Health promotion strategies to address and prevent obesity in school-aged children
Obesity in school-age children is a result of an imbalance between inputted and burned energy. This imbalance causes energy to accumulate in the form of Triglycerides in adipose tissue. This accumulation is caused by various factors including genetics, nutrition, physical activity, and mental and emotional health. Obesity in school-age children affects and complicates physical, social and mental development. Moreover, as obese school-age children grow into adulthood, they are at higher risk of developing non-communicable diseases. Management of obesity problems in school-age children can’t be solved in isolation. Health behavior is determined by diverse environmental factors such as policies, mechanisms in communities, families, schools and health care systems. Therefore, addressing and preventing obesity in school-age children requires a balanced strategy and a comprehensive approach to environmental factors. This article aims to discuss the meaning and diagnosis of obesity in school-aged children, causes of obesity in school-age children, effects and complications of school-age obesity, and health promotion strategies to address it. The strategies include Building Healthy Public Policy for health in directing health activities, Creating Supportive Environments that are adequate and accessible to students, Strengthening Community Actions through family, school and local mechanisms that play a role in school-age behavior, Developing Personal Skills of school-aged children and others so they understand and solve problems together, and Reorienting Health Services through quality standards, conducive to providing health services to school-age children. These health promotion strategies can prevent obesity in school-aged children and enable school-age children to have healthful growth.
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