The State of Obesity

  PRE-PROPOSAL 1. Media Artifact

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

my media artifact: The State of Obesity

2. Persona and POV statement

Persona: Persona name: Freddy Cousins Age:12 School/occupation: Student   Location: Ypsilanti, MI   Quote: "If you can believe it, your mind can achieve it"   About:
  • Unhealthy eating habits, obese, favorite food is doritos
  • Exercises very little, prefers to play video games and watch TV
  • Parents are divorced and lives with his father who works midnights, no contact with mom. 
  • Struggles to keep up with school work
  • low energy
Goals:
  • To improve his physical fitness so he can make the 6th grade football team
  • Start eating healthier by eating breakfast and a healthy lunch
  • Stop spending money at lunchroom vending machines snacks and buy a healty school lunch instead
  • Develop a home rountine that includes homework before video games. 

 

POV Statement:
  • User (be specific and use empathetic language, e.g., Karla, a busy and high achieving high school student…):
  • Need (identifies a need that is meaningful and includes feelings, e.g. …needs a way to feel less stress at school…):
  • Insight (incorporates your observations; often unexpected, …because there is a lot of chaos in her life and she wants to feel more calm, peace, and mindfulness in her day.):
Freddy is an impressionable adolescent with great potential who needs a way to access parental support and care for healthier eating, school support and fitness goals because his current choices are leaving him feeling unsupported and having little control of his future and goals.  

 

3. Potential Solutions:

Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.

SOLUTION 1: Freddy needs to begin buy school breakfast and lunch as a way to ensure his nutritional needs are being met. 

Schools should have a mandated healthy breakfast option for students and students should be encouraged to attend. 

SOLUTION 2: Schools should provide a very healthy lunch for students, with things like vegetables, fruits and a protein with every meal. Instead of handing out pizza or taco options, school lunched should be focused on healthy options. All unhealthy options should be prohibited in schools.

SOLUTION 3: A hands on course that helps students to create healthy meal options and meal plans that they could use throughout their life. Helping to establish healthy eating habits early in life will help them to maintain a healthy living throghout their entire life. 

 

BACKGROUND AND RESEARCH PROCESS Context

Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal: Michigan Legislature - Act 315 of 2008 Farm to School Procurement Act

Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan: This proposal aims to do a small part in helping to reduce the lifelong effects of childhood obesity. Childhood obesity can be reduced by educating our youth on not only proper nutriton habits, but how to make healthy meals for themselves away from school, and help to create a healthy meal plan for students. With the help of the Farm to School Procurement Act schools have acess to healthy nutrition options for students. The next step is to create a classroom course where students are instructed to create healthy meals for themselves, instead of unhealthy options like cookies, cakes, and other unhealthy foods you often see in these classes. 

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?

I learned about the issues underlying my proposal with hands on experience in local classrooms through the help of the Livonia Public School district. I often found courses pertaining to teach students how to use kitchen appliances however they focused on unhealthy options in their courses like how to bake cookies, cakes, and breads. These unhealthy options could be detrimental and be factors pertaining to childhood obesity. 

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?

During the time I spent with the Food Gatherers I had realized that schools have access to healthy food options, however many of the schools do not use this to their advantage.

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

 

Consultations

Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).

CONSULTATION 1:  Childhood obesity, conversation with an elementary principal: 

 One of the things she noticed as an elementary principal is that obese students exhibit more emotional difficulties than their non-obese peers. They also display poorer social skills. However it’s not clear which causes which-is it obesity causing the emotional problems or are emotional problems causing obesity. I have witnessed obese children being isolated or bullied due to being obese which weakens their social skills. These poor social skills could lead to sadness which could lead to poor eating habits and weight gain if they are turning to food for comfort. At their school they have a healthy snack policy, encourage movement at recess through a walking club and have students drink water throughout the day. They don’t allow sugary Birthday treats or class parties. All food consumed at school parties must be healthy choices. They talk about healthy food choices on our morning announcements each day. It is their hope that some of these habits can carry over to our obese students food and lifestyle choices. 

CONSULTATION 2: School Nutriiton Association - the school nutrition association was very supportive of some of my ideas to combat childhood obesity and they are in full support of programs and education focused on creating healthy eating habits for children. Some of the major problems the SNA is focused on is listed in their 2019 Position Paper. The representative I talked to brought up the point that there issue has always been the proper funding for schools and school nutriton. I believe that this proposal could work in collaboration to the current Smart Snacks in School Rule  and the School Breakfast Program to allow students to focus on how to create these smart snacks or breakfast options in hope for transfer to their home environments. 

 

 

 

CONSULTATION 3:

 

Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:

You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.

 

Research process:

My research process started by thinking of many solutions to the overwhelming problem of childhood obesity. I started by collecting data on the issue and found that this has been an increasing problem over the years. I wanted to find ways to combat this problem and find a solution that is engaging and long lasting for our youth. I don't think that there is a one size fits all solution to the state of this issue, many social and home factors play a role in childhood obesity. However this lead me to search for a common ground. This was found in our school system, where schools have the potential to make an impact on these children. Coming up with a fun and engaging classroom curriculum that teaches kids how to eat healthy, prepare healthy foods, and create a balanced nutrtion plan allowed me to find this potential. Teaching students at a young age could be a small change that could have a big impact on our youth. 

Author contributions: FORMAL PROPOSAL

The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.

Preambulatory clauses

These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.

WHEREAS.... The rate of childhood obesity is increasing at a constant rate, nearly 1 in every 5 school age children has obesity. The rate or children affected by obesity has more than tripled since 1970. There is an obvious need for a solution to combat the issue.

WHEREAS.... Childhood obesity has immediate and long term effects on childrens physical, social and emotional health. Children with obesity are at higher risk of having other chronic health conditions and diseases that influence physical health. These include asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, type 2 diabetes, and risk factors for heart disease. Children with obesity are bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers and are more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem. In the long term, a child with obesity is more likely to have obesity as an adult. An adult with obesity has a higher risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and many types of cancer.

 

WHEREAS.... schools play an important role in our youths growth and education, schools show a potential to intervene on this problem.

 

(Add more "Whereas" clauses if necessary.)

Operative clauses

These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED....

1.  By a change in the Health curriculum currently in place for students in schools. The change would involve the additional learning of healthy eating habits through hands on training in meal preparation and creating a healthy meal plan. Therefore this class would be mandatory for 6th grade students. 

2. This class and curriculum change will offer studetns a fun learning experience for kids to learn proper nutrtion options and how to create a balanced healthy meal plan

3. Students will then part take in the hands on learning experience of how to cook and prepare these healthy meal options. Allowing kids to learn the right things to put into their bodies at a young age has potential to transfer with them throughout the rest of their lives. 

(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)

Counter-arguments:

What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?

1. The cost of installing kitchen appliances into schools and the cost of paying teachers/nutritonists to teach these classes

2. The non-data support for transfer to later in life

3. Kids could spend their time in school learning other things

Costs and funding:

The cost of this curriculum change is close to nothing. Many schools already have kitchen appliances that are availble for students to use for classroom learning. The only cost would come from the food supply that the students will use to create their healthy meals for that period of the curriculum. 

References:

These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.



https://schoolnutrition.org/legislation-policy/action-center/2019-position-paper/

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(fajhvsnvu4btpiaya3kgh12a))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-Act-315-of-2008&query=on&highlight=school%20AND%20food

https://schoolnutrition.org/uploadedFiles/Legislation_and_Policy/SNA_Policy_Resources/2019-Position-Paper-Smart-Snacks.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/facts.htm

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Total votes: 20

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