The research project aims to further comprehend eating and exercise behaviors and to explore innovative methods that American children can use to avoid obesity or control it. Currently, “more than one in three American children and youth are overweight or obese”, (CDC 2012) with a much greater risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension. The grant application should it be approved, will seek to:
Introduce a web-based questionnaire of diet and physical activity among local schoolchildren.
Analyze how family, peers and school environments affect the efforts of overweight children to lose weight.
Analyze how diet and activity alterations introduced by overweight expecting Mothers can assist in reducing the probability of their children becoming overweight.
Study the proposal of introduction of a Child’s fitness tax credit in order to encourage better fitness level among children.
Controlling obesity and the diseases associated with it requires extensive research into wellness concepts that permit individual Americans, especially with our children, to further maintain their personal health through better informed healthier lifestyle choices. With the granting of this application, we would seek to join with other local, state and federal authorities in combating the childhood obesity problem within the school system and beyond it.
With the introduction of a survey to be completed by each household in the applicable school district, information can be collected that will measure the daily caloric intake and physical activity of each individual child. The data collected on those children that are presently overweight or obese can be compared to those that are not, with a later recommendation to school board authorities on introducing diet and lifestyle changes based on an examination of the collected data. We have estimated that approximately $10,000.00 of our proposed grant would be required to complete this survey. Expenses incurred would include costs associated with web design, domain reservation, security of the information collected, employment of personnel required to assemble, analyze, and distribute the information.
The promotion of a sedentary lifestyle both at home and in the school has been identified as one of the leading causes of childhood obesity according to world health organization representative Anwar Merchant (Merchant 2012 pp.16). Through research and consultation with fitness and pediatric specialists, we will identify and make recommendations to the school board and parents means to promote greater physical activity for the child both at home and when at school. $20,000.00 of our grant proposal has been allocated to this function. The majority of costs will be incurred in securing professional opinions and suggestions. Based on our research to date, we are estimating an overall 10 to 15% reduction in the overweight and obesity rate for children 10 and under, at the end of a five-year period, should the school board adopt our recommendations.
Children born to overweight mothers face a higher risk of being overweight themselves. Being overweight during pregnancy increases the likelihood of a baby being born heavy, followed by rapid weight gain. This condition of being overweight or obese may then follow the child all the way through adulthood. According to the journal of diseased children, evidence suggests that children who are overweight by five are more likely to become obese, so overweight it threatens their health well into adulthood. (A.D.C 2011).
Through our research, we have identified means that can offset the risk through a special dietary program for pregnant mothers. The program presently has the endorsement of the World Health Organization and is active in many countries across. Studies have shown, up to a 1/4 reduction in infant overweight and obesity after its introduction. (W.H.O. 2002). The overall cost of implementing this program amounts to $10,000 of our proposed grant.
There is good evidence that regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence
Increases strength and endurance, supports healthy bones and muscle growth, helps control
Weight, decreases anxiety and stress, increases self-esteem, and may improve blood pressure
and cholesterol levels, whereas physical inactivity leads to being overweight or obese, increases the chances of heart disease, high blood pressure and premature death.
Therefore, to promote physical in children, we are proposing a child’s fitness tax credit. Parents would be eligible for up to a $250.00 tax credit annually upon enrollment of their child in an organized sports activity of a fixed duration of at least six weeks per year. Economic incentives have been shown to be an excellent method to induce increased physical activity in children and to help defer the costs of enrollment and purchase of equipment, in countries such as the U.K. and Australia.
The cost of promoting and passing the legislation to enable the granting of the tax credit would amount to the final $10,000.00 of our proposed grant.
- Balt, R. (2012, May 12). Global Child Health, Center for Disease Control, Retrieved April 19, 2016, from http://adc.bmj.com/content/96/5.toc#Globalchildhealth
- Merchant, A. T. (2005, September 05). BioMed Central. Retrieved April 20, 2016, from http://www.biomedcentral.com/
- Zapatta, L. (2011, October 12). Children at risk. Retrieved April 20, 2016, from http://adc.bmj.com/
- The World Health Organization’s infant feeding recommendation. (2001, May 01). Retrieved April 201, 2016, from http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/infantfeeding_recommendation/en/