Obesity, Nutrition, & Exercise for School-Aged Children
Authors: Shelby Alexander, Paige Bowen, Brooke Brusseau, Callie Kheradmandi, Katie McGuire, and Sarah Phillips
Faculty Supervisor: Lydia Watkins, DNP, RN, CPNP
As nursing students in the Pediatric service-learning course, we were asked to identify an important health issue for children in the community. Our detailed literature and community review led us to determine that obesity, nutrition, and physical activity was of key importance in today’s society. Childhood obesity, juvenile hypertension, type II diabetes mellitus, and many other diseases are becoming prevalent in younger aged individuals. A balanced diet and daily exercise are simple yet essential ways to prevent childhood obesity and encourage healthy living from an early age. We collaborated with the School of Education students to maximize our teaching strategies and had an elementary school class attend a short lesson on proper nutrition and select the best foods for their bodies. We wrote a grant application and were able to receive funds for supplies, so the students were encouraged to participate in an art project to display in their classroom, reminding them of the need for daily exercise and nutrition. Finally, the students were led through an interactive game that promoted physical activity and reinforced the nutrition components they had learned from the lesson.