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In Australia, there has been rapidly growing cases of obesity, cancer, heart diseases and diabetes among young families (Wallace, 2010).
An effective health promotion initiative that targets young families can significantly lower the rate of obesity and chronic diseases by promoting healthy lifestyles (Bluford, Sherry & Scanlon, 2007). While individual programs can reduce cases of chronic diseases and obesity, they have short-term outcomes. Therefore, it is imperative to develop health promotion initiatives that have long-lasting impacts on promoting health and wellbeing of the public. The initiative should be coordinated, sustainable, responsive and support existing practices (Victoria Department of Health, 2013). The health promotion initiative will adopt evidence-based practices and reliable partnership to promote public health and reduce obesity in Christmas Bay, Sydney.
The main objective of this health promotion initiative is to promote healthy lifestyle with the aim of reducing high cases obesity, overweight and other chronic diseases among children and young adults through healthy diets and physical activities.
The health promotion initiative targets young families living at Christmas Bay, Sydney. The target group consists of children and young adults. A study of young children aged 2 to 4 years in Sydney established that nearly one in six were overweight or obese (Zuo, Norberg, Wen and Rissel, 2006).
The health promotion initiative shall rely on various modes of communication to reach the target group.
There would be public education, social marketing and engagement (de Silva-Sanigorski et al, 2010). These methods shall ensure that people receives accurate information on obesity, overweight and chronic diseases. Public education shall strive to change people’s attitudes about healthy diets and physical activities. The campaign shall meet healthy living needs of children and young families.
Media strategies shall involve the use of local magazines, newspapers and radio for mass coverage.
Another critical approach of the health promotion initiative will focus on the use of local level efforts to enhance the campaign. The initiative will work alongside local organisations and offer any support, including financial aid and form strong partnership with the aim of accounting for local programmes, infrastructures, and planning procedures.
The strategy to take local level promotion will ensure a coordinated and consistent process across various locations in Christmas Bay, schools, families and other settings with both low and high number of residents.
Local partnership with councils will ensure that the initiative promotes and provides:
- A critical workforce to facilitate outreach programmes
- Focused interventions for specific children and young adults in a given locality
- Funding for facilitating and implementing healthy living alternatives
- Facilitate policies implementation in schools and workplaces
- Promotion materials that match local languages
Several potential barriers may hinder effective implementation of the health promotion initiative in Christmas Bay, Sydney. One major challenge would be a lack of interest among the target group (Gatewood et al, 2008). This would require the program to focus on changing the attitude of the target group about healthy living. Some individuals may dismiss healthy foods as tasteless and expensive. These are personal barriers, which hinder behaviour changes to healthy diets.
Lack of interests, experiences, poor perception about physical exercise and time to prepare healthy diets may negatively affect health promotion outcomes.
Environmental factors could also have negative impacts on the health promotion initiative. These may include social factors related to family, workers, schools and friends, which may encourage or discourage health promotion activities. They may affect eating and physical activities of an individual (Doak, Visscher, Renders & Seidell, 2006).
Inaccessible locations and rising costs could also affect the program negatively.
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Self-efficacy highlights whether the predicted behaviour will take place. It would indicate how the health promotion initiative might be effective and last among the targeted group. Health-specific self-efficacy is “the optimistic belief that one is capable of adopting a healthy lifestyle or making health behaviour change” (Gatewood et al, 2008). Hence, self-efficacy relies on one’s ability to adjust and make healthy lifestyle choices.
A key feature of the health promotion initiative in Christmas Bay, Sydney would include monitoring and evaluation tools to assess progresses and outcomes of the initiative. The initiative shall support data collection from the target group to provide evidence for its effectiveness and outcomes on the target group.
The health promotion initiative shall develop an evaluation and database centre to support its local partners in managing promotion activities. This strategy would provide data for comparative purposes and evaluating feedback. Feedback shall be used in enhancing programme activities. Therefore, the initiative will ensure inclusion of emerging issues and evidence into the health promotion initiative.
Given the rising cases of obesity, overweight and chronic diseases among young families in Australia, it is imperative to develop an effective health promotion initiative that can have long-term effect on the target population.
The programme shall depend on local partnership and collaborative strategies alongside strong media campaigns and other modes of communication to overcome barriers among the target group. Hence, the deployed resource shall have the desired outcomes.
The evaluation process shall involve data collection from the target population. Results will be used to enhance health promotion activities.
Bluford, D. A., Sherry, B., & Scanlon, K. S. (2007). Interventions to prevent or treat obesity in preschool children: a review of evaluated programs. Obesity (Silver Spring), 15(6), 1356–1372. Web.
de Silva-Sanigorski, A., Bolton, K., Haby, M., Kremer, P., Gibbs L, Waters, E., & Swinburn B. (2010). Scaling up community-based obesity prevention in Australia: Background and evaluation design of the Health Promoting Communities: Being Active Eating Well initiative. BMC Public Health, 10(1), 65. Web.
Doak, C. M., Visscher, T. L., Renders, C. M., & Seidell, J. C. (2006). The prevention of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents: a review of interventions and programmes. Obesity Review, 7(1), 111–136. Web.
Gatewood, J. G., Litchfield, R. E., Ryan, S. J., Geadelmann, J. D. M., Pendergast, J. F., & Ullom, K. K. (2008). Perceived barriers to community-based health promotion program participation. American Journal of Health Behavior, 32(3), 260-71. Web.
Victoria Department of Health. (2013). Promoting children’s health. Web.
Wallace, N. (2010). Obesity diaries: Welcome to fat Australia. GlobalPost. Web.
Zuo, Y., Norberg, M., Wen, L. M., and Rissel, C. (2006). Estimates of overweight and obesity among pre-school aged children in Melbourne And Sydney. Journal of Nutrition Dietetics, 63, 179-182. Web.