Dietary Project Planning for Obesity Control
The number of obese children and adults in the US is on an upward trajectory manifesting its dire effects to the population. Obesity is a community nutrition issue based on its impacts towards 32% of the US children’s population and 35% of the United States’ adult population. For instance, there are a myriad of health problems associated with obesity such as the high predisposition to health and weight-associated diseases. In fact, within the recent 30 years, childhood obesity rose to beyond double its previous levels for children between 2-5 years, while for those between 6 to11 years increased three-fold. In fact, 17% of US children between 2 to 19 years were obese, consequently increasing their risk to health problems (Pan American Health Organization).
Needs Assessment and Gaps
An improved collaboration between health practitioners and the community via competent programs and policies, aimed at improving American communities’ health situation. Another strategy to improve the health of the American population is the implementation of community awareness programs such as the Ready, Set, Go!5210 program and the promotion of weight management plans such as the Supplemental Assistance Program Education (snap-ed) (Koplan, et al. 21). However, the needs assessment program exhibits numerous gaps in service provision for both obese children and adults provided through medical interventions via nurses and other practitioners, improved lifestyle behaviors such as healthy eating, and exercising. It is therefore imperative to establish a new plan that succinctly fills all the voids realized in the community needs assessment.
Goal for the New Program
The primary goal for this program is to lower the chances of obesity among children and young adults.
Objectives of the Program
The key objectives of this program is the creation of community environments that support and advocate for healthy meals and improvement in physical activity via regulation of nutrient-poor commodities and non-natural beverages. Another objective is to ensure the promotion of childhood obesity prevention strategies in schools and early child-care.
Promotion of Healthy Eating and Breastfeeding for Children
The key aim of primary health care is to guarantee equitable distribution of services required to realize a high-level health standards to prevent obesity in children and adults to eliminate, control, or regulate its detrimental effects. One of the core strategies to prevent obesity in children involves proper implementation of the requisite breastfeeding program for infants. Breastfeeding children regularly may lower their overweight prevalence hence lowering the chances of obesity by approximately 10% (Koplan, et al. 331). Moreover, breastfeeding children exclusively encourage mothers’ weight loss hence also preventing them from obesity. Therefore, the full implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) code whose primary objective is ensuring that infants are breastfed, and older children are fed, based on the national dietary guidelines. Additionally, the US publishes results of the level of implementation of the BFHI code, where regions averaging 50% and above are deemed to be BFHI certified (Koplan, et al. 76).
The Improvement of Nutrition and Physical Activity
Present scientific evidence depicts school-based interventions as effective strategies to reducing children’s disposal to obesity. Schools should therefore improve their dietary allocations to children on the basis of their nutritional value rather than portion. At times children may appear to eat less while in essence, such meals contain high fat levels that could make children overweight and obese in the long-run. To ensure these principles are followed, children’s meals should be consistent with food safety and nutritional standards. Notably, the sale of unhealthy commodities such as soft drinks, within the school environment should also be regulated to comply with the requisite standards regarding the consumption of healthy foods.
Implementation of the Program
This program’s implementation requires government authentication and goodwill from parents, teachers, or guardians. For instance, this program is aligned to the BHFI code, in regards to children breastfeeding programs. Consequently, for a strict implementation of the program, parents’ should be obligated to take their infants for medical checkups to establish whether they are overweight, hence applying the necessary procedures to prevent them from becoming obese. It is however, impossible to compel parents to apply proper breastfeeding strategies; hence this plan only provides directions to spur self-accountability. The plan therefore outlines proper breastfeeding metrics, its advantages, and consequences if not adhered to. The promotion of proper nutrition and physical activities among children is dependent upon the school management’s urge to implement the program. However, since obesity is a universal problem across the US, the school management board within any institution should be willing to tackle the vice, hence acquiesce to the demands of this new program.
The implementation of these program’s goals and objectives is dependent upon the timely dissemination of reliable information and the guarantee of accurate data interpretation and analysis, to achieve evidence-oriented policy recommendations. For instance, data collection strategies within this plan of action should align with the Pan-American Health Organization 5-year strategic plan for the period 2014-2019 (Pan American Health Organization). The evaluation of progress will hence be conducted in every two years via a survey on every indicator to establish whether it has been met. Consequently, it would be imperative to incorporate a system of data collection for monitoring and evaluation of progress. Therefore, to evaluate the impact of this program on the community, a keen analysis of every indicator within the paradigms of the two main objectives for the program should be implemented.
Koplan, Jeffrey, et al. Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance. National Academy of Sciences, 2005.
Pan American Health Organization. "Plan of Action for the Prevention of Obesity in Children and Adolescents." 66th Session of the Regional Committee of WHO for the Americas(2014).
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