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Obesity - Dissertation Example

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Obesity is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary as a condition of increased body weight that is caused by an excessive accumulation of fat. Obesity has also been termed the new “epidemic” in both adults and children. In 1998 the World Health Organization (WHO) designated obesity as a global epidemic (Anrig, 2003). Healthcare professionals can measure the percent of body fat in children by using Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated from a person’s height and weight and provides a reasonable indicator of body fatness and weight categories that may lead to health problems. Establishing healthy habits in youth can help prevent many health problems later on in life which will drastically reduce the costs of healthcare. For this reason many public health professionals are interested in working with school systems to reach children in school settings. If we look back over the past 50 years we can see dramatic changes in the way children play, eat meals, and socialize. Today lifestyles are busier but less active. (See table 1 in appendix A). Since 1950, the amount of nutritional information available to the public has roughly doubled every seven years. In the years between 1950 and 2000, “obesity rose by 214% until today, where 64.5 percent of adult Americans (about 127 million) are categorized as being overweight or obese” (Weiss, n.d.). Even though technology has taken away the need for most physical activity, there must be steps taken to provide cost effective solutions and provide a healthier lifestyle for children that will lead to healthy adults. The good news is that schools nationwide are becoming aware of this epidemic and are working with health professionals by taking steps to provide a healthy lifestyle for children. Schools can play an important role in improving the health of children and the adults they will become. Children generally attend school 5 days a week throughout the calendar year. During childhood and adolescent years habits develop that determine physical activity and eating habits. These health habits will determine the development of such diseases as cardiovascular, cancer and diabetes which are now major causes of premature death and disabilities in the United States and the Western World. Public Health professionals are very interested in funding school based programs that can provide a foundation for lifelong healthy behaviors and greatly reduce the burden of these preventable health conditions for both individuals and society as a whole. There is largely an unmet need for effective school-based programs that promote healthy behaviors. It has not been an easy task engaging these partnerships for many reasons, one being funding. With the embracing of these school based programs by public health professionals, it is imperative that these programs be rigorously evaluated to show effectiveness. To be considered effective these programs must undergo systematic measurement and analysis using solid research methods and study designs. The Center for Disease Control’ ...Show more
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THE RELATIVE EFFECTIVENESS OF CHILD OBESITY PREVENTION PROGRAMS Dissertation Proposal Presented to The Faculty of the Graduate School In Partial Fulfillment Of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in The Department of Public Policy and Foreign Affairs July 2011 ACRONYMS BMI - Body Mass Index CATCH - Coordinated Approach to Child Health CLOCC - Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children CVD - Cardiovascular Disease CER - Cost Effective Ratios NHANES - National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey NHIS - National Health Interview Survey QALY - Quality Adjusted Life Years TEA - Texas Education Agency WAY -…
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