According to Karnik and Kanekar (2012), the prevalence of obesity among children aged between 8 and 16 years has been on the increase, leading to increased health concerns.
This paper examines the implications of a three week intervention plan to reduce children weight. It also aims at identifying whether innovative and fun interventions can encourage children to live healthy lives.
The first step in identifying strategies to control obesity in children involves acknowledging the causes, which include genetic factors, environmental factors, and behavioral factors (Karnik & Kanekar, 2012).
The interventions used in the three weeks involve the influence of behavioral factors and environmental factors. Behavioral factors involve the consumption of high energy foods with minimal physical activity, which leads to a buildup of sugars in the body.
Environmental factors, on the other hand, involve the effect of the setting, such as home, school and community, on food intake and physical activity (Rahman, Cushing, & Jackson, 2011).
The idea of a camp, away from the usual environment, is aimed at minimizing the psychological and social health issues such as negative social progress due to their environment.
The interventions will be administered in a three week camp for only obese children. This is necessary for the self-esteem of the children since there will be no stigmatization from their peers or adults (Theodore, Bray, & Kehle, 2009).
The interventions used in the camp are play-based, in order to influence the children into engaging in physical activity and appreciating nutrition-based education.
The interventions include board games to help them understand nutrition and learn various physical exercises, and interactive multimedia and virtual educational games to enhance decision making build self-esteem for healthy eating conduct (Rahman, Cushing, & Jackson, 2011).
One of the interventions involves a teaching tool that is based on a game that emphasizes “four fitness components namely cardio-respiratory endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, and flexibility” (MCHA, 2011). The game requires a player to roll the dice and move on a board.
Depending on the square where the child lands, he is required to do the fitness activity indicated such as “seal walking, sit-ups, jumping kicks, or monkey dance” (MCHA, 2011). The second intervention involves the children taking up a journalism role and forming a story by piecing various health and nutrition newspaper and magazine articles and pictures on a board (MCHA, 2011).
The third intervention involves the provision of nutrition and physical activity education. The process requires a combination of specially designed equipment and multiple game activities in order for the fitness instructor to inform the children of various components of exercise (MCHA, 2011).
The final intervention will employ an interactive website for students to identify their nutrition and physical activity needs, and create activities that they can undertake in their free time as a way to encourage them to continue eating healthy and engaging in physical activity after the camp.
The children will be introduced to the program and tools, whereby they will sign up, pledge their commitment to the 60 minutes a day program, learn to design healthy activities for eating and exercising, and tracking their health progress (MCHA, 2011).
At the end of the camp, the children will have acquired the necessary tools and knowledge to make healthy food choices and exercise regularly. These innovative interventions aim at encouraging the children to make appropriate decisions and appreciate the merits of their preference in living a healthy life.
Karnik, S., & Kanekar, A. (2012). Childhood Obesity: A Global Public Health Crisis. Int J Prev Med, 3(1): 1–7.
MCHA. (2011). Childhood obesity community action plan. Montgomery: Montgomery County Health Alliance.
Rahman, T., Cushing, R. A., & Jackson, R. J. (2011). Contributions of built environment to childhood obesity. Mt Sinai J Med, 78, 49–57.
Theodore, L. A., Bray, M. A., & Kehle, T. J. (2009). Introduction to the special issue: Childhood obesity. Psychol Sch, 46, 693–694.