Child Obesity in Indianapolis City paper


Obesity is among the substantial health conditions that are worrying and emerged as a public health threat considering changing lifestyles. Obesity, in general, is a condition that has sparked a massive controversy in the healthcare sector calling upon the industry to come up with health programs suitable for the alleviation of the condition. Child obesity, in particular, is a severe emerging condition more predominant during the adolescent stage. This health issue occurs when a child happens to be above the average weight required for his/her age. The condition has been listed among the Healthy People 2020 Topics and Objectives as a condition that is driven by an improper balance of nutrition and physical exercises. This results in a condition characterized by excessive fats accumulation in the body leading to overweight. This report surveys the state of Child Obesity in Indianapolis City as a target community among adolescent children aged 10 to 11-year-olds (5th to 6th graders) in a school set up. Further, it suggests a Health Promotion program based on the sample size of participants indicated for the study which would meet the target objective from HP 2020.

Description of Target Community

Child Obesity in Indianapolis City, IN
Child Obesity in Indianapolis continues to become a significant health problem in light that Indianapolis city is the most densely populated city in the United States. There is a prevalence of overweight and obesity, an increasing trend around the globe. Worldwide statistics reveal that children living with obesity presently stands at approximately 170 million who are not above 18 years old. The high percentage of children suffering from obesity has had severe consequences on the overall wellbeing of the youth. Child obesity as a non-communicable disease can lead to premature mortality as well as long-term morbidity.
Overweight, obese children around the world and in Indianapolis has also been linked to reduced life span, social isolation, bullying, and poor performance in class. With Indianapolis being considered as the most densely populated city in the United States, the lifestyle around the community promotes a sedentary lifestyle coupled with physical inactivity. With little spaces for playing parks and dominant fast foods restaurants, the lifestyle has increased risk factors for childhood obesity among the youth. According to a survey conducted by Center for Disease Control (CDC), some major contributing factors of childhood obesity around the community are an overreliance on computers, television, cellphones, and tablets as substitutes for leisure and physical activity.

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Target Objective from HP 2020

According to Healthy People 2020, maintaining a stable physical activity and balanced nutrition are the two primary target objectives to fight obesity in the United States across all ages. For instance, regarded as a Health Behavior Change Focus, engaging in physical exercise is linked to lower risks of being diagnosed by lifestyle diseases, with child obesity being top on the list (Healthy People 2020, 2019). As a conditioned predetermined through dietary behavior, the health behavior focus (objective) is to champion for healthy living through the encouragement of a healthy diet and physical activity to maintain the body quantity measures. Thus, to fight obesity, it is essential for the Indianapolis community to monitor its nutrition and physical activity through modification of lifestyle activities.

