy choices. Teachers need to take continuing education classes that enable them to be fully qualified in fulfilling this gap in education. Schools should implement the physicality aspect to what they consume by having children get involved in the cultivation of what they eat through 'farm to schools' program thus encompassing systems from pre-k to high schools in all schools charter, private and public alike. The research that I have recently begun to look into has wholes and missed connection however if implemented properly has really good ground work to make a huge dent in today's generation.
My targeted audience will focus on educators and policy writers. I believe this is as necessary as drinking water. A health conscious America is very important for the future of this country, more so the survival of human existence. If we look at Social Security Disability in itself will benefit from this program. There are many people on it a very young ages due to lack of nutrition, obesity, early onset diabetes, and it will be programs like this that help society decrease the number of applicants. It has been observed that Life expectancy for our current generation of children will decrease by two years as of 2030 if Australia's and the United States obesity epidemic continue at this rate. The nation's health taskforce in prevention warns in its presidential report.
The majority of my sources are coming from journals and articles on the Internet through Rio Salado library. I was able to pull from many databases utilizing the online library. The history of schools and national programs can be found through a variety of research. My primary areas that I have found the most valuable are government web sources and medical journals. The U.S. Department of Education has provided many articles and research on the topic. Another valuable source that I have discovered happens to be the Center for Disease Control (CDC). I found several fact finding articles alone and within the research articles themselves. Throughout the history of the school systems I have found that this subject has always been present however in today's society the emphasis is focused on how fast things can get done utilizing technology and not physical labor. Health should not come after work or play. An individual's health and the health of their family should be a priority, without good heath we as humans cannot function to our optimum ability.
My first source was a research article in the 1Washington Post. This article was very focused on older students and not on the elementary school students. Michelle Obama has been working on an anti-obesity campaign for many years. She has implemented a steady stream of new guidelines for the schools. I agree with campaign however for this article of research discusses more of an elementary school point of view. When it comes to many junior highs and high schools kids, leave and go off campus for meals or order in food. Next I looked at an article written for the cable channel, 2 HBO: The Weight of the Nation: Themes Part 3. This article discusses ways to render the challenge of obesity. If a child can be taught from pre-K nutritional value and have it extended to home then that's how they know how to live. This article has given a lot of incite on society and the corners that have been cut to save money and time. We know have a lot of alternative when it comes to healthy living. This is a well-known serious and really brings the issue into the home environment. Then I looked at; 3 'TakePart' - a digital news & lifestyle magazine. This is a matter of fact article for a parent on the go. This article was very educational and touched on many basic needs that would facilitate a program to decrease obesity through healthy eating. I feel that our future with these plans in place will be far more educated and well balanced. The problem is that parents rely on other sources more often than not. Therefore they may be aware of the situation but brush it off. I would prefer that phone numbers or suggestions would have helped.
I then went on to look at additional research at the Rio Salado Library. I choose a research paper written in the 4American Journal of Public Health. This article is a research article focusing specifically of decreasing obesity starting at the school level. The article is fact based and incudes questionnaires, surveys and four year controlled study. The research followed groups from an elementary and junior high school. This was a very good study conducted with positive results. I believe this is a great path to follow however there was not information as to whether the study was home and school based. I then moved on to the next article. This is another research based article conducted through the 5 National Centers for Biotechnology Information. 'Farm to Schools' is a program that helps local farms to provide schools with food that is locally grown. Farmers are offering a solution through providing food and allowing children to be involved on various levels. This is a wonderful yet underused program. Programs like this should be heard about more often. This would be implemented at every school if I had a say in it.
Next I looked at an article from 6 Harvard Medical School. This article is focused on healthy eating from the absolute best source. This source is focused on the schools themselves. School is wear children learn about nutrition and spend most of their day time hours from the average age of four to nineteen. Many children go to school and eat breakfast and lunch leaving only one meal at home. The article focuses on education at home and school. I agree that if children and students are educated then it will help stimulate the process. Finally I reviewed a research article by the 7Center for Disease Control. This article really hit home. Though we live in an advanced technological society there are more diseases effecting the youth of today than ever, given today's medical advancements. All age groups have been affected. Ages 12 to 19 went from 5 percent to 21 percent increase in the rate of obesity. Obesity is not being overweight it is defined as being grossly overweight. Obesity is a poor distribution from calorie intake due to many factors such as; genetics, poor health, and environmental factors just to name a few. Children are now at risk for more long-term health effects.
The basic goals are being utilized in a variety of aspect. The gaps are gigantic though because there are programs not being utilized. All four school system (public, private, charter and home school programs) are not coinciding with each other. I would like to see a streamline in the nutritional system for the United States. If all facets participated in the same working model including the Indian reservations then I believe we would be working toward the common good.
In order to begin the system overhaul Iwould review all empirical data from the current up to date resources to assist in compiling graphs. I would also like to survey principals and teacher from all school districts. Then survey will be sent to families in each district to obtain new data. All surveys will be sent via Email. I would compile the data from my resources and from active participants. I feel that a combined effort from the schools and parents will give a excellent hands on approach. I will research further on efforts combined in a joint task force.
At the same time I will make several observations over a six month period during breakfast and lunch time at selected school. I will make a minimum of at least on visit to each district. When visiting I will have a questionnaire set. I will also ask the children a few questions about the food they are consuming. Some interview will be prescheduled and some unannounced. Finally, I will use a variety of focus group consisting of parents, teachers and children grouped by age.
This will be an ongoing process that will need constant updating and changes. In regards to interviewing children, I will need to get consent from parents, this may pose an issue and not all parents will want to get involved. A secondary concern will be getting people to participate in my email survey. I may need to offer a consolation prize upon each completed survey. My next concern is getting people to partake in the focus groups. In the past when attending a focus group I was given a gift card or door prize. Finally, I will have a budget so I will need to proceed with caution and pre-plan for my research. I was thinking of applying for a few grants. I have had some experience in writing grants. This is a large undertaking however; I feel that I can accomplish my goals set forth.Conclusion
In the finial paper I want to see and show that the fight against obesity can be won. The programs are there and abundant. It will take a nation to make it work. The gaps need to be filled in and organizations need to work together rather than separately. Teachers and parents need to work together. I will prove that by doing this we will have can prevent an early death rate by living a healthy life style. This will start by our Nation's leading professionals educating the people and doing the right thing by working in unison and our nation will educate the teachers. When it comes to obesity in relationship to the school function has been very slim historically.
The basic function of learning about nutrition has been an ongoing process however a slow process. Nutritional values have constantly changed. In the 1990's there was a decrease in teaching nutritional values and increase in focusing on physical education. As time went on came the generation of fast food, decreased lunchtime and decrease physical activity. Schools became solely academic after elementary school. Due to an overwhelming need to change curriculums some districts began year round schools. Children fell through cracks in the system and the no-child left behind act was put into place under the George Bush administration in 2001. Not only were children not being taught nutritional and physical values, technology reinforced these poor behaviors. Currently the Obama administration has implemented a much higher standard when it comes to nutrition and the education of nutritional values. This is an ever evolving society, constantly changing. This fight though is far from over.