Community Health Promotion by Reducing Obesity Among Rural Ontario Schoolchildren
This assignment is prepared to discuss the challenges of the increasing obesity rate among rural Ontario school children. The target community for this assignment is the school going children in the age group of 7 years to 14 years residing in the rural areas of Ontario. The research by Tracey Galloway outlines how there is an increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity among rural Ontario school children and while the number of overweight boys and girls was relatively similar, the proportion of overweight boys was found to be significantly higher than the percentage of girls who were overweight (Galloway, 2006). This assignment discusses the community health concern of obesity among school children from the perspective of the community health concepts of health promotion, health, primary health and population health.
Community Health Concepts
Community health promotion is the process through which the health of the people belonging to a particular community is protected and improved. Health promotion not only includes increasing awareness, but is also directed towards disease prevention. It is believed that community health promotion can be achieved by carrying out programs and activities that are well planned. This section discusses how the problem of obesity among school children is affected by the factors from the perspective of the community health concepts.
The Health promotion concept of community health requires increasing the awareness of the people. This can be done by informing about the incidence of obesity and overweight among the school-going population. According to the World Health Organization, about a third of the children between the age of 5 to 17 years are overweight or obese. This percentage is about 8.5% for the children who are between 5 to 9 years and grows to 12.9% for the children between the ages of 10 to 14 years. The incidence percentage of obesity and overweight among the children between the ages of 15 to 17 years is 18.2% (Canada Government, 2020). Health promotion is based on increasing awareness about the impact of obesity and overweight on the body. The pulmonary function of the body is affected by conditions like sleep apnea, hypertension and customer. It also impacts the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal function weather conditions like coronary artery disease, hyperlipidemia, degenerative joint disease, carpal tunnel syndrome and gout.
Obesity among school children is dependent on various health-related factors that can be broadly classified into genetics and Lifestyle factors. History of overweight and obesity in the family how the genetic factors that contribute to obesity. The lifestyle factors include the lack of physical activity among school children, the culture of the region in which they are living, the economic status and any medications that they may be taking for existing conditions. The eating habits of children also influence the prevalence of obesity and overweight. Poor eating habits like the over-consumption of calories and high cholesterol diet leads to overweight children. Another significant lifestyle factor impacting the prevalence of obesity among school children is the lack of support from the family because of inconsistent parenting or inactive parents. The fast-food marketing also lead to a lack of support from the society and the children receiving treats from extended family regularly can lead to poor health, overweight and obesity.
Primary health is a societal approach to the well being and individuals. It is based on the specific preferences and the needs of the individuals, their families and the communities in which they are living (WHO, 2020). Primary health also addresses the largest determinants of health and well-being by focusing on the interrelated aspect of social, mental and physical health. The primary health perspective to addressing the problem of increasing overweight and obesity among school children in rural Ontario can be adopted by promoting exercise programs, drug therapy and alternative therapy. The exercise programs are found to be very effective, especially for the school children. This requires increasing day activities for the children and promoting consistent interventions of exercises that they can participate in. The primary health interventions for addressing the challenge of overweight and obesity is with the help of the anorectic drugs that result in the suppression of appetite among the children and partial hydrolysis. The alternative therapies that are also a part of primary health and can be used to help school children overcome the challenges of obesity and overweight include hypnosis, acupuncture and acupressure.
Population health can be defined as the health outcomes for the entire population and how these outcomes can be distributed within the group or the population. The challenge of obesity among school children in rural Ontario also requires an evaluation from the community health concept of population health. The overall health of the population can be elevated on the parameters of the physical, social and emotional health and well-being for the people who are a part of that population. Population health can be improved by taking measures like increasing the general knowledge and understanding of the children and their parents about diet and its impact on their health. Another aspect of enhancing population health is improving social competence show that the children are able to respond in an adaptive manner to any changes in the social settings and choose the food and lifestyle options that contribute to improved health and well-being. Finally, the social, emotional and physical health of the population can also be improved by working on enhancing the emotional maturity of the population (Ortiz & Hofler, 2018).
Role of nurse and evidence-based nursing practice
Nurses play a very important role in health promotion because they assume the responsibility of acting as the ambassadors of health. Traditionally, the role played by nurses was focused on disease prevention, however; these responsibilities have now changed to health promotion (Kemppainen & Turunen, 2013). The nursing professionals make use of their experience in nursing and their disciplinary knowledge for health promotion. They serve as the catalyst for increasing awareness among the population about healthy lifestyles and provide constant teaching and encouragement for preventing the development of lifestyle diseases. The health promotion behavior demonstrated by the nurses for preventing obesity among school children includes promoting physical activity, improving stress management ability, healthy eating, maintaining sleep hygiene and increasing personal resilience (Hong, 2010).
The nurses and evidence-based nursing practice have a wider scope of work. They are responsible for managing the care giving function for the patients and also need to work towards managing their physical needs, treating the health conditions and preventing illness. It is the responsibility of the nurses to assist patients throughout the continuum of life and play the role of a teacher, caregiver, critical thinker, advocate and innovator during their profession. In addressing the challenges of increasing obesity among rural Ontario school children, the nurses will play a very important role to identify the underlying factors that are contributing to these conditions. After the identification of the genetic and the lifestyle factors, the notice will make use of the evidence-based practice to assist the students, their teachers and their parents (Hospital News, 2020).
The notices need to make use of evidence-based nursing practice for providing assistance to the school children to fight obesity. This calls for effective primary care provisioning as it is the first door to the entire Healthcare system. Primary health services are provided by the nurses by choosing the appropriate exercise program, drug therapy or alternative treatment for the school children. The collaboration between primary care and nursing is important for extending support and providing guidance throughout the life cycle of the people beginning from infancy to their older adulthood. It requires identification of the vulnerable population that may be experiencing any social or health-related inequalities and working with them towards the common goal of reduced obesity among the school children (Swanson & Browne, 2020).
Nurse practitioners can help in reducing any shortage of primary care providers, improving the population health. In terms of care provisioning, the scope of practice of the nurses varies from direct physician oversight to autonomous guidance and decision making. This constitutes the largest segment of healthcare service providers and their work is dependent on various situations and settings. With the ongoing transformation of the healthcare system in Canada, the role of nurses for population health management is also changing with their responsibilities being the delivery of quality, affordable, accessible and patient-centred care. The nurse practitioners are also responsible for improving the social competence and the emotional maturity of the school children along with imparting knowledge about the dietary choices and their impact on their well being (Ariosto & Harper, 2018).
It is concluded from this assessment that obesity among school children is an issue you that can be understood from the perspectives of the community health concept of health promotion, health, primary health and population health. It is the responsibility of the nurses to manage the health of the population while providing quality care. They also need to play an active role in increasing the awareness of the school children, their teachers and parents regarding the factors that contribute to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity so that these conditions can be identified and addressed on time and so that they are not carried forward by the school children in their adulthood contributing to chronic illnesses and lifestyle conditions.
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Galloway, T. (2006). Obesity Rates Among Rural Ontario Schoolchildren. Canadian journal of public health , 97 (5), 353-6. https://bit.ly/3bP4TGG
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Ortiz, J., & Hofler, R. (2018). Impact of Nurse Practitioner Practice Regulations on Rural Population Health Outcomes. 6 (2). https://bit.ly/2Tp8CSN
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