Early Care Policy, Essay Example
The rising number of obese children in the United States has specifically alarmed authorities of healthcare as they try to identify particular programs that would provide the best option of resolving the said issue. Legal sanctions serve as practical guidelines in defining the path towards the promotion of a much healthier society. In relation to the aspect of obesity and its rising challenge to the government, the National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity or the NPLAN has been established to create a distinct impact on how resolutions to child obesity are handled by the governed and applied towards the distinct direction of the society in the aim of promoting healthier culture of eating. This policy is further spear headed and promoted by the PHLP or the Public Health Law and Policy, which is a non-government organization that intends to inform the public of the most crucial data they need to know in regards to health and the legal sanctions that protects them in relation to how they handle their health needs accordingly. These groups ensure that the administration is able to give attention to the most compelling health problems in the society while providing protective measures that allow the public to become more aware and more alert on how they are going to take care of their health [as members of a free and protected society]. Changes that began occurring in the 1970 have helped created conditions, which increase the obesity rate. Other social and media drivers have pushed the problem further. The changes that slowly occurred have caused a dramatic change to the health and quality of life of many Americans. In order to reverse the negative effects, America must make a multitude of changes; which will prove long and difficult to achieve.
Since the 1970’s, the United States has seen a significant rise in the number of obese and overweight individuals. Today, obesity is the leading cause of deaths and serious health conditions. Moreover, obesity is even more of a health risk than smoking, heavy drinking, or poverty. According to two RAND researchers, it is estimated that twenty three percent of Americans are obese, and another thirty six percent of Americans are overweight. This constitutes more than half of the United States’ population, which is more than one in every two Americans. Drivers that helped the rise of obesity in the United States are economic changes, social shifts, and lack of education.
Economic instability in the work force causes many changes for those individual that it directly affects. The recession of unions in many of the fields of employment create difficult work conditions, which cause added stress, longer hours of work, and many fewer benefits; contributing to poor quality of health in the long run. In the 1970’s unions began to quickly disappear; shortly after this disappearance the numbers of individuals considered overweight and obese began to rise drastically. The gaps between upper middle class and lower middle class dramatically widened from 1970 to today. This change has caused many individuals to spend more time working and less time with their families, which can cause negative changes in a family structure.
The epidemic of obese and overweight people has been caused by a dramatic shift in the American culture and dynamics of society. People are eating more, and exercising less, which is only a small part of the overall problem. The types of foods that people are eating are much different than the foods they once ate prior to the booming expansion of the fast food industry. Convenient foods are excessively higher in energy and significantly lower in nutrients. Because today’s society is on the go, Americans spend much of the day sitting in an office chair, car, and on the couch watching television. The lack of physical activity coupled with high energy foods has resulted in the storage of unused calories, which converts into fat.
As the fast-food industry drastically expanded in the last forty years, foodhas become much more streamlined as a cheap source of calories. In some urban settings fast food is the majority of food sources available. Many restaurants now offer far fewer choices of healthy wholesome foods than they offer of fatty foods. Good healthy foods have become a commodity rather than a necessity. Access to good food that is healthy for individuals is more expensive, which makes it more difficult for lower income families and individuals to be able to afford them.
Home cooking has been replaced with fast, convenient foods; this trend of unhealthy living has causedfast food to become a part of our children’s lives. Children roughly spend one third of the young lives in school, which for a majority of the time they spend sitting. One third of their livers are spent in bed sleeping. That leaves only eight hours remaining to use up any excess calories. The problem is that children are choosing to utilize a large amount of those remaining hours in front of a television, rather than outdoors playing and socializing. Television creates conditions for child obesity in three ways; displacement of physical activity, increase calorie intake while watching television or caused by result of advertising, and decreased resting metabolism. Awareness within the home and school can better educate a young child on the importance of physical activity and nutritional value of their intake, which will result in fewer overweight and/or obese children.
According to reports, the US administration spends at least $147 billion dollars just to be able to support healthcare needs of the people. This staggering cost is often lost to illnesses that could have actually been prevented had there been any specific policy that guidedthe people on making healthier eating choices. One of the saddest ailments is child obesity. Consequently, the need to reshape legal sanctions to make sure that the people are directed well before it becomes a necessity- a matter that all authorities are expected to give attention to.
