The paper is based on the discussion of childhood obesity in Miami Dada, the reasons which cause the problems, and the outcomes. Mortality from health issues provoked by obesity during childhood is one of the main outcomes obesity causes. School education and promotion of healthy eating using offering children more fruits and vegetables should be the main strategies for changing students’ behavior. The implementation of the theory of reasoned action and planned behavior and self-care model may be helpful in this case.
Childhood obesity has become one of the main problems in modern society. Relying on a family tradition in nutrition, style of life, attitude to sport and other particular issues, many people consider obesity as a genetic problem and do not want to change anything. However, obesity is more about the lifestyle and eating tradition as the amount of fast-food popular nowadays increases the chances to become obese. The rate of obesity can be and must be controlled using promoting healthy eating at schools and offering children fresh food and juices instead of bans and sandwiches.
Overview of the problem
Considering the problem of childhood obesity in Miami Date country in detail, it is important to check the statistical data. Miami Dade is a multinational community that comprises many ethnic groups. According to the research conducted by the Health Council of South Florida, Inc. (2008) for the Miami-Dade County Health Department, ethnic differences play much in the rate of obesity. Thus, the obesity among the Black population is higher than among Whites, Blacks are 30% more obese than Whites. The problem of childhood obesity is devastating as it is a health issue that may lead to cardiovascular problems, stomachache, etc. It is possible to prevent the problem, help children understand the importance of healthy eating despite helping them treat their problem in the future.
Theories, concepts, and models
The choice of the products for eating and the decisions people make depend on their behavior and the level of their care for themselves. The awareness of danger is one of the man activities which may provoke people for acting. Helping parents understand the danger of unhealthy eating may change their reaction and behavior in relation to eating traditions. Moreover, those who care for themselves and those who are aware of what should be done to protect themselves usually act by their needs. Two theories that may characterize the behavior of people when they are to deal with childhood obesity, this is the Theory of Reasoned Action/Planned Behavior and Self-Care Theory.
Theory of Reasoned Action/Planned Behavior
It is important to remember that human behavior plays a vital role in health maintenance and disease prevention. The theory of reasoned action/planned behavior helps to state that the relation between strong students’ beliefs and intentions is strong (Sideridis, G. D., Kaissidis, A., & Padeliadu, 1998), thus, the possibility to create a reasonable explanation to the importance of healthy eating is one of the steps to the reduction of obesity. The implementation of these two theories into the steps for the reduction of child obesity in Miami Florida may help improve the activities and help children understand why healthy eating is important. This understanding is based on subjective norms, attitudes and intentions (Hankins, M., French, D., & Horne, 2000). The theory of reasoned action and planned behavior presupposes strong motivation, intention and effort in behavior implementation (Baban, A., & Craciun, 2007).
Self-care theory presupposes its implementation within several particular responses, such as copying behavior, self-efficacy, social support, self-care ability and self-care action (Jenerette, C., & Murdaugh, 2008). The health outcome based on this theory presupposes that people are to care about their health due to particular group cultural characteristics. Having three types of health care needs, child obesity in Miami Florida may be reduced using universal and health deviation needs (Orem, 1995). Thus, being aware of the problems people may have in the future because of obesity, it is possible to change behavior provoked by the desire to care about oneself.
Morbidity and mortality of childhood obesity
It is obvious that childhood obesity becomes adolescent one and supports people during their whole life as the inability to cope with the problem at the early stages leads to it chronic running. The most possible health problems people who suffer from obesity may have are atherosclerotic cerebrovascular disease and colorectal cancer, the diseases which have a higher risk of mortality. It has already been proven that childhood obesity persists into adulthood and some physical modifications become irreversible. It means that being overweight for a long period, the processes in the human organism are disturbed causes more complications. Obese people spend more energy in vain, which slows down other processes in the human organism. The longer people live with high weight the more problems they have. It has already been proven that childhood obesity unusually transfers into adulthood and becomes the reason for morbidity and mortality because of the increase of health problems of people with high weight (Maffeis & Tato, 2001).
The understanding of the problem is the first step on the way to its solution. The community in Miami Dade is aware of the problem. The implementation of specific education at schools directed at informing students about the problems they may have should be the first step to creating a healthy society. Some particular hours should be spent on discussing the problem of obesity with children. The class should comprise lectures, discussion hours, and some practical lessons where children should learn to lead an active life, refuse unhealthy food, and consume only healthy and useful products.
Additionally, schools should pay more attention to students’ menus. Offering healthy food with more fruits, vegetables, and juices may be a good support to the educational program. Schools should refuse from delivering unhealthy food. The combination of classes with the practical implementation of healthy policies via the school menu should be a good promotion project in the Miami Dade community. It is important o implement the promotion program on the country level as local initiatives may become ineffective.
The program under discussion should not only inform students about the outcomes which may lead to problems with health in the future, but they are to pay attention to the reasons why these problems may occur. Unhealthy food and inactive life are two main reasons for childhood obesity. Living in the world of the Internet and online communication many students do not stay outdoors for a long period preferring to spend more time in from of their TVs or computers which seem less fatigable and more relaxing. Students should understand that their actions and eating preferences impact their future greatly. By changing their lifestyle at school, students have an opportunity to protect themselves from health problems.
Therefore, it may be concluded that the Miami Dade community has appeared in a complicated situation related to childhood obesity. The problem is complicated with the fact that most obese children do not change their lifestyle and it leads to health problems in the future which may lead to mortality. Even though the forecasts are rather pessimistic and most people have problems with health, the situation may be corrected. The roots of adults’ obesity lay in children’s nutrition and their ways of life. The possibility to change these two aspects may help reduce the number of obese people in the community and prevent mortality in the future. School education and promotion of healthy eating using delivering children with more fruit, vegetables and juices on their menu may be one of the ways for solving the problem. The government of Miami Dade should pay more attention to the structured spread of the program with the involvement of all schools. The effectiveness of this program should be evaluated using the statistical information devoted to the reduction of mortality because of such diseases as cardiovascular illness, diabetes, etc. The program may be very effective if all schools participate as the social opinion may change and by the theory of reasoned action and planned behavior, human actions may be directed at a more healthy and better style of life.
Baban, A., & Craciun, C. (2007). Changing health-risk behaviors: a review of theory and evidence-based interventions in health psychology. Journal of Cognitive & Behavioral Psychotherapies, 7(1), 45-67.
Hankins, M., French, D., & Horne, R. (2000). Statistical guidelines for studies of the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behaviour. Psychology & Health, 15(2), 151.
Jenerette, C., & Murdaugh, C. (2008). Testing the theory of self-care management for sickle cell disease. Research in Nursing & Health, 31(4), 355-369.
Maffeis, C., & Tato, L. (2001). Long-term effects of childhood obesity on morbidity and mortality. Hormone Research, 55 Suppl, 142-45.
Orem, D. (1995). Nursing: Concepts of practice. St. Louis: Mosby.
Sideridis, G. D., Kaissidis, A., & Padeliadu, S. (1998). Comparison of the theories of reasoned action and planned behaviour. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 68(4), 563-580.
The Health Council of South Florida, Inc. (2008, February 29). Racial and ethnic health disparities in Miami-Dade County. Web.