Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Intro - 3 Overlooked Facts in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity


Background:

It is no secret that childhood obesity has been affecting young children in our society for decades. Our schools have worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide foods to our children in the hope of preventing childhood obesity, but to no avail. 

Many families also practice healthy eating and provide good examples for their children. However, independently both entities are failing in their attempt to combat overweight in children. 

"Therefore, policymakers and [parents] should work in partnership to consider the evaluation of new policies prior to implementation" (Williams et al., 2015). 

It is imperative that, to fight against childhood obesity, home, and school team up in order to help kids make intelligent dietary decisions.

Alternative:

When home and school make wise food choices, especially in implementing "whole-grains" and eliminating "refined grains" (Woo Baidal & Taveras, 2014), these decisions can impact our children's health positively in terms of weight maintenance. 

The children's environment should be saturated with good food choices without the opportunity to make wrong choices. The conflicting choices children make relating to their diet are due to the inconsistencies in the types of foods provided both at home and at school. 

Lobstein et al. (2015) state, "The more an environment consistently promotes healthy behaviour, the greater the likelihood that such behaviour will occur." 

If both home and school consistently provide healthy choices, the children's taste buds will be programmed to want the right foods at an early age. 

Then the "obesity epidemic" (Fung et al., 2012) over our children "by the age of 5 years" (Cunningham, Kramer, & Narayan, 2014) will be reduced.


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References:

Cunningham, S. A., Kramer, M. R., & Narayan, K. V. (2014). Incidence of childhood obesity in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(5), 403-411. 

Fung, C., Kuhle, S., Lu, C., Purcell, M., Schwartz, M., Storey, K., & Veugelers, P. J. (2012). From “best practice" to" next practice": the effectiveness of school-based health promotion in improving healthy eating and physical activity and preventing childhood obesity. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9(1), 1. 

Lobstein, T., Jackson-Leach, R., Moodie, M. L., Hall, K. D., Gortmaker, S. L., Swinburn, B. A., & et al. (2015). Child and adolescent obesity: part of a bigger picture. The Lancet, 385(9986), 2510-2520. 

Woo Baidal, J. A., & Taveras, E. M. (2014). Protecting progress against childhood obesity—the National School Lunch Program. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(20), 1862-1865.