Characteristics of childhood obesity include being overweight in comparison to the child’s height by using a body mass index. In a text by Russo (2015), we see that we are in urgent need to derail the high trends of childhood obesity in order to keep children out of bad health conditions and less productivity due to being overweight. In this paper I will be detailing childhood obesity, as well as a solution to help slow down its prevalence, all while including the challenges of doing so.
By implementing a new policy of advocating for changes to a current one, there has to anticipation of legal troubles. This can include issues with already existing laws, different views of those in power, and stakeholder relations.
Enactment of Policy through Modification of Existing Policy OR Creation of New Legislation There have been many laws and policies made to try and solve the problem (U.S. Health Policy Gateway, 2015). As we can see the old policies have not been effective in stopping high obesity rates, meaning that any proposed idea should be created through new thinking and making of policies. Several of these policies like early care and school health policies are about determent strategies to decrease rates.
With this, there has been no definitive solution that specifically targets this problem (U.S. Health Policy Gateway, 2015). However these policies offer healthy eating to students. With introduction to low calorie snacks in substitute of fatty, sodium filled, and sugary foods. Nevertheless, the proposed policy covers the dire need to introduce healthy eating habits in the lives of the students. To further implement this, the schools should offer vending machines filled with healthy snacks, this includes low fat, vegetables, fruit, and more. The school should also be able to provide healthy drinks like fruit juice and vegetable juice to replace high caffeinated, sugary beverages. By introducing healthy eating habits and providing healthy alternatives, students will be able to easily access healthy food with no accessibility to tempting junk food. Hence, this will help in ensuring that healthy foods are at ease of access for the students. This will heavily impact rates of obesity. However, parents also need to keep up with the healthy eating behaviors so these strategies don’t go to waste. We need to educate society as well to further expand the accessibility to healthy eating in children.
How Existing Laws or Regulations Could Impact My Advocacy
Since new policies can affect current ones, it is important to understand the current policies existing. This would allow for a positive result to further add on to ridding obesity from children. It is crucial that we are clear in our understanding of existing policies as well as how they work in order to come up with new strategies to put into place and decrease obesity. Different laws have been passed concerning the creation of an obese free environment (The National Academic Press, 2010). In order to target obesity, these laws specifically try to lower the eating of unhealthy food by increasing the amount and quality of healthy food. Other polices target lifestyle changes by promoting and advocating for exercise. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). Supplementary to these policies, officials have made requirements that make junk food corporations lower calories in their foods. Also some policies are made that push information to the consumer market on the consequences of bad diets (CDC, 2015). By knowing all of these laws, it will allow for improvements in future laws.
Analysis of Methods used to Influence Legislators or Other Policy Makers to Support the Policy
In order to convince policy makers and other officials to pass our proposed law the most effective way would be by showing them information of consequences of childhood obesity and the laws that have been made in the past. It is important to give them a clear understanding of how this policy will actually decrease these rates of obesity. Information from meetings from the CDC (Dietz, William, Benken, & Hunter, 2009) that detail different policies and there effectiveness of childhood obesity, will aid in their understanding of the significance of this law. his will help them in understanding not only the necessity of this law, but also why tweaking existing laws could not work.
Including the “Three Legs” of Lobbying
I will promote this new law by introducing and explaining in to policy makers by using the three legs of lobbying. The three legs of lobbying include professional, grassroots and the political legs (Lanier 2013). Professional lobbyists are experts that support my campaign. By joining and teaming up with knowledgeable people about childhood obesity such as doctors and nutritionist, I will be able to build credibility as well as relations with legislators. Grassroots lobbyists are the those in the community advocating for someone’s campaign (Lanier, 2013). The Grassroot lobbyist would include people like community members, parents, children affected by obesity. Grassroots lobbying can be done by staying in contact with people in the community. I also plan to liaise with the school legislator to ensure success. The political lobbyist is about the funding to occur during the legislative process. Miscalculating money could have very harmful effects in a campaign (Lanier, 2013). To have a positive political leg, I would plan show my support for my district political action committee (PACs) during fundraising and promotion of legislators who support my interest.
Summary of Anticipated Obstacles and to Overcome
Lack of information and understanding of laws, would be a big problem for me. I intend to further educate myself by utilizing the American Nurses Association. Even though getting attention to my proposal might be a problem, I plan to stay determined and diligent. In addition, I would also be in support of my district political action committee to help bring awareness and fundraise.
Obesity is a prevalent issue in today’s society. And although different laws and policies have been implemented to try and derail obesity, there has been no big success. This calls for a new law to go into place, and it is up to policymakers to ensure the decrease of these rates. The aim of this law is to decrease obesity up to 15 to 20%, which will only happen with cooperation between groups and understanding of the significance of this problem.
- Cassidy, E., F., Trujillo, M., D., & Orleans, T. (2015). Health and behavior. In A.R. Kovner & J.R. Knickman (Eds.), Jonas & Kovner’s health care delivery in the United States. [MBS Direct]. Retrieved from https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/#/books/9780826125293/cfi/6/40!/4/2/2@0:0
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Overweight & Obesity. Retrieved on 14 October 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/strategies/index.html
- Dietz, William H., Donald E. Benken, and Alicia S. Hunter. ‘Public health law and the prevention and control of obesity.’ The Milbank Quarterly 87.1 (2009): 215-227.
- Lanier, J. K. (2013). Government response: legislation politics: playing the game. In J.A. Milstead (Ed,) Health Policy and Politics. A Nurses Guide ( pp.45-71). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning
- Russo, P. G. (2015). Population Health. In Knickman, J. R., & Kovner, A. R. (Eds.), Health Care Delivery in the United States. (pp. 79–97). New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
- The National Academic Press. (2010). Perspectives from United Kingdom and United States Policy Makers on Obesity Prevention: Workshop Summary. Retrieved on 14 October 2017, from https://www.nap.edu/read/12861/chapter/5
- U.S. Health Policy Gateway. (2015). Obesity. Retrieved on 14 October 2017, from http://ushealthpolicygateway.com/payer-trade-groups/health-promotion-disease-prevention/obesit y/