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Social Movement Geared Towards Whole Population to End Epidemic

The world we live in today is different than before the 1980s. This is a world where there are many things “at a click of a button”. The use of technology is having an impact on all of us. By realizing the negative ways there can also be positive ways that it can be used to help our society and to change the obesity problem. Technology is just a small addition to the problem, the main ones are environmental, social, economic, and behavioral.

Combating childhood obesity often needs to happen on an individual level depending on the kind of changes the child needs to make (Parker et al., 3). Most likely there needs to be a change in what the child is eating and the amount of exercise that they are doing daily. The sector that will be dealing with the individual scenarios are the medical professionals who are having individual appointments with the children and their parents. Many of the issues are the same for all children so there needs to be obesity prevention strategies targeted at the whole population (Parker et al., 3). These issues should not be dealt with on an individual basis since it affects the whole population whether it is them personally, their children, or their parents. These whole population strategies can be done in the educational institutions, in the homes, in the workforce, and through government policies.

To combat this crisis there can never be too much interventions and prevention strategies taking place. These interventions have been created but more needs to be done (Parker et al., 3). When gearing interventions towards children we need to be aware that they need to include others for it to be successful (Parker et al., 3). By including aspects of control, having fun, competition, social interaction, and more we are able to prove to children and parents that this behavior can be changed if they are willing to do so (Parker et al., 3). Another important point is that when making these interventions there needs to not be a focus on the particular behavior change that they are hoping for (Parker et al., 3). But making it vague, such as to become healthier, then eating more vegetables each day follows (Parker et al., 3). Having numerous interventions together creates a social movement (Parker et al., 5). This is happening today by making policies that get families, government, and schools involved (Parker et al., 5). The social movement and the addition of strategies need to continue until this epidemic is under control. There needs to be more pressure on all of these sectors for them to constantly make this a priority. If this goes to the background then there is going to be a generation that is going to be getting sicker and then dying sooner.

Work Cited

Parker, Lynn, Emily Ann Miller, Elena Ovaitt, and Stephen Olson. Alliances for Obesity

Prevention: Finding Common Ground. Washington D.C.: The National Academics Press, 2012. Print.

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Children Need to Exercise

The previous post discussed the changes in eating habits needed by children, this post is going to be exploring the exercising habits children maintain. There is no such thing as bad exercising. Exercise habits needs to be changed, thus teaching children the importance of getting their daily amount of exercising.

            Most children need sixty minutes of exercise daily (“How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?”). This should be aerobic exercise that is increasing their heart rate and strengthening muscles and bones for lasting effects (“How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?”). Forming exercise as a regular habit at a young age can help improve fitness and control weight (Parker et al., 10). This should be part of their daily routine, and should continue to be as they grow up.

For all children exercise needs to become a norm. There are many different activities, so a child needs to find one that they will enjoy. The hardship is when a child realizes that they are overweight or obese and feel self conscious to exercise because they will look funny (Parker et al., 3). This is extremely wrong since these are the children who need to exercise the most. In some places this issue was eliminated because they established overweight sport leagues. The children are now not excluded from activity but are able to participate in a way that will be healthy and not make them feel out of place (Parker et al., 3). These children are going to get better by burning the calories that they are consuming.

As mentioned in an earlier post, children are growing up in a time when technology is adding convenience to everyone’s life. It does have negative effects, but the reality is that technology is not going away and only going to expand in the years to come (Warren and Smalley 57). This means society needs to adapt the technology and help incorporate it into children getting physical activity (Warren and Smalley 57). That is exactly what Nintendo did by setting up the Wii system. The players use their bodies with the controllers so they engage in movements (Warren and Smalley 57).

Another example of using technology to increase physical activity was done by a whole community. In Washington State they conducted a survey about youth healthy lifestyles and learned that there was a significant decrease in physical activity after the sixth grade (Drew). Shohomish, Washington created a coalition to work to end childhood obesity as a community, and came up with a strategy which used technology (Drew). They distributed to children PowerPod wristbands which track the amount of physical activity and gave information about how else they can improve their health (Drew). When done exercising the child can connect the PowerPod to a computer which is linked to a special system which will tell you how many points you earned by exercising (Drew). They also have the ability to see how many points their friends have (Drew). They created a competition to get children motivated to exercise by being able to challenge their friends (Drew).

This shows that there are positive ways to show children how important exercising is. Just like eating healthy they need to learn why they need to exercise. There are many innovative ways people are trying to make everyone involved get fit. Exercising is a way to curb the obesity epidemic since it helps burn calories while they are working out and afterwards so it helps put the body in balance. The next post will explore the role of parents to curb the epidemic.

Work Cited

Drew, Kristen. “School Officials Launching New Program to Fight Childhood Obesity.”

Komonews. Komo New 4, 26 October 2013. Web. 1 November 2013.

“How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

USA.gov, 9 November 2011. Web. 2 November 2013.

Parker, Lynn, Emily Ann Miller, Elena Ovaitt, and Stephen Olson. Alliances for Obesity

Prevention: Finding Common Ground. Washington D.C.: The National Academics Press, 2012. Print.

Warren, Jacob C. and K. Bryant Smalley. “Always the Fat Kid: The Truth About the Enduring

Effects of Childhood Obesity.” New York: Pagrave Macmillan. 2013. Print.

Sedetary Lifestyle

The previous post was discussing the complexity of the obesity issue. Today, the children are growing up in a digital technology world. They are surrounded by technology, allowing them to do less physical exercise than generations before. It is also about convenience, which adds to the use of technology and the avoidance of doing basic movements because there are gadgets that do it for us. The technology gadgets that are most used by children are televisions, cell phones, handheld video games, and computers.

            These technological innovations are becoming part of the home, school, and workforce for United States society (Parker, Miller, Ovaitt, Olson 18). There is an inverse relationship between using technology and the need for physical effort. Since there is an increase in technology there is a decrease in the need for physical activity, leading to sedentary behaviors (Parker et al., 18).

            “The NIH reported that almost half of the children aged 8-16 years old watch three to five hours of television a day” (“Innovations in Addressing Childhood Obesity” 14). This growing incidence of sedentary behaviors, such as inside watching TV, playing video games on the TV or computer, or texting or calling people on the phone, are leading to childhood obesity and taking away time when children can be outside playing. This increase in sedentary behaviors without a decrease in caloric intake is leading to the rise in obesity rates (Warren and Smalley 54). When a child is not exercising and continues to have the same caloric intake or even a higher one that is going to lead to weight gain. The body is cohesive and these two activities work together for adjustments on weight (Warren and Smalley 54). If this is continuously happening it is going to lead to extreme weight gain and can start the onset of chronic diseases in children (Warren and Smalley 54). Today about “three-quarters of all children do not get the recommended amount of daily exercise” (Warren and Smalley 54).

            Another major problem is when children watch TV they are being marketed items that might not be beneficial to them (Parker, Miller, Oviatt, Olson 16). These items include high processed, high energy, high caloric food that are especially not helpful in their diet given their low activity level. The children become interested in the food items because the marketers use a catchy jingle and cartoon characters or anything else they believe will get the child into wanting the item (Warren and Smalley 40). Once they see the commercial and are enticed they beg their parents to buy these unneeded products (Warren and Smalley 40). There needs to be a decrease in screen times for children so they are more likely to exercise, and move around instead of just sit around. My next post is going to be exploring the reality of the eating habits children are learning through childhood.

Work Cited

Parker, Lynn, Emily Ann Miller, Elena Ovaitt, and Stephen Olson. Alliances for Obesity

Prevention: Finding Common Ground. Washington D.C.: The National Academics Press, 2012. Print.

Parker, Lynn, Emily Ann Miller, Elena Ovaitt, and Stephen Olson. Bridging the Evidence Gap in

Obesity Prevention: A Framework to Inform Decision Making. Washington D.C.: The National Academics

Press.2010. Print. 

United States House of Representatives. “Innovations in Addressing Childhood Obesity.” U.S.

Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce. Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 16 December 2009.

Hearing. Web. 1 November 2013.

Warren, Jacob C. and K. Bryant Smalley. “Always the Fat Kid: The Truth About the Enduring

Effects of Childhood Obesity.” New York: Pagrave Macmillan. 2013. Print.