Demographic/Statistical Description of Target Community

Based on recent surveys and statistics conducted in Indianapolis Community, Only 47.5% of the population feed on a healthy diet. This leaves approximately 53.5% of the remaining population feeding on a poor diet, exposing themselves to various diseases and conditions. While the adult obesity rate stands at 28.5%, the Indianapolis County records 15% of low-income obesity preschoolers. According to Indianapolis City Data (2019), over 33.3 % of people are considered to be overweight. Besides, director of the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity under the Department of Health determined that while poor living standard choices can be avoided, more significant issues ranging from lack of education and food industry are factors that also contribute to weight gain.
Child obesity has increased for the past one year since recent reports point out that physical inactivity and poor nutrition have now spread to schools. For instance, many schools have confirmed that few students participate in physical education sessions. A survey conducted in 2015 confirmed that 75% of high school students were inactive physically for at least 1 hour in a day every week while 72% failed to attend any physical education lessons during the five school days. Nutrition has become a problem, as well. Sugary drinks, large portion sizes, and failure to embrace the nutritional value in fast foods are attributed to high and increasing cases of child obesity in Indianapolis.
Epidemiological Information on Childhood Obesity
Childhood Obesity is a condition common among Children, commonly in immature stages. It is a subset of general obesity, a condition characterized by a severe level of overweight resulting from excessive fat accumulation usually determined using BMI (Body Mass Index). When comparing children, adolescents and adults, overweight is somehow defined distinctively to determine if a person is at risk of overweight and obesity. According to World Health Organization (WHO), under adults & adolescents, healthy weight is characterized by a BMI of 18.5 to 24, Overweight is reflected by a BMI of 25 to 29.9, while 3o and above indicates an obese person. However, for childhood obesity, healthy weight ranges from the 5th and 85th percentile, overweight ranges from 85th to 95th percentile, while obesity state happens to be above the 95th percentile.
In Indianapolis city, the epidemic state of childhood obesity tends to replicate the national statistics. Whereas national survey puts 25% of children as obese, the city statistics reveals a slightly higher percentage of 26.3%. This figure indicates that 1 in 4 of children in the city is overweight or obese. Surprisingly, it is ascertained that childhood obesity at a lower socioeconomic status also shows increasing statistics. In our target population of age 6 to 11, Indianapolis and United States statistics show that it has doubled in children aged 6 to 12 and tripled in adolescents. These figures reflect that over 20% of children in the city are victims of overweight and childhood obesity.
Description of the Health Promotion Program and Sample Size
The “Building your own Health Promotion Program” will center on an intervention sample group ranging from 10 to 11 years. The promotion program will be conducted in Westlake Elementary, a local primary school in 271 N Sigsbee, Indianapolis, IN 46214, USA around M S D Wayne Township. Being a primary school, the program will target only the 5th and 6th graders, a population age that is predominantly pinpointed as an age group within the 20% population profoundly affected by childhood obesity. With a community of over 750 students, our sample size would be approximately 200 participants, 5th graders (100) and 6th graders (100).
Demographically, Westlake elementary school is predominantly a populated minority school with 77% being from minority social groups. This sample population makes it suitable in analyzing childhood obesity across a full sociocultural dimension since minority groups mostly populate Indianapolis. The Health Promotion Program will consider an intervention and implication program that would ensure that both sexes at Westlake elementary program participate in the exercise. Gender as a factor in childhood obesity is a factor to be considered especially with worrying statistics around the country in the city that reflect more cases of girls being overweight in high-income generating families while low numbers being reported in alternative low-income earning families.
Health Promotion Proposed Program
School-based intervention strategy
Based on the intervention Sample size for this program, school-based programs would be a great chance to promote physical activity and healthy nutrition. The 5th and 6th graders mostly attend school, thus spend a considerable amount of their day in school on any particular day. School-based intervention should be the most appropriate implementation option as a regular exercise that would be centered on the educational foundation to improve behavior, knowledge, and attitudes towards healthy living. Besides, childhood obesity as a condition has highly increased in recent years, and research has it that with lack of knowledge in the state, parents at home are not in a position to correct the situation. The plan will emphasize on:
• Integration of healthy eating habits, body image, and physical activity into the regular education curriculum.
• Class sessions that promote physical activity and movement skills all through the five days of the school week.
• School canteens implementing nutritional quality of diet made available to the 5th and 6th graders and closely monitored by authorities.
• Introduction of culture and environment that insists on and supports nutritious eating habits throughout the day.
Teachers and parents collaboration strategy
A collaborative approach that would see parents reduce screen times as advised and directed by teachers from the school. Reduced screen time is an appropriate strategy in solving weight-related conditions efficiently. As a behavioral intervention strategy, its main objective would be to cut down time spend on practices such as watching TV, playing computer games, or internet gaming. With the parent-teacher integration, this program would be a success in ensuring that there is a balance of practices among the 5th and 6th graders built on goal-setting and reinforcement techniques. Lastly, the program would ensure that parents engage children in physical activities by accompanying them to parks to play alongside other children. This would be the right gesture since not only does it add to health benefits but also ensure that parents supervise the children when they are away from their teachers’ supervision.
Childhood obesity results in psychosocial health issues and non-communicable conditions among children. It is a critical issue which requires a thorough intervention program to be addressed early in a child’s life. A health promotion program that emphasizes changing dietary practices and encouraging physical exercise as early as infancy is critical for a childhood obesity free population. To tackle obesity, having a health intervention, social support programs and parental support is the key.

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