The purpose of this journal entry is to consider how to reach a campaign goal of reducing obesity among elementary school children, with parents as the targeted audience. Evidence-based studies and theory suggests how parental influences affect healthy lifestyles in children (Jurkowski, et. al, 2013). Engaging parents to participate in a program designed to prevent childhood obesity, involves a deeper look into diversity in the audience based on level of income, level of health literacy, resources for behavioral change, and ecological factors which influence day to day living (Jurkowski, et. al, 2013). Identifying those who share similar factors, are important in developing strategies and tailoring messages to effectively reach these groups of parents. For instance, low-income neighborhoods are often impacted by urban sprawl and zoning codes may require that grocery stores be located on parcels of land a certain size outside of the city, resulting in the low-income area becoming a “food desert,” or a place which has limited access to fresh healthier foods (Jackson and Sinclair, 2012). Identifying a lack of food resources is only one factor which may impede a parent’s participation in ending childhood obesity,
Neighborhoods as described above, may benefit from encouraging the development of community urban gardening initiatives, which engages parents and families in a sociocultural context for improving cultural relevance and community participation in ending childhood obesity. Jurkowski, et. al., (2013) discusses Community-Based Participatory Research as a strategy for improving a targeted audience’s participation in change toward healthier life-styles. Fostering parental involvement in ending childhood obesity may ...
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Regardless of income, or ethnicity, or the environment, as a primary role model, parents play the largest part in being a role model for their children. However, it is important to understand one’s audience and that which may hinder healthy behaviors, when tackling a problem such as childhood obesity, in order to tailor the messages to these groups effectively. Once barriers to receiving information is identified among these populations, the message can then be directed through proper channels, language, and methods to reach the intended audience more effectively. It is also important to understand how important a role the community as a whole plays in achieving to combat a problem such as childhood obesity, by identifying community leaders and partnering with others to help educate others, and change the environment toward a healthier one.
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