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Problems related to childhood obesity, diabetes and heart problems are among the few problems currently plaguing our nation’s children as a result of unhealthy eating habits. Insights into the degree of the problem reveal that on average only 42% of children who come to school actually opt to eat at the school’s cafeteria. The remainder chooses to either bring their own lunches or have their lunches handed over the fence to them by their parents. Unfortunately, a vast majority of these lunches are composed of unhealthy fast food options which can cause serious health problems when consumed consistently over a long period of time. Lunches that are brought from off campus sources usually consist of various unhealthy food options such as burgers, fries, soft drinks and chips bought from the local Mc Donald’s or a variety of other establishments scattered around the surrounding neighborhood.
Based on the data given in the introduction it can be seen that childhood obesity is a real problem within the country and as such it is believed that through proper education children will be able to realize the problems that may result from unhealthy eating habits and put a stop to it by through their own volition. In this particular project children will be introduced to the concept of obesity by learning about it both physically and educationally. Initially children will be made to wear an oversized shirt with the ends taped off so as to prevent anything from escaping. After this is done the children will be encouraged to stuff as many crumpled up newspaper balls into the overlarge t-shirt till it is filled to capacity. Once this is done the children will then be asked to try to perform their daily class activities such as sitting, reading, eating and playing. The objective of this study is for students to come to realize the inherent problems in relation to being obese. Academic education can only go so far to teach students about the problems inherent in becoming obese. It has actually been shown by various studies that students learn more through a physical understanding of the concept rather than through an academic one as such by having them learn of the physical difficulties of being too large and by educating them about the concept of obesity and its connection to unhealthy eating habits it is expected that students will be able to realize on their own the problems with being overweight and come to the realization that they should strive for proper eating habits. This particular project concept is different in that it enables a more hands on approach for the students; it enables them to physically learn the sensation of being overweight and thus gives a far greater impact than merely telling them about the problems associated with obesity.
Benefits to Students
The basis of this particular project is to prevent the nation’s children from developing bad eating habits when they turn into an adult which contributes to the growing problem of obesity within the country. As such its goal of the campaign is to be able to change current unhealthy eating habits which focus on the consumption of junk food and shift it towards the consumption of whole grains, leafy vegetables, non-artificial drinks and various other healthy food choices. It is expected that should this particular project be implemented within the school the entire school community will be able to directly benefit from learning about the problems associated with obesity and such will help to ensure its prevention among the school populace. Through the creation of this particular program to help develop awareness in the student body regarding the problems of obesity it is expected that a domino effect will occur wherein greater awareness of proper eating habits from children will in effect help adults learn the value of better eating habits themselves thus resulting in a far healthier community that takes in account the value of healthy eating choices.
The effectiveness of the program will be judged by the amount of students that either bring healthier lunch options to school or through and increase in the number of students that eat the healthy lunch options available from the school cafeteria. The long term method of evaluating the effectiveness of the program will be to determine the obesity rate within the school ever since the start of project and determine whether the number of students that are obese have either decreased or increased. It must be noted though that the main problem of childhood obesity still lies with the current “junk food culture” that has apparent inundated today’s citizens. The convenience and easy accessibility of various fast food restaurants has made most parents rather reluctant to switch to a more inconvenient and time consuming method of meal preparation and as such any project that deals with reducing the rate of childhood obesity in schools must also take into account the ability of parents to actually aid in the process.
Use of Funds
For this particular project a large amount of funds or resources will not be necessary rather students can actually be a source of the resources themselves. For example the newspapers necessary for the added bulk and weight to simulate the effects of obesity can be collected from students as an assignment over the course of a month. The newspapers can be stored in the classroom and accumulated a month before the start of the program and utilized when the program starts. Oversized t-shirts can also be brought in by the students since they can be borrowed from their parents. The tape needed to seal of the edges of the t-shirts can be provided by the school at very little additional cost. As such it can be seen that this project involving awareness about obesity is low cost and applicable to many schools through the school system should it prove to be an effective deterrent against cases of obesity. Should the $2,000 reward be won the project will expand to incorporate more realistic means of adding on simulated weight such as the use of cheap bean bags that can be worn around the waist to facilitate artificial weight gain. If the $25,000 were won, cheap weight suits as those seen in the show “The Biggest Loser” would be made to create a safe and artificial means for students to experience how added weight will make their lives that much worse.
Item List for Project
Newspapers (brought in my students)
Oversized t-shirts (brought in by students)
Tape to seal up t-shirts ($25 from the school)