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CSUN RTM 300 - Obesity

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Group Community Development Project Vesta Burmeister, Jessica Graham, Justin Hillemann and Erin Holmes RTM 300: Recreation and Community Development Department of Recreation and Tourism Management California State University Northridge April 26, 20071Statement of the Issue: Obesity is caused from an unhealthy lifestyle. This includes poor nutrition and/ or not enough physical activity. Our main focus is targeted towards youth obesity and family awareness of a healthy lifestyle by offering alternative options for food and recreation. It is important to build a strong youth because our youth is our future and the impact obesity has on society is effecting the whole community in the way it decreases productivity and quality of life. It also increases mortality rates drastically through preventable diseases. These diseases include: •Type II Diabetes •Hypertension •Orthopedic Complications •Heart conditions and failure, etc. Statistics: • 17% of U.S. youngsters are obese and millions are overweight • About 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese • Low income children: 37% are overweight or obese. • Girls ages -12 are at a higher risk for becoming overweight than when they are teenagers. • One third of U.S. adolescents are out of shape and likely can’t pass a basic cardio fitness test. • Children are gaining too much weight because they don’t exercise enough and overeat by as much as 165 calories a day.2• Obese children, averaging 58 pounds overweight eat 700-1000 calories more daily than they would need if they maintained a healthy weight. • Obese children get about 350 calories daily from sugary beverages such as soda and juices. (Glenn, 2007, p.2-3) Cook, Glenn. (March 2007). Childhood Obesity Battle Faces Hurdles, Hiccups. American School Board Journal (p. 2-3). This problem begs to be dealt with through the field of Recreation Therapy. A Recreational Therapist’s main goal is to help enhance one’s quality of life. Recreational Therapists can help improve the lives of both children and adults through leisure education and recreation participation. This can be done by creating programs that not only brings awareness about nutrition but also teaches about recreational options in their area and offer an opportunity to participate in them. Collected Data: We visited Roger Jessup Park in Pacoima. As a group we interviewed twelve different parents that were visiting the park with their children. In order to find out the contribution our program could provide, we asked the parents a series of random questions that would provide us with enough data to create the main focus of our program. Keep in mind the site we visited was located in a low income demographic community, in which there are many other communities we could target that our program could very-well benefit as well. We asked a series of viable questions to collect important data for our program. Questions:31. Do you feel that your community provides your family with enough dietary information in order to properly give your children a nutritious lifestyle? • Seven out of the twelve parents answered yes, five said no, and one parent was unsure so we took that as no. 2. Do you find it hard to allocate extra money to put your child in an after care activity so that he/she can receive adequate exercise each day? • Nine out of the twelve said they ask for money from other family sources to put their kids in classes like karate, baseball, etc. The remaining three took the time to take their children to the park on the weekends and play with them, but informed us that they would like to put their children in an organized activity in which they can learn more about there children's needs and wants. 3. How many times during the week would you take your kids to a place where they can receive an efficient amount of time to exercise and play? • The majority of them responded, "My children get most of their weekly exercise during school hours." The parents have no extra time because of work. 4. Do you think that your children eat a healthy meal at least twice a day? • Eight out of the twelve answered yes, two of them said they were concerned with the food they are given at school, and the remaining two thought they do according to what they think is healthy for their child. 5. Do you think most parents need more knowledge to what kinds of healthy foods they should be giving their child on a daily basis? • They all firmly, answered yes.46. Do you think most parents would take the time on the weekends to put their children in an after school program which performs fun exercises, teach the parents and children proper eating habits, and cost no money to the parents? • All of the parents agreed they would participate. Program Plan: We plan on creating a weekend program that uses park mobiles to target both parents and children through local parks. This program is designed to directly target both obese youth and their parents/guardians, to increase awareness and educate both groups about healthier lifestyles as well as to offer alternative healthy choices relating to each group. The goal of the program is to not only inform the children on what a healthy lifestyle looks like, but also to bring the concept to their home by giving their parents the same information. Simply informing the children will not necessarily produced the desired outcome because often times the parents have a huge impact on what lifestyle their children lead. The actual facilitation of the program will take place at different parks every weekend. Flyers will be distributed prior to its arrival at a local park. It will be offered over weekends at a variety of city parks, from 9am-12:30pm and 2pm-4pm on Saturdays and from 9am-12pm on Sundays. The program will be house in a large bus called “The Park Mobile”. It will be used mainly to transport the equipment used for the information sessions for both the parents/guardians and youth, games and activities and for the cooking classes. The Park Mobile will be equipped with built in stoves and ovens as well as a refrigerator to store cooking supplies. This Park Mobile will also display the program’s purpose and give dates and locations for future events. It will also act as5advertising for any companies that sponsor the program. The Park Mobile will be brightly colored to attract any patrons of the park and peak enough interest to

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