Under the NPLAN is the principle-application of the Model Local Obesity Prevention Resolution. This particular guideline provides a distinct presentation on how step-by-step option of dealing with obesity among children could be handled by the local governments. This particular model primarily involves the need of businessmen to become more aware of their responsibility to inform the consumers, especially in consideration with the health benefits of the products that they sell in the market for public consumption. There is currently an undeniably overflow of food products in the market; some of them are easy-to-prepare and others are instant [ready-to-eat] packed in several containers for longer shelf-life. These produced food choices often contain preservatives, increased level of sugar, and other ingredients that specifically endanger the health of children towards developing obesity.
As the term itself suggests, NPLAN’s program provides a general model to be followed. Some of its particular clauses have been left blank to allow local directors to put in the data that would fit their community’s health needs. Comparatively, such options allow the administrators to have better control of the situation, thus allowing them to become more aware of the people’s needs. Thisenables them to address the problem personally.
One of the provisions of this Model program [which is stipulated to be a general requirement for all communities that are to use it for implementing health programs] impose the need to educate the community about obesity, its causes, its impending effect on the sufferer, and the relative cost that it leaves among its sufferers in later stages of the ailment. This is very important as some do not see obesity as an ailment, but simply the resulting factor of overeating or undisciplined health culture among members of the society. Because of this, when a child becomes obese, some of the parents even think it is ‘cute’. Some develop a connotation that ‘fat is healthy’ when it comes to children. Feeding them everything that they want and everything they demand has become a regular practice among some parents, which is a huge step forward to acquiring obesity among the youngsters. Without the realization and acceptance of obesity as an ailment, raising awareness in the society may not be possible. Therefore, the first step involves educating the people about the problem. The second step involves allowing them to see the options of resolutions that they could use to help the young ones deal with the matter.
Parents are the ones standing on the front lines. Being the ones who are in direct connection with the children, they should be taught about what proper diet is about. Children have specific dietary requirements depending on their age. Notably, not following such dietary allowances results give way to the development of health issues like obesity. Teachers, who are considered as the second parents of the children, are also in need of being properly educated as to what role they take in making sure that the children’s health is a priority in the educational curriculum presented to the children. Teaching the young ones about the proper culture of eating and allowing them to understand the basic issues that relate to the development of obesity among themwill awaken their senses and make the change more personal. As a result, they become more aware of the good and bad habits of eating which they will carry with them as they mature. It is believed that through this model program that people are given the chance to have control over the situation; they are given the chance to take a stance in helping out in the process of alleviating the problem at hand. With the collaboration of all members of the society who are involved in the problem, it is envisioned that the application of NPLAN’s suggestive model for dealing with the matter would best provide the proper condition of distinguishing the most effective ways of handling problems of obesity among local governments.
The concept of starting early among the children is expected to have a long time impact on the minds of the younger generations. This would ensure a better and healthier future generations that would take over in the future. As a result, the cost for healthcare provisions and directives could be lessened, giving the future generations a chance to further their capacity to create other programs that would ensure the decrease of number of obese members of the society. Involving the business owners into the system makes the model more socially-defined.
Getting them to accomplish particular guideline achievements that could define whether or not they are able to follow through the process suggested by NPLAN would make it easier for the administrators to see their place in line with the mission that the model tries to achieve. Making sure that the children would be able to grasp the lesson on proper eating culture at an early age ensures the society with a better future, a better sense of recognizing the right role of food among people. Although it could be realized that the model program is quite weak when it comes to stipulating certain rules that would push administrators to follow what is noted in each clause of the program; ironically it is the same aspect of the program that strengthens its application among local governments attending to local residents. The specific needs of the people need to be researched more. They should be given the chance to develop first-hand knowledge on what they should be able to do in relation to enriching the health integrity of the people they tend to guide. Notably, with such conditions of direction, administrators would be able to take on the challenge of educating parents, teachers, and hopefully the children with regards the most progressive approach they could use in defining their role towards developing a much healthier society, a lesser number of obese individuals, and a higher rate of economic budget dedicated to other public needs other than healthcare alone. Other aspects to the problem must also be addressed.
Apart from educational awareness about the dangers of obesity, psychiatric treatment should also be implemented to combat the disorder. Existing government programs that are used to treat mental disorders should part of the overall solution. Some adult individuals may become overweight or obese due to mental health problems such as; depression, compulsion, and Binge-eating disorder. These overweight or obese individuals have mental drivers that can result in obesity. Simply educating these individuals about the complications that obesity causes will not solve the problem if there are other problems that need to be resolved. If there are psychological issues that are contributing to this epidemic, they too must also be addressed. This is important because children can learn bad eating behaviors from their parents. An adult who displays poor eating behaviors can project them onto their children without realizing it. This will help reinforce a healthy mindset regarding food and nutrition.
