Childhood obesity is a prevalent problem in the United States today. As of 2008, 20% of children aged 6-11 are considered obese. This is due to lack of fresh and healthy food alternatives, lack of education on nutrition and disease and the decrease in physical activity in today’s youth are the defining factors that contributed to this now nationwide epidemic. H.Y.F.R, with the help of local community grocers, is geared to defeat the issue of obesity in youths of low-income families. Families at or below poverty level have little to no access to healthy foods to feed their children. H.Y.F.R knows the battle with obesity will be a long and hard one, but with the support of our allies, community members and parents, we can stop our children from getting bigger and bigger, sicker and sicker.
As per the research conducted in this proposal, there are many health risks associated with obesity in children. There are chronic diseases known to plague adults such as high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, joint pain or pressure, various types of cancers and high cholesterol are starting to be diagnosed in our youth. Lack of involvement on the parts of parents is the most influential factor as to why we are seeing obesity in children. Parents who lack education on what’s nutritious are a detriment to the health of their children. Factors like socioeconomic status and cultural issues also play a role. First lady Michelle Obama has taken a firm stand in opposition to childhood obesity. Visiting grammar schools in the capital have made a resounding impact on the importance of a healthy diet.
The goal of H.Y.F.R is to decrease obesity and promote healthy youth’s for the future. H.Y.F.R has created four objectives that focus on achieving the goal of the organization. The first of these objectives is to set the foundation for health in today’s youth. Fostering a positive attitude, and reinforcing new healthy behaviors and alternatives will make the chance of permanent change more likely. Second, H.Y.F.R knows that healthy choices and behaviors must be continued in the household. Educating parents is paramount. Providing literature and information for parents to continue the healthy lifestyle for their child will also increase the likelihood for permanent change. The third objective would be to involve the community in our efforts to reduce obesity in our youth. Organizing fitness events and utilizing farmers markets will increase the odds that children will respond to these initiatives. Our last objective is to have a recreational center to call our own. Having open green space and an enclosed gymnasium will allow a safe haven for these inner city youths to exercise and get healthy in a clean and safe environment.
There is a list of activities that we will implement to help achieve our goal. Sports like volleyball, tennis, baseball and softball are just a few of the activities the youths will engage in to help shed their excess weight and jump start their healthy lifestyles. Interactive classes like dance and Zumba will make losing weight fun for children who are heavily distracted otherwise. Separating the youths by age will allow for a comfortable environment in which to exercise and interact which promotes comfort.
Properly trained and credentialed staffing is crucial to any organization. H.Y.F.R knows this and has listed the necessary personnel that will help keep the organization running at its maximum potential. Project manager, project administrator, program coordinator, nurse, health educator, nutritionist, counselor, lifeguard (volunteer/intern), dance instructor (volunteer/intern) and maintenance personnel are essential to the smooth operation of the various projects.
H.Y.F.R is a not for profit organization. With this in mind, the budget total is estimated to be 957,740.00 dollars including the salaries and other expenses. Sustainability H.Y.F.R can only continue operating with the contributions of local philanthropists and other charities. Hosting bake sales (organic and healthy items) and other types of fundraisers will generate funds to keep this program moving forward. Michelle Obama also as headed an initiative towards this goal and if this organization could utilize that, there could be other funds to be gained.
Quarterly evaluation of the success of H.Y.F. R is vital. Knowing where the organization stands is essential. The program would benefit form a constant learning processes. Evaluating strengths and weaknesses can help determine what improvements can be made to improve its efficacy. Evaluating also generates knew knowledge. Things not known before can come about and inspire new aspects of the program. Parts such as the budget and the allotment of the granted funds will also be evaluated in the expectation to reduce costs and put the money back into the program where it is needed. H.Y.F.R’s partners, methodological ordinations and feedback from the community will all help to evaluate. The opinions of all are important. Evaluations from external sources do cost a sizable amount of money. Conducting a standard evaluation would account for 5% to 10% of the total budget. Evaluations would be done via surveys, database reports and minutes taken from the meetings. The length of time it takes the targeted population to lose weight and start their healthier lifestyles will determine the success or failure of the organization. Variables like culture and ethnicity will be considered.
Statement of Need
The prevalence of Childhood Obesity is a rising issue in America. Moreover, in order for us to control this issue it is imperative for us to implement a program designed to prevent, reduce and eliminate obesity in the New York City area.
Lately, youths dealing with obesity have developed diseases that are prevalent in older adults such as; high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, and joint problems. Other diseases include sleep apnea and various types of cancers. Obese children often get teased and bullied by schoolmates because of their weight, which can result in social and psychological problems. Also, stigmatization and poor self-esteem can occur after dealing with bullying and teasing (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
The population targeted for H.Y.F.R (Healthy Youths For Real) includes boys, girls, young men, and young women in New York City. We would also like to target all five boroughs by uniting them together to overcome obesity in our young people.
Obese children that stem from low-income families often reside in the most impoverished communities in NYC. These communities lack adequate facilities designed for physical recreation. The availability of healthier food choices in the neighborhood is an ongoing issue, especially with the high prevalence of fast food restaurants in the area. Some of the under privileged areas also have high-crime rates, making whatever nearby parks available a safety issue.
It is proven that the most effective way to defeat obesity is through a healthy diet and exercise. In addition, there are other factors used to help facilitate this change of behavior in our youths, such as the involvement of the parents. At H.Y.F.R we believe, if the parents are involved in their children’s lifestyle they will be very influential on their child’s healthier eating habits.
If H.Y.F.R were not able to implement a non-profit program in the community, youths of low-income families would not have access to a recreation center designed to educate, prevent, and reduce childhood obesity. It is essential that H.Y.F.R. create a recreation center for today’s youths because of the rising costs of gyms, parks and recreation centers in our communities today.
Childhood obesity is becoming an issue in our communities instantaneously and long term. “Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Whereas for the long term effect of childhood obesity lead to: “Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults and are therefore more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.”
“Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate, as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). These statistics speaks volumes and provide valuable information of what is occurring and will occur with our youths of the future and yet the childhood obesity rates continue to rise. Childhood obesity is categorized by age groups 10-17 & 18-24: “adolescents” as individuals in the 10-19 years of age group and “youth” as the 15-24 year age group. These two overlapping age groups are combined in the group “young people” covering the age range 10-24 years (World Health Organization).
Body Mass Index
The following are Body Mass Index Charts (BMI) one for girls and the other for boys, these BMI charts are used as an assessment to identify any potential weight problems such as obesity, overweight, underweight, or simply determine if the child has a healthy weight. The child’s weight and height are calculated in order to determine the BMI. “Children are not considered obese until their weight is at least 10 percent higher than what is recommended for their height and body type (American Academy Child& Adolescent Psychiarty). Weight ranges goes the following: Underweight- Less than the 5th percentile, Healthy Weight-5th percentile to less than 85th percentile, Overweight-85th to less than the 95th percentile, Obese- equal to or greater than the 95th percentile.