Addressing Childhood Obesity The Change

Change4Life is initiated by Public Health England in 2009 for tackling childhood obesity in England. The key aim of the campaign is to help families for taking sustainable yet small steps to create effective improvements in dietary intake and physical activity (nhs.uk, 2019).

In England, the figures collected indicated that the prevalence of childhood obesity in the country is at an alarming rate. This is evident as in 2019 