Promoting healthy living and reducing obesity in schools a case study
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Promoting healthy living and reducing obesity in schools: A case study. Michael Jopling. An obesity crisis. ‘ Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with more than 1 billion adults overweight - at least 300 million of them clinically obese - and is a

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Promoting healthy living and reducing obesity in schools a case study

Promoting healthy living and reducing obesity in schools: A case study

Michael Jopling


Promoting healthy living and reducing obesity in schools a case study

An obesity crisis

‘Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally,

with more than 1 billion adults overweight - at least

300 million of them clinically obese - and is a

major contributor to the global burden of chronic

disease and disability.’ (OECD, 2009)

‘One of the biggest threats to our health and that of

our families.’ (DH/DCSF 2008)

Walsall (2006):

20% of children obese and

30% overweight and obese

Obesity in Year 6 children:

9.5% (1991-2001)

20.9% (2006)


Interventions

Interventions

Network of 6 primary schools

  • 2 Fitness Festivals

  • Health Matters INSET

  • Weighing and measuring all children (PCT)

  • Climbing Everest (Y5 & Y6)

  • Aerobics (Y3 & Y4)

  • Multi-skills project (Y1 & Y2)

  • Wake and shake

  • Swimming & reduced gym membership for parents


Evaluation

Evaluation

1. PCT data

1302 children - 1120 in cluster schools weighed/measured

2. Fitness testing

Agility run; aerobic test;

long jump

3. Attitudes: children and

parents

Activity diaries

Focus groups & survey

4. Action research


Measuring boys cluster

Measuring: boys (cluster)


Promoting healthy living and reducing obesity in schools a case study

Changes in parents’ attitudes


Promoting healthy living and reducing obesity in schools a case study

Lessons learned

  • Increasing exercise is easier than

  • changing eating habits

  • Schools need to model healthy living

  • Younger children are more receptive to

  • changing their habits than older children

  • Most parents are not aware of the scale of the obesity and overweight problem


Resisting participation 1 perfection and performativity

Resisting participation 1: Perfection and performativity

Policy-makers ‘seem to be spontaneously inclined to

think that solutions have to and can be provided by

educators.’ (Lambeir and Ramaekers, 2008)

Creation of ‘body perfection codes’ which ‘prescribe

young people’s lifestyle choices, defining what

children should eat, how much they should exercise,

what shape they should be and how much they

should weigh’.

(Davies et al. 2008, 392)


Resisting participation 2 social exclusion

Resisting participation 2: Social exclusion

Parental support and denial

‘We don’t see obesity as an issue in the school. I wouldn’t think there are any [obese children] in the school… although I agree that there are overweight children’.

‘I don’t feel informed about healthy living issues after the project. […] They are pushing the project on you rather than introducing it. Typical example, they did an aerobics class to help with obese people,and we were the only ones who turned up. There were no obese parents or children, just us. It should be done individually tooverweight people.’

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