The Role of Family and Community Involvement in the Development and Implementation of School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policy

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The new evidence-based guidelines designed to promote physical activity and nutrition have not been adapted by the United States. As a result, despite large investments in research on lifestyle diseases, many individuals still suffer from lifestyle diseases. Kehm et al. conducted a study to identify the role that family and culture play in the creation and implementation of policies on diet and physical activity. Teenage obesity has proven to be a significant health concern. The percentage of obese children aged between 12 and 19 years has risen from 5% in 1980 to 12% in 2015. Obesity predisposes children to conditions such as stroke, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular conditions during their adulthood. According to Kehm et al. (2) 95% of American children are enrolled in school and they consume at least two meals during school hours each day. These meals should be administered considering the recommendations made by researchers aimed at improving health standards in school. However, this cannot be implemented without the support of the families and the community. Schools have different strategies to ensure that these two stakeholders are involved in issues like school attendance, academic performance, meals and student behaviour. An analysis of data from 28 states revealed that 38% of the families were directly involved in formulating the nutritional policy.

This paper involved a survey of data collected by Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in 2008. It differentiates between the role of the family and the community and their impact on the level of compliance with federal, state and local recommendations. Through this research, one can relate how this involvement impacts nutrition and physical activity programs. The data is drawn from a reliable source that is directly funded by a federal department. However, there is a challenge in understanding how the researchers quantify the involvement into percentages. It is important to note that the level of involvement of families and communities vary. Therefore, the researchers may not be able to give the readers an exact impression of how these variations impact differences in the outcomes of the programs. The researchers should have considered a more qualitative approach to give the readers a clear understanding of the involvement. Throughout the paper, the researchers demonstrate the potential that community and family involvement carries in positively impacting nutrition and physical activity standards. Kehm et al (8) notes that contrary to the nutritional aspect, schools where the community and family were provided more exemptions from physical education lessons. The researcher concludes that though community and family involvement has the potential of improving school health policies, this is yet to be realized.

Childhood obesity prevention programs are key in preventing future lifestyle diseases. Families have scored well in ensuring that their children have access to healthy balanced diets. However, the value that the American society places on main subjects such as mathematics and sciences seems to undermine the role of physical activity in the lives of the children. This research carries out a good evaluation of the opportunities that exist for families and how they have been used in improving the lives of the young children. Collaborative approaches are key in helping the children realise the importance of healthy lifestyle from a young age. However, the biggest challenge facing these collaborative approaches is strategy. Though there are guidelines on what they should achieve, the stakeholders are not well informed on how they should coordinate their activities to achieve the intended results.

Works Cited

Kehm, Rebecca, Cynthia S. Davey, and Marilyn S. Nanney. “The Role of Family and Community Involvement in the Development and Implementation of School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policy.” The Journal of school health 85.2 (2015): 90–99. PMC. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

Works Cited

Kehm, Rebecca, Cynthia S. Davey, and Marilyn S. Nanney. “The role of family and community involvement in the development and implementation of school nutrition and physical activity policy.” Journal of School Health 85.2 (2015): 90-99.

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