Changing the attitude towards food, nutrition, and education is vital for the health of the children in the United States. Culturally, we have become ignorant to the importance of nutrition. This has resulted in a decline in the health of American’s. Programs that help reeducate both parents and teachers are will help change the attitude that towards what we eat. Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) California is a federally funded program the assists limited resource families with nutritional education. This program shows parents how to fulfill the nutritional needs of their children with healthier choices on a budget, resulting in better health while saving money at the same time. The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (JOFF) advocates food education in every school as their mission. In their statement they affirm that one of the most important things that a child should learn about is food and nutrition.
Another Program that helps promote better nutritional habits is the Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC). HSC’s Cooking Up Change is a culinary competition that engages student chefs and the community to create change within the school food system. The competitors are driven to create delicious and nutritious school meals with limited ingredients for around $1 per meal. This program is a useful tool to educate and encourage parents and communities to interact and participate with one another. It is essential for both parents and the school system to have the same understanding of the value of good eating habits. Children can follow the examples without tremendous contradictions allow children to assimilate positive behaviors much more easily. The USDA’s Choose My Plate website helps parents create nutritional meals to meet their children’s needs. This is a great website for parents to gain nutritional guidance, on what is healthy in comparison to what is unhealthy. This gives parents the ability to create healthier alternative meals that will benefit a child’s development both physically and mentally, as well as reinforcing healthy habits for the future.
Access to healthier foods is another problem for many Americans that struggle to provide for their families. Healthier, more organic foods are unreasonably more expensive to the consumer, while less healthy foods remain relatively cheaper. It is difficult to promote healthier foods when there is an abundance of less healthy foods available. Convenience has outweighed the importance of healthier foods. This has become part of the American culture that must also be addressed in order to remedy the underlining problem. Legislations must be made to reflect the direction of the changes that are necessary to promote healthier living throughout the country.
Although, Food Labeling laws exist there is a large percentage of people who do not take the time to read the contents found in the information panel of the food products that they are purchasing and consuming. This is a clear indicator that many individuals are ignorant to what they’re putting into their bodies. Food education should increase the amount of informed individuals as to the nutrients or lack of nutrients that they intake. In a society where many of the foods that we eat are pre-packaged it is more important than ever to know and understand what is contained within our foods.
Changes must be made if Americans hope to reverse the obesity rate in this country. Social and cultural mindsets will have to align with the direction of changes towards a health conscience society. Government policies must be made to reflect what is best for its citizens. Government should do its part to ensure that accountability on all aspects of this nationwide problem. Awareness and education programs for parents, teachers and care givers are important to reduce child obesity.Education is the key to tackling the obesity problem in this country. Parents need to become more aware of the dangers of unhealthy dietary habits, becoming the first line of defense against child obesity. What children learn from their parents is profoundly important on the perception they will carry into their adult lives. Teachers and child caregivers must also be educated with the importance of good nutrition and exercise habits to instruct America’s youth with a better understanding on how to maintain a healthy body and mind. Greater participation between parents and the school system will help develop better eating behaviors for children. The most important elements in a child’s life are the parental figures and the educational institutions. This is why it is critical for change to begin within these two structures first. Legislations, policies and programs must also be developed to ensure the progressive movement towards healthier living.
Children need healthy foods and exercise in order to become strong productive members of society. By eating healthy foods, children are given a strong mind and body. Statistics show that children who are not given proper nutrition may be faced with life long physical and mental health problems. During the first eight years of life, a child’s body develops at a rapid pace. Children need a healthy dose or iron and other minerals that are just not present in today’s fast food meals. Parents can give small children healthy foods, but it is not so easy with older children who have unsupervised time away from parents. That’s why it is so imperative to teach healthy habits to children so that they will make good choices even when they are not supervised. Obesity is a problem that affects so many people. It does not discriminate. As a result, it is a problem that can only be remedied by the help of many. Parents, teachers, family members, and all other stake holders must advocate for healthier eating habits among young people. No one solution is enough to help reverse the obesity epidemic. This Is why it is important to have various modes of change in place to optimize the potential positive effect that can be implemented.
American Psychological Association.The Impact of Food Advertising on Childhood Obesity. 2013. 3 December 2013 <http://www.apa.org/topics/kids-media/food.aspx>.
