Don’t Weight, MOVE! Service-Learning
Author: Tracy Pritchard, RN
Faculty Supervisor: Maryanne Sandberg Ed.D., RN
Promotion of health and well-being in the youth of Wayne County was the main premise for this service-learning endeavor. Obesity is quickly becoming an international epidemic, and is related to many ill health effects. Obesity has been linked to diabetes, hypertension, and strokes, just to name a few. Children are now facing these concerns just as their adult counterparts. I chose to partner with the Wayne County School Nurses so that I would be able to reach the teachers of tomorrow’s leaders for the health of our community.
I outlined the newest trends and data for the health of Wayne County citizens, and provided the nurses with new ideas to implement within the school system to promote more physical activity within the students. Furthermore, I also discussed the goals for Healthy People 2020 as well as ideas to eliminate the consumption of highly processed foods throughout the school day. In addition to the aforementioned, I presented a health fair to the nurses so that they would have pamphlets and visuals at their disposal during the lunch and learn hour. I offered to volunteer for all of the school nurses during the school year and help them promote health in the form of a health fair for all of the school aged students, or even the community citizens.
The outcome for this project was to reduce the percentage of youth in Wayne County affected by obesity and its ill associated side effects. Furthermore, in lessening the burden of obesity within my community’s adolescents, the goals of Healthy People 2020 can be achieved, and the economic burden of obesity can be minimized. Personally, I have learned that people are afraid to discuss obesity, as they fear upsetting others in discussions which are focused on a sensitive topic, such as body weight. I hope that in the very near future discussions can be had in regards to the negative outcomes of living with obesity as a societal norm.