impacts on diet and exercise

Impacts on Diet and Exercise

Obesity rates tripled in children ages 2–19 living in the United States from the 1960s to the 1990s (Ogden, Flegal, Carroll, & Johnson, 2002). Who or what do you think is the cause of these rising rates? Some people blame schools for removing gym class from their curriculums. Yet, others say that while schools play a role, it is ultimately the responsibility of the families. Schools and families can either positively promote healthy lifestyles to children and adolescents or negatively expose them to habits that lead to obesity.

The United States federal government recognized that obesity was becoming a public health issue for children and adolescents. In 2012, the government instituted federal guidelines mandating that schools supply healthier food and drink selections (Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 2012). For example, schools changed drinks in soda machines to juices; however, juices still offer students additional calories (Martin, 2007).

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The family environment can be influential as well in decreasing the rates of overweight and obese children and adolescents. Although the federal government cannot make laws forcing families to change, programs such as the Let’s Move campaign and were created to educate families about healthier lifestyles. For example, lifestyle changes such as eating meals at home have significantly decreased obesity in children and adolescents (Epstein, Valoski, Rena, & McCurley, 1994). However, families that continue to eat fast food on a regular basis may be promoting obesity in children and adolescents.

For this Discussion, consider whether the school or the family environment has a greater negative impact on a child or adolescent’s diet and exercise. Then think about strategies that you might use to promote diet and exercise in those environments.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 your position on whether the school environment or the family environment has a greater negative impact on a child or adolescent’s diet and exercise and explain why. Then, describe two strategies you might use to promote diet and exercise in that environment and explain why each might be effective. Support your responses with the Learning Resources and current literature.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

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