This source is relevant to the topic of childhood obesity because it show that how the average child is exposed to about forty four and a half hours in front of a television, computer, and gaming console per week. The article states how in the last quarter century close to twenty percent of America’s youth is overweight. Decreasing the amount of time spent on physical activity. The article also mentions how fast food television advertisements are designed to target young children by creating memorable content, which can be recalled easily. In addition the commercials are reinforced with repeated exposures.
Brownson RC, Boehmer TK, Luke DA. Declining rates of physical activity in the United States: what are the contributors? 2005. 3 December 2013 <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15760296>.
This source is relevant to the topic because in make a direct connection between the lack of physical activity and the increase of obesity among adults. The factors that contribute to the obesity problem are the cultural and social behaviors that Americans have adopted over the last half century. The article illustrates how individuals are commuting more and more by means of motor vehicle rather than walking. The article also explains how an increasing number of the population is choosing to engage in sedentary activities as oppose to physical activities.
California Department of Public Health, Food and Drug Branch.Close Up On Food Labels. August 2013. (Retrieved on 29 November 2013)<http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Documents/fdblabel.pdf>.
Food Education.Food Day. 8 July 2013. (Retrieved on 29 November 2013)<http://www.foodday.org/food_education>.
Harvard School of Public Health.Physical Activity. 2013. 3 December 2013 <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/physical-activity-and-obesity/>.
HBO Documentary. (2012, May 14). The Weight of the Nation: Poverty and Obesity (HBO Docs). Retrieved September 24, 2013, from www.youtube.com: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MJnm5X9NN0
Healthy Schools Campaign .Cooking Up Change. 2012. (Retrieved on 29 November 2013)<http://healthyschoolscampaign.org/programs/cooking-up-change/>.
This source is relevant to the topic of child obesity because it is a program that helps create awareness and nutritional knowledge to help combat the obesity problem. The Healthy School Campaign is a program that promotes healthy eating through fresh nutritious ingredients. The Campaign holds competitions to create unique meal that are healthy for children. This is a good source because it advocates the need for school meal reform. HSC’s Cooking up Change began in 2007 in Chicago and has since expanded to ten cities across America. This is a positive step towards the solution of child obesity.
International Journal of Obesity. (2011, May 17). Maternal over-nutrition and offspring obesity. Retrieved September 24, 2013, from www.nature.com/ijo: http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v35/n7/full/ijo201196a.html
Kihn, E. D. (2013, May 4). The Political Roots of American Obesity. Retrieved October 6, 2013, from http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/16149-the-political-roots-of-american-obesity
This is a great source on the topic of obesity. The article is rich with information about obesity and time charts. The author shows comparisons between a couple of Presidential administrations and policies that they were in favor of. The article describes the obesity problem in American from 1960-2004. The author mentions several divers that help create the conditions for obesity. Mentioning political drivers, social and cultural changes that have occurred, the lifestyle and choices we make, and the resulting mental health condition that transpires. This is a great source because it illustrates how broad the problem really is.
Mayo Clinic.Bing-Eating Disorder. 03 April 2012. (Retrieved on 29 November 2013)<http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/binge-eating-disorder/DS00608/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs>.
National Conference of State Legislatures.Childhood Obesity (2011). Update report. http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/childhood-obesity-2011.aspx. (Retrieved on November 25, 2013).
This source is relevant towards the solution of the child obesity problem. The National Conference of State Legislature is a wonderful Publication that informs the reader with Legislative policies that have come into effect throughout the country. This article gives a short summery of the overall problem, with important facts such as; the increasing cost to the American tax payer in healthcare and how things have changed over the years. This source goes through the States to show how they are making policy changes to solve the obesity problem among children.
National Institute of Health. (2012, July 13). What Causes Overweight and Obesity? Retrieved September 15, 2013, from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/causes.html
This source is relevant to the obesity problem because it describes many of the causes of obesity. The goes down the list to identify my of the drivers that contribute to obesity. As well as, complication that can develop because of obesity. This is a great source because it shows the reader the severity of the problem from different angles. The publication by the National Institutes of Health is rich with diverse information to help prevent obesity and reduce the health complication associated with obesity.
NPLAN.Public Health Law and Policy.Model Local Obesity Prevention Resolution.Developed by the National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (NPLAN).http://changelabsolutions.org/sites/phlpnet.org/files/Obesity_Prevention_Resolution_FINAL_2010_0105.pdf. (Retrieved on November 25, 2013) .
