The Consequences Of America 's Obesity Epidemic Essay

The Consequences Of America 's Obesity Epidemic Essay

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The debilitating consequences of America’s obesity epidemic are being felt on both local and national levels. As the crisis has gained more and more coverage, interventions aimed at slowing or reversing obesity rates have sprung up across different sectors, geographic areas, and age groups. Government initiatives such as Let’s Move! and national organizations such as SPARK Physical Education offer resources that local organizers carry out in cities across America through Head Start, YMCA, and other programs. Despite the quantity of interventions that have been implemented in recent years, the obesity epidemic is nowhere close to solved. Components of a successful intervention will be defined based on literature reviews and examples of successful interventions will be provided as models. The CASTLES Program will be highlighted as a successful Nashville intervention, and The SPARK Program will be highlighted as a successful national intervention.
Components of a Successful Intervention
Hadley, Hair, and Dreisbach (2010) reviewed 51 obesity programs targeted towards participants zero to nineteen years of age and discovered program characteristics that lead to success. Some characteristics of successful programs include having a specific versus comprehensive approach, implementing therapy for participants and their families, including skill-building elements in curriculum, and implementing long term (greater than six months) physical activity programs (p. 2). Unsuccessful programs tried to address nutrition, physical activity, and weight loss at the same time (p. 4). Segal (2009) of the HCS Foundation reports that the most ideal obesity intervention will not only promote good nutrition or increased physical activity, but will work to...


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...vention in that they have a very specific goal to increase physical activity among students. They also align with Segal (2009)’s classification by accounting for factors such as the built environment in program planning. According to McKenzie (2001), the SPARK program was able to provide students with an average of 305 active minutes per week, while the comparison school was only able to offer 67.5 minutes per week (p. 333). This difference points to the success of the SPARK program in utilizing a comprehensive approach to increase physical activity rates among middle school students. A benefit of the SPARK program is that it is a national organization that any school can utilize, and they also do a great job of teaming up with schools and organizations that are funded through grants. Thus, finances are not a barrier for organizations to utilize SPARK. (SPARK, 2015).

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