Ralphs Group Policy - Problem Definition Background Childhood Obesity has reached epidemic status in the United States Today children spend more

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Problem Definition Background : Childhood Obesity has reached epidemic status in the United States. Today children spend more time watching television and playing video games than engaging in physical activity. Data from the NSW Child Health Survey 2001 found 40% of children age 5-12 reportedly watch on average of two hours or more of television or videos a day and 15% play computer games for an hour or more a day. There are both sociological and cultural factors contributing to the current trends of obesity. Over the last twenty years rates of obesity in children have risen greatly in many countries around the world, leading some researchers to speak of an “international epidemic.” The current crisis in the United States is particularly striking. In 1963, the percentage of overweight children from ages 6-11 was 4.2 percent ( A1 ). By the year 2000, 15.5 percent of children were classified as overweight ( A1 ). Since the 1970s, the prevalence (or percentage) of obesity has more than doubled for preschool children aged 2-5 (5 percent to 10.4 percent) and adolescents aged 12-19 years (6.1 percent to 15.5 percent), and it has more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years (4 percent to 15.3 percent) ( A2 ). Though white children have very high levels of obesity, minority children have even higher levels, as well ( A3 ). Today over nine million children are overweight in the United States, which is triple what the proportion was in 1980. The health risks associated with childhood obesity are type II diabetes, high blood pressure, hypelipidaemia, orthopedic problems, asthma, sleep apnea, and psychological effects, including low self-esteem and depression. With these continuing trends, the United States is put at further risk for a health crisis unmatched in severity and costs since the effects of cigarette smoking. Policy Problem: Should the state of New Avery implement a policy to require the reporting of students’ Body Mass Index (BMI) on report cards as a measure to reduce childhood obesity? Analyst’s Problem: Determine the effectiveness of BMI report cards in reducing childhood obesity and increasing parental awareness and involvement. Examine alternative polices that have the same objective of reducing childhood obesity as a replacement for BMI report cards or in conjunction with. Evaluate the costs and benefits of implementing BMI report cards. Determine possible implementation problems and externalities resulting from BMI report card 1
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programs. Scrutinize the constitutionality of BMI report card programs. Investigate the political acceptability of BMI report card programs. Background Information Legislative History Federal Bills/Laws: The first action taken by the federal government toward childhood obesity took place in 2003. Prior to 2003, the federal government has never been involved in the growing epidemic of childhood obesity in America. Thus, the only president in our nation’s history to address childhood obesity from the federal level is George W. Bush. There have been twelve
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course PAM 2300 taught by Professor Avery,r. during the Fall '06 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Ralphs Group Policy - Problem Definition Background Childhood Obesity has reached epidemic status in the United States Today children spend more

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