RAND Corporation .The Health Risks of Obesity Worse than Smoking, Dringking, or Poverty. 6 September 2010. 3 December 2013 <http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB4549/index1.html>.
Shah, A. (2010).Global Issues: Obesity. http://www.globalissues.org/article/558/obesity. (Retrieved on November 25, 2013) .
The National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity .From Wallets to Waistlines: The Hidden Costs of “Super Sizing” . June 2002. (Retrieved on 29 November 2013)<http://www.preventioninstitute.org/component/jlibrary/article/id-203/127.html>.
United States Department of Agriculture.Choose Myplate. 2013. (Retrieved on 29 November 2013)<http://www.choosemyplate.gov/index.html>.
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources .Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. 2013. (Retrieved on 29 November 2013)<http://efnep.ucanr.edu/>.
This source is relevant towards the education of obesity. This is a good publication because it illustrates the different programs that have been developed to slow and or reverse the causes of obesity through education and awareness. EFNEP is a government program designed to help families with limited resources. The California Program can help expand on the direction that it must begin to strive towards.
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health .Television viewing and childhood obesity. August 2001. 3 December 2013 <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11494635>.
Walters, L. M. (2003, August 26). How unions help all workers. Retrieved October 6, 2013, from www.epi.org: http://www.epi.org/publication/briefingpapers_bp143/
Warner, K. (2013, January 23). The Real Reason for the Decline of American Unions. Retrieved October 6, 2013, from www.bloomberg.com: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-23/the-real-reason-for-the-decline-of-american-unions.html
Weight of the Nation.Early Care and Education Policy Review. November 2011. (Retrieved on 29 November 2013)<http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/downloads/Early-Care-and-Education-Policy-Review-FINAL_web508.pdf>.
This source is relevant to the childhood obesity problem that Americans face today. The Center for Disease and Control discusses State program support for the prevention of obesity. Included in the publication are the Early Care and Education Policies. ECEP outlines the necessary steps that must be taken to ensure the healthy growth of America’s youth. In the writings the CDC gives many programs and policies that have been created to help educate the public on the dangers of obesity and what can be done to suppress the problem and possible reverse it.
World Health Organization.(2007).Child Obesity Prevention.http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood/WHO_new_childhoodobesity_PREVENTION_27nov_HR_PRINT_OK.pdf. (Retrieved on November 25, 2013) .
Duh-leong Carol. ( 2012, June 26). Controlling Childhood Obesity by Fizzing Out Sodas in School. Doctors for America. (retrieved 17, Dec, 2013). http://www.drsforamerica.org/blog/controlling-childhood-obesity-by-fizzing-out-sodas-in-school
First, it is noted that everyone is concerned wit5h controlling obesity as a disorder in children. This source is relevant to the above topic because it states some of the consequences of obesity in children; the source dictates that obesity is a source of diabetes. Further, the source alludes that the exact diabetes that is caused by obese children is diabetes type two. It asserts that children are the worst individuals that are prone to this type of disease, because the disease progresses rapidly in children than in adult.
Ultimately, the passage goes ahead to state some of the measures that should be taken in thy effort of minimizing the rapid growth of this disorder. With that, the passage starts that, diet is paramount.
Besser Richard ( 2013, Sept. 10). Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiatives, Big and Small. (retrieved 17, Dec, 2013). http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/09/10/childhood-obesity-prevention-initiatives-big-and-small/
In the same way, this source is also pertinent to the subject since it evaluates the causes of obesity. The source affirms that eating habit has caused children to get affected with obesity. Although outlined in a conversational manner, the truth behind it is that it brings out the idea that obesity is a nationwide problem. The source further evaluates why obesity is down among the poor family, and then addresses the necessity of this issue being observed from the schooling level. Generally, the source affirms that it is important for every person to make efforts in addressing this issue.
CDC. ( 2013, August 5th). Childhood Overweight and Obesity. (retrieved 17, Dec, 2013). http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/
This source also is relevant to the subject since it adds value by evaluating the far or rather the degree by which this disorder has gone in the United States. The source narrates that, statistically, almost seventy percent of the children in the united state are affected with obesity. In this manner, it states how obesity is a concern in the America. Further, the source touches on the basic facts about child obesity, growing problems and lastly the solutions and strategies that might help reduce obesity in children. The aim of the publication is to curb and ensure guidance is obtained concerning obesity in children.
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