In my last post, I discussed government involvement and policies that would aid in minimizing childhood obesity. With this post, I will discuss social movements occurring across the globe to help facilitate and emphasize the importance of this issue. I researched various social movements throughout the nation taking action to reform the childhood obesity epidemic.
One specific movement that I came across was The Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation works to address one of the nation’s leading public health threats—childhood obesity. The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. Founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation, the Alliance works to positively affect the places that can make a difference in a child’s health: homes, schools, doctor’s offices, and communities. The program hosts various initiatives to facilitate health reform in these various outlets. These reforms include:
Childhood obesity is a tremendous drain on America’s healthcare system. The industry spends $61 billion annually to treat obesity-related ailments, giving doctors, insurers and employers a strong incentive to stop weight gain before it causes serious health problems. The Alliance is forging a solution by engaging insurers, employers and provider associations in a landmark agreement to reimburse physicians and registered dietitians for obesity prevention-related services.
Healthy Schools Program
The Healthy Schools Program provides real tools and solutions to help schools become healthier places for the 53 million students and staff who learn and work there every day. The Healthy Schools Program supports administrators, teachers, parents and students in implementing policies and programs that enable students to eat better and move more.
Serving as a catalyst for corporations to become part of the solution, the Alliance is engaging with companies from diverse industries that have the ability to improve access to healthier foods and beverages as well as physical activity for kids and their families. Since its inception, the Alliance has facilitated voluntary agreements with the beverage, snack food and dairy industries, resulting in a significant reduction in the calories available to students in schools across the country.
Healthy Out-of-School Time Initiative
We work with out-of-school time providers around the country to create healthy environments where youth can eat better and move more. Our Healthy Out-of-School Time Framework combines Alliance best practices with healthy eating and physical activity (HEPA) standards to create a guide for communities nationwide to transform the areas where kids spend their time before school, after school, and during school breaks.
Each of these initiatives pin points one gateway in which childhood obesity can be minimized. One particular initiative caught my attention because it emphasized corporations and industries and how they could aid in solving the childhood obesity issue. Thirteen leading food manufacturers, group purchasing organizations and technology companies have agreed to help America’s schools serve healthier meals at more affordable prices through agreements brokered by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. As a result of these agreements more than 30 million students across the country will have access to healthier school meals – including at least 14 million students who currently participate in the free and reduced lunch program.
The audience for this specific organization is children. They are working in effort to gain the attention of adolescents who suffer from this disease. For my white paper, I believe I want my audience to be a national government organization working to minimize this cause. An example of this organization would be the National Association of State Boards of Education. An organization like this one that works closely with school boards will make effective change. This disease will be fought at the community level, which can begin with the work of the school board.