Effectiveness of School-Based Intervention Programs in Reducing Prevalence of Overweight
Jhanvi, 8 year old girl, turns her nose up at burgers and pizza. Even when her peers try to persuade her to have a slice of pizza she won’t have it. During her kindergarten schooling, junk food was never allowed and her teachers always emphasized on healthy food. These habits helped her not to give-in to unhealthy temptations. But unlike Jhanvi there are several other kids who do not realize the importance of healthy diet and consume junk food frequently which makes them more prone to obesity and overweight.
Childhood obesity is a major health threat to children nowadays. Children who are obese are at a higher risk of chronic health problems. It affects their physical and mental health, making them prone to depression and low self- esteem. The prevalence of childhood obesity has increased in recent years. According to the National Institute of Nutrition at least 15% of school children in Hyderabad are obese due to consumption of junk food. Various social and environmental factors that cause Obesity are:
- Poor diet, consuming a lot of high level of fast food
- Encouraging the child to finish all their food
- Lack of opportunities to be physically active
- Not consuming enough fruits and vegetables
- Eating lunch too quickly
- Psychological issues in children may also lead to weight gain.
Obesity leads to numerous health problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes 2, osteoarthritis, hypertension, sleep disorder, and psychosocial problem in adulthood. Considering these shocking inclinations, early prevention is very important to reduce the risk of undesirable health outcomes. An intervention of parents as well as school is required, to address the health and nutrition needs of the children.
School-based health intervention program plays an important role in preventing childhood obesity and laying the foundation of lifelong good health and well-being. It provides a natural environment for children to cultivate healthy eating patterns. School health and nutrition program influence the student health in many ways:
- Helps foster healthy eating habits early in life. Consuming lot of fruits and vegetables. Diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with low dietary fat intake. This reduces the risk of several chronic diseases.
- Incorporate physical activity and yoga into their daily routines. As it helps to maintain a healthy weight by burning extra calories.
- Offer meal that meets strict nutrition standards of food and beverages will help to eliminate unhealthy food intake. Set minimum and maximum calorie level for school breakfast and lunch for each age group. This will contribute to maintain healthy weight in children.
- Faculty and staff should model healthy eating habits to improve the school environment and to encourage children to do the same.
It is never too early to instill the healthy eating habits in children which has an important impact on their weight in later life. That’s how Carengrow promotes healthy eating habits in children. As parents and caregivers, you can rely on Carengrow’s preventive health care system and keep a track of your child’s health.