Caring for Populations
Federal food programs in the school mandate a “healthy menu” but what the government considers “healthy” is not nessesarily the best. Frozen tator tots for a vegetable? Physical activity has been decreased to 10-15 minutes nationwide in schools. Four hours of TV watching per night by children is over 31% in the state. The use of video games has climbed as well in the last ten years. According to the CDC, West Virginia has an obesity problem (CDC, 2009). More than 35% of the children in the state are overweight or obese. The average has gone from as low as 5% in the early 1970s to a national average now of 17%. According to the National Center for Children’s Health, 43.5% of the children on public health insurance in the state of WV are overweight or obese compared to 31% on private insurance in the state. 47% of the children that fall below the Federal Poverty Line are obese while only 27% above the Line are obese. According to the CDC, even the consumption of fruits and vegetables among the children in the state are 18% vs. 22% for the nation.
Natural History of the Disease
Children are not born obese or overweight. Before this “disease” , there is a prepathogenesis period in which there is an opportunity for health promotion and prevention. During this period, children (and their parents) can be taught a good