COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL HEALTH PROGRAM
COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL HEALTH PROGRAM
In the 21st-century obesity epidemic is public health, economic and social issue where its effects are not likely to be reversed without the substantial contribution of schools. The Comprehensive School Health Programs (CSHP) improve and intensify the efforts to promote eating and physical activity, which is aligned with the mission of schools to promote the health of students, community, and faculty by educating young people on ways of becoming healthy (Kolbe, 2019). The program entails eight health services, nutrition, physical education, health education, community and family involvement, faculty health promotion, counseling services, and a healthy school environment. A lot of students’ lives are spent in school; therefore, schools play a huge role in influencing the healthy living of students before harmful habits are established.
A Synthesis of Current Efforts by CSHP To Address Obesity
CSHP encourages students’ health at various levels to promote wellness, motivate health improvement, and offer educational opportunities for students and the general community. To address the challenge of obesity, schools are increasing student opportunities have to engage in physical activity outside the physical education class. These programs include sports, unstructured play in elementary schools, physical activity clubs, and after-school programs (Carson & Webster, 2019). These programs are crucial as they are available to those not athletically talented and those with special needs. In addition, these physical activities are now being offered in the classroom as part of planned lessons. Consequently, CSHP is working hard to make school as safe as possible by promoting a healthy physical and emotional school environment. In schools, students are exposed to getting hurt while on playgrounds, witness violence among peers, and are exposed to hazards; hence, the CSHP promotes school security a social and emotional atmosphere for students.
CSHP has implemented a high-quality course of study in health education. The course majors in nutrition, personal health prevention, community health, and mental and emotional health (Xu,2021). The system is effective as it helps students adopt healthy behaviors when they incorporate healthy skills in their lifestyle, allowing students to overcome barriers to adopting behaviors. Furthermore, CSHP has encouraged school health services by encouraging schools to have onsite health clinics, immunizations, and screening for healthy weight and school nurses. This way, students can acquire treatment and educational services. CSHP realize the importance of healthy nutrition; therefore, to prevent future illness such as obesity, it has encouraged balanced, appealing, and varied meals for students.
Equally important, the program encourages the involvement of parents and the community, which is essential as it helps assist students and schools, in general, to make decisions and provide resources in the quest of promoting a healthy lifestyle. It also helps ensure that students have healthy foods and beverages even outside school meal programs. The ongoing services provided by CSHP allow schools to improve both education and health of students and other faculties involved.
An Analysis of Strengths and Weaknesses of CSPHS to Address Obesity
The CSPHS has its share of strengths and weaknesses in the course of addressing obesity. School success and health are inextricably intertwined. An effective school program should focus on health and learning, support every child, consider all CSHP program components, have multiple interventions, coordinate and oversee systematic planning and staff development.
CSPH’s adopts an inclusive approach to promoting health and educational success. The program addresses the issue of obesity by adopting policies and programs that support social and physical environments. The program also involves the engagement of parents, the community, and other stakeholders. This program helps the CSHP with the ability to reduce the risk of obesity by shifting the distribution of risk factors in a favorable direction (Centeio et al.,2021). Consequently, the school environment plays a significant role in promoting a healthy lifestyle that prevents obesity; therefore, this is a strength that CSPH acquires. The CSPH is carried out in elementary and junior schools that support healthy lifestyles among children and youths and strengthen the lifestyles messages adopted.
Additionally, the program is integrated with the curriculum, and therefore, the flexibility and adaptability of the programs enable student support delivery and an excellent contextual fit over obesity. According to World Health Organization, to fight obesity, action from multiple settings, approaches, and stakeholders is required. CSHPs have achieved this through their critical systems to obesity: physical activity and nutrition through multi-component interventions. Schools hold power in influencing healthy physical and healthy behaviors.
Healthy eating and physical activity have been promoted in the school setting; however, the effectiveness of this program is not established. Activities in the CSHPs such as sports, active recreation, cardiovascular health for children, and other physical activities in the curriculum have not shown a noteworthy decrease in body mass index(BMI). The program does not offer BMI assessment tools in schools. Lack of support from organizations and government is another weakness of some CSHPs. The challenge of fighting obesity in schools cannot be achieved through solo efforts of the school as it requires communitywide steps.
Additionally, CSHP has intense pressure to raise standardized scores, which causes the narrowing of the school focus curriculum. The limited budgets in schools make it difficult to implement and improve the CSHPs; they increase the pressure of selling high fat and beverage snacks in schools to raise money for school functions.
Identify Gaps in CSHP Efforts to Address Obesity
Obesity is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed; however, there is a large gap between the amount and types of evidence deemed as the basis for action and available information to address this challenge. CSHP fails to address the obesity achievement gap on educational self-efficacy and children absenteeism. Obese students believe that they are the worst student despite their academic achievement, related to the bullying and fear they get from their peers (Xu,2021). This gap increases with the low-income and minority students. CSPH approaches of reducing physical education to provide more academic guidelines may cause a cycle of inactivity, which puts more risk to the obese students. Accordingly, the common intervention in CSHP focuses on increasing time in physical education which does not promote physical activities lifelong changes. Children should be introduced to behavioral activities that they find enjoyable, and they can willingly continue even as adults. Obese children cannot engage in complicated exercise; therefore, they should be closely monitored, and caution is taken when dealing with them. The purpose of the CSHPs is to engage in healthy behaviors and unlearn the unhealthy ones, which can control up to adulthood.
Describe Individual and Organizational Factors That Influence the Success of CSHPS to Address Obesity
Various individual factors influence the success of CSHPs in the quest of minimizing obesity. Individual students have dependent knowledge on factors that influence CSHPS success. Self-motivation and personal responsibility are unique factors that influence the success of CSHPs. When an individual is fully endorsed to the anti-obsess behavioral goal and feels motivated to achieve a specific goal level, their efforts will result from a long-lasting behavior change, which will help CSHP achieve its goals. On the other hand, personal responsibility places tremendous responsibility for their health behaviors despite all the social and environmental support to encourage healthy lifestyles.
Several organizational factors influence the success of CSHPS. One influencing factor includes clear goals and mandates of the CSHPs. The school health programs with a clear objective and goals help succeed. Regarding the element of the invention of the CSHPs, several factors influence its success, including aligning the intervention with regards to the school’s main aim, tailoring the programs so they can best fit the school health needs, working with other school stakeholders such as teachers to develop these programs and provision of support and training to the school programs. Consequently, family history is an organizational factor that influences the success of CSHPs because family habits affect a person’s weight because of genetics. Therefore, this factor can be challenging to be solved by the CSHPs. CSHPs being community-based interventions increase the rate of success as those environmentally and culturally accepted interventions have a high possibility of being sustained, and there is less barrier to their implementation.
Socio-demographic factors also affect the success of CSHPs in addressing obesity. For example, research suggests that children with working conditions are likely to be more obese; this is likely because of the consumption of fast food and malnutrition, while parents with no educational background are likely to have obese children due to the consumption of high-energy foods (Wang et al.,2019). Therefore, CSHPS programs should consider these factors when implementing programs for educative purposes. This shows that education and working environment are essential factors affecting the success of CSHPs.
Identified Laws and Best Practices, Recommendations, And Rationale
School-based programs have been widely adopted to address the issue of obesity in children; however, even with the promise of positive impacts of the program, the effectiveness of these programs is mixed. Children experience an immersive experience in school more than at home; therefore, schools have a tremendous opportunity to improve health and reduce obesity. Schools can enhance and boost the situation by the components mentioned above on the current CSHPs efforts adopted to address obesity. In addition to the physical and nutrition activities, schools take up the following recommendations;
Schools need to adopt a program evaluation as a recommendation. To increase the effectiveness of the CSHPs, regular assessment of their energy is crucial. All the groups involved in the program should have an opportunity to provide input and assess the nutrition programs and policies and their response to their bodies. For instance, schools can monitor the success of obesity CSHPs by gathering students’ body mass index (BMI). Therefore, BMI assessment would be recommended at schools to increase the potential positive impact of the programs by promoting healthy weight. Obesity causes chronic diseases such as cancer, depression, and heart disease, eventually leading to premature death (Smith, Piotrowski, & Zaza,2021). Therefore, there is a need for multilevel and integrated solutions such as surveillance to identify underweight, obese, and overweight and screening, which provides parents with knowledge about their children’s weight. However, in implementing this assessment, the CSHPs should ensure a safe and supportive environment, comprehensive strategies, and safety.
Families need to be targeted with educational and informative materials such as educative meetings or events or family assignments to change the health environment at home and promote the targeted behavior by the CSHP, such as the availability and consumption of healthy foods. CSHPs should consider parental engagement and environmental changes rather than just educational intervention (Leeman et al.,2018). Other than families, there is a need for the involvement of all stakeholders in the obesity prevention programs. Schools are an essential setting to implement the CSHP; therefore, stakeholders should spread coherent health messages consistently. Consequently, CSHP requires governmental support and global intervention to provide schools with enough financial resources and autonomy to enhance and expand CSHPs fight against obesity. Additionally, students with poor physical conditions independent of their weight status should be offered, classes.
Parents’ and stakeholders’ attitudes and behaviors directly influence children’s behavior. Also, parents control most of what their school-going children consume; therefore, changing children’s eating behavior will generally change their children’s eating behavior. Thus the involvement of the parent in nutrition behavior not only in elementary school but also junior school will help improve CSHP’s fight against obesity. The senior students need to encourage self-assessment and peer influencers. This is because parents are more receptive to activities done at home than those in school. The involvement of parents, school advisory council, community, and other faculties helps students become more likely to adopt healthy eating behaviors as they receive consistent messages from various sources.
Students need to be provided with nutrition instructions through culturally relevant and fun activities and involvement in other social activities. Children have different strategies of cognitive behavior. In this case, there is a need for the adoption of different educational approaches for each group. Elementary students might not fully understand the educational concept of nutrition, such as the classification of foods. Therefore, schools should help the child have an authentic experience, for example, by building skills in choosing healthy foods. Also using, this century is technologically advanced; therefore, computer-based lessons on nutrition can go a long way. The nutrition lessons should also be fun and well-designed to help the students develop diet selection skills. This will allow students to move at their own pace and capture the information.
Lastly, schools need to adopt nutrition policies and a supportive school environment. The rationale of this policy is to provide a framework that will help implement all the recommendations suggested above and ensure that students can get nutrition messages that are reinforced in the school environment. For instance, this policy will address social educative classes, assessment of the CSHPs, parent’s involvement, nutrition discipline, reward, and other special activities. This policy through the school environment will influence food preferences, attitudes, and behaviors.
Describe Specific Strategies and Steps to Enhance and Expand CSHP Efforts to Address Obesity
In a short period, childhood obesity has become a significant public health issue that affects children, families, and the community in general. In the United States, more than twenty-three million children and teenagers are obese (Berrigan et al.,2021). Schools are an essential setting that helps nutrition behavior and physical activities through educative and behavioral CSHPs. Programs and policies can influence behavior in schools. Some of the key strategies that can help enhance and expand CSHP s include increasing physical activity. Schools offer opportunities for children to establish lifelong habits; however, physical activity is not often a priority in most schools; therefore, it should increase. For CSHPs to address obesity effectively, incentives should be incorporated for children’s motivation, social marketing techniques, and collaboration with stakeholders such as parents and teachers. The community helps increase the effectiveness of the programs.
Strategies based on school policies such as the provision of fruits in school diets, increased accessibility of water, and removal of vending machines in the school shops, among others, can help expand CHSP’s fight against obesity. To improve the programs delivered to the vulnerable groups, strategies focused on parental engagement, environmental changes, interactive activities such as experiences of sharing healthy cultural foods, and other areas that are given less emphasis in the educational sector.
Schools often have competing priorities between health, academic and social concerns; therefore, it is essentially important to outline the steps that can boost the expansion of CSHP in quest of fighting obesity. One school should start by recognizing obesity as a serious health concern; second is to prioritize the changes and implement policies that aim at improving nutrition; third is to establish the expectations and the assessment tools to ensure that standards are met (Hargreaves et al.,2021). Encouraging creativity and stakeholder involvement in implementing and evaluating childhood obesity CSPs will go long.
Obesity is an individual and society-wide problem that needs to be addressed. The Comprehensive School and Healthcare Programs play an essential role in preventing the fast-rising of childhood obesity globally. Multiple intervention efforts have been adopted to encourage physical and health activities, including promoting physical activities outside class, health education in the curricula, and promoting a healthy physical and emotional school environment. There are strengths and weaknesses associated with CSPHs in addressing obesity, gaps in CSHPs, recommendations, rationale, and strategies that can help enhance and expand CSHP’s efforts to address obesity. Schools are the primary setting in implementing the childhood obesity prevention strategy. It is crucial for intervention other stakeholders to join efforts in encouraging healthy behaviors and encourage parents to adopt healthy eating and physical habits as they directly influence their children. CSHPs are successful in helping students adopt healthy eating behaviors and gain healthy weights. Schools are essential in fighting against obesity.
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