Childhood obesity is a serious epidemic in America today. It is estimated that more than 23 million children and adolescents aged between 2 and 19 are either obese or overweight (Pan et al., 2013). This increases the population under the risk of suffering other health consequences, for instance type 2 diabetes, joint and bone problems, heart disease, cancer, stroke as well as psychological problems. Moreover, the problem transcends ethnicity, race, locale and family income therefore it needs urgent addressing.
The Goal of the Study
Since schools are endowed with important tools that can be used to address the obesity problem in children, they will be used as the primary agents to address the epidemic (Wojcicki et al., 2012). Children spend most of their active time in schools, which serve as tools for emphasizing health behaviors as well as acting as community access portals.
The goal of this study is thus to provide policies and recommendations on combating childhood obesity through promoting physical activity and education and healthy eating policies by using schools as agents.
Interventions to address the goal
Experts attribute less physical activity and unhealthy eating practices as the leading causes of childhood obesity (Reed, Viola & Lynch, 2014). This study will focus on lifestyle behaviors, such as healthy eating and physical activity of 450 Mexican Americans aged between 2 and 10 years to summarize the evidence interventions to obesity outcomes. Mexican Americans have been chosen because they represent the majority of the affected population in America. Further, the age bracket will assist in entrenching healthy behavior to children at an early age as a way of curbing obesity.
The outcomes to be reviewed in the study include waist circumference, skinfold thickness and Body Mass index, BMI of the sample population under study. To assess the impact of the interventions on lifestyle behaviors affecting obesity outcomes, randomized controlled trials involving the sample population will be used. The lifestyle behaviors are dietary changes, such as decreased unhealthy dietary habits and increased healthy dietary habits, physical activity changes, for instance decreased sedentary activity and increased physical activity (Ogden et al., 2012). The trials will measure the lifestyle behaviors by physical education teachers, study coordinators and self-reports.
The participants will receive the interventions at school setting with healthcare professionals delivering the interventions. The eligible interventions will either be multimodal or simple. Study coordinators and physical education teachers will play an equal role in planning and conducting an assessment and using the results to design a school-based childhood obesity intervention by reviewing the study population’s BMIs, integrating nutrition counseling and programs for empowering healthy lifestyles.
Importance of the Project Relative to Future Advanced Nursing Role.
The project will serve as a guide for healthcare practitioners to effectively take the appropriate steps to eradicate childhood obesity in the communities they will serve. They will thus need to assess the most appropriate prevention levels and types for obesity. This will include advocacy for health promotion strategies: such as physical activities, for instance dance classes and sports; healthy eating habits, for example portion sizes and dietary nutrition. It will also prepare practitioners to become competent leaders, policy advocates, collaborators and system managers to actively engage in redesigning future healthcare for early identification and specific interventions to incorporate in health encounters with children.
Data and Information for Creation of the Project
The program will draw conclusions from data and information obtained from focus groups, self-reports and windshield surveys. The study population’s dietary intake, weight status and physical activity will be measured. The survey questions will examine the role of physical education teachers and the children in school as well as their viewpoint on childhood obesity. Focus groups will be used to examine the effects of physical activity and healthy diet behaviors on Mexican-American children aged 2 to 10 years. The windshield surveys will involve teachers answering open-ended questions about the effects of the children’s well-being in regard to physical activity while on driving tour of the school neighborhood.