What is Obesity?
Obesity is a lifestyle-related medical condition in which the body accumulates excess adipose tissue (body fat) to the extent that a person’s weight is about 20% more than is normal for a person of that height. Currently, 17 percent of children in the United States who are aged between the ages of 2 and 19 years old, and an average of 10.4 percent of preschoolers are overweight. The condition affects children of all ages, race, gender groups, and countries (Davies, Fitzgerald & Mousouli, 2008).
Successful Strategies used In Childhood Obesity Management
Fitness in the City Strategy
One of the most successful strategies used in Childhood obesity management is weight and nutritional counseling at the community level. This strategy is effectively being applied in a community based, Childhood obesity management program in Boston that has been dubbed “Fitness in the City” (FIC). 11 Boston community health centers are currently actively participating in the project with clinicians, nurses and other community-based health practitioners being used to offer weight and nutritional counseling services to the community (Graham, 2008).
Effectiveness of the Strategy
The foremost benefit of this approach is that, clinicians are able to attend to both children and parents at the same time, and hence they find themselves better equipped to help work out adequate lifestyle changes suitable for the whole family. Another major advantage of this strategy is that the children attending the appointments and the rest of their families are not required to leave their neighborhoods so as to be able to access the services this has been of immense help in reducing the number of children who end up missing appointments (Graham, 2008).
The Columbus City Schools Wellness Initiative
The Columbus city schools wellness initiative uses innovative strategies to help in reducing childhood obesity rates in the district. The programs use strategies such as regular BMI screenings for children, water only options in vending machines, in the schools participating in the program, restricted servings for beverages other than water, development of enhanced health education curriculums in the schools. These strategies have considerably helped reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity in the schools participating in the program (National children’s Hospital, 2011).
The creativeness of the Strategy
The limitation, control of calories intake and frequent monitoring of the children’s BMI is an exceptionally creative way of reducing childhood obesity in the schools. This is especially relevant in light of the fact that students spend about 20-30% of their time at schools, and are supposed to get approximately 35-50% of their daily calories intake requirements, while at the schools (National children’s Hospital, 2011).
Application of the Two Strategies to other Population groups
The Fitness in the City program, in Boston, had to be adjusted depending on the culture of the family that was being counseled on their weight and nutrition. This was because the members of the community were found to come from different cultures with different cultural diets and dietary restrictions. Research on the members of a population will have to be applied before this strategy can be implemented in a population (Graham, 2008).
The Ohio schools wellness initiative is designed to apply to any person and hence is not restrictive and can be applied to any population (National children’s Hospital, 2011).
Creative Strategy Proposal for Childhood Obesity Management Program
My creative strategy for reducing childhood obesity in schools would involve the formation of after school fitness clubs in schools. These clubs would target children of all ages, and engage them in physical workouts that will be designed to be fun, but effective in helping children maintain acceptable levels of BMI. Research has shown that regular exercise is the most effective way of reducing excess weight and maintaining acceptable levels of BMI (Greenberg, Dintiman & Oakes, 2004).