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Friday, 16 May 2014 19:26

Childhood Obesity in South Florida: Part V Featured

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Childhood Obesity in South Florida: Part V


The continued rise of childhood obesity in south Florida calls for the adoption of effective measures in an effort to curb this health issue. It is through the implementation of effective measures that childhood obesity shall cease to be a threat to the welfare of the children of south Florida. The two main outcomes goals related to the fight against childhood obesity include:

  1. To establish long-term weight management programs in south Florida targeting children in south Florida
  2. To create awareness on the need for proper diet and exercise. This outcome goal will be a long term continuous process targeting the entire south Florida community

Goal 1

The weight management program will be essential as it will strive to examine and determine a child’s weight gain. The intervention that will be ideal so as to achieve this goal will involve massive education and awareness initiatives in the community. Education and awareness efforts will be geared at encouraging parents and caretakers to monitor their children’s weight. It is by regularly monitoring a child’s weight that it will be possible to determine children that at risk of becoming obese from those with normal weights.


Children identified as high risk with regard to becoming obese will be put through a weight loss and diet program to regulate their weight. The purpose of the weight management program will be to identify high risk children and prevent the occurrence of obesity before the child begins experiences obesity related health complications (Dolinsky, & Armstrong, 2011). The successful adoption and use of the weight management program will require the complete participation of parents and caretakers of south Florida as well as health care facilities.


Parents must be educated on the need of regularly monitoring their children’s weight. Similarly, health care facilities must be encouraged to adopt the program, so that is becomes a standard procedure to determine a child’s weight upon each medical visit. The program will be quiet cost effective as it will minimize the prevalence of obesity among children. Regular weight monitoring will help health care workers establish whether a child is at risk of being obese, is overweight or is already obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). Whatever revelation is found, the healthcare worker will works with the parent to establish an effective regime to prevent further health problems. Secondly, the program would be cost effective as it will allow for early detection hence minimize healthcare costs associated with obesity complications.


Goal 2

Diet and sedentary lifestyle are the main culprits for the rise in childhood obesity in south Florida. The intervention strategy that will be used to change the society’s lifestyle will also emphasize on education. Lessons on the need for proper feeding, as well as exercise will be integrated in the school curriculum. These lessons will be integrated into the already existing curriculum hence no major adjustments will be made in schools. The lessons will be introduced from the first grade onwards. The introduction on lessons on proper feeding and the need for exercises will be specifically aimed for school going children.


Education on the need for exercise and proper diet will also be done on the community level. Health care workers will organize regular meeting in south Florida social halls and engage the public on information on proper feeding and exercise to their children. Parents and caretakers play a vital role in shaping the feeding habit of the child (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). The parents will thus be educated on the need to introduce their children to proper diet and the need for physical exercise. Parents and caretakers will be educated on the need to regulate the amount of time their children spend on television and video games.


Instead, emphasis will be on participating in outdoor activities. Parents and caregivers are the main groups of people that need to be influenced so that exercise and proper diet become vital activities in children life. Parents who realize the need for proper feeding and exercise in the fight against obesity are often on the right track and will have a positive effect on their children (Dolinsky & Armstrong, 2011). Such parents will regulate the feeding habits of their children, their junk intake and the number of hours spent watching television and playing video games. This program will be costs effective as it will require the services of health care workers who are already skilled in these areas.


Similarly, there will be no need to hire trainers in school as teachers can use different texts and sources to teach their students on proper feeding methods (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). Additionally school administrators will halt the sale on junk foods in schools and replace that with healthier food options. Secondly, educating the community will be done at a local level, meaning health care workers from south Florida will be responsible for educating the public in the region. There, therefore, will be no cost of hiring new public health workers. Overall, the intervention methods will go a long way in minimizing the occurrence of childhood obesity in south Florida, which is expected to increase the overall health care cost of Florida unless effective preventive measures are undertaken.


Reference

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012). Florida’s response to obesity. State nutrition, physical activity, and obesity profile. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/stateprograms/fundedstates/florida.html

Dolinsky, D., Siegariz, A., Perrin, E., & Armstrong, S. (2011). Recognizing and preventing childhood obesity. Contemporary Pediatrics, 28(1), 32-42.


 

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