McCuistion_Healthcare Policy Need.docx

With so many gadgets that take place of what was once

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that this is the age of technology and humans are simple just not as active as they once were. With so many gadgets that take place of what was once controlled manually, it is not surprising that the nation is not as physically active as it once was. While that is a whole other topic on its own, this paper will focus on the discussion of how obesity can be decreased starting with what food children are served in schools. Nearly tripling in the last 30 year, the percentage of obese American children is 17%. “Counting both obese and overweight, 31.7 percent of American children and adolescents are affected by this epidemic. In sheer numbers, more than 12 million American children and adolescents are obese and more than 23 million are either obese or overweight” (National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 2014). While it is nearly impossible, and perhaps even invasive to monitor what food is being served in the home, those concerned can monitor what is served to children in the school lunchrooms. In 2013, several policies were enacted around the nation to help combat childhood obesity by implementing certain measures within the school. One of the policies many states chose to enact, was to provide more nutritious lunches, but Ohio
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POLICY NEED 4 was not one of the states that opted to adopt this policy (NCSL, 2014). Finding nutrition requirement for Ohio schools was not easily found. The information is not readily available on school websites or local health departments. It appears the reason for this is because Ohio simply does not enforce the contents of a school in great detail. Through extensive research was it finally found that the Department of Agriculture put in place specific requirements for school lunches found in a Federal Register document released in 2012. “This rule requires most schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat- free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans-fat in meals; and meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements” (Department of Agriculture, 2012). Although this sounds good in theory, it does not prevent schools from using processed foods. Schools will find ways to follow the guidelines, while still serving unhealthy foods to keep lunches cost effective. Obesity in children can lead to a myriad of problems. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure are just a few health issues resulting from childhood obesity. And obesity is does not just cause physical health problems. It can also lead to low self-esteem and depression (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). Childhood obesity, if not resolved, will turn into adult obesity and the problems will continue. Obesity is not just reserved to physical and mental issues. Nationwide, obesity related healthcare costs have reached nearly $150 billion yearly while roughly $60 billion of that comes out of the pocket of tax payers through Medicare and Medicaid. “Childhood obesity also poses a national security challenge, as obesity has become one of the most common disqualifiers for military service; affecting 25 percent of those who apply to serve” (NCSL, 2014).
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POLICY NEED 5 Solution Sadly, there will never be a solution to completely eradicate obesity, but with direct intentions and meaningful changes, the obesity epidemic can decrease. By presenting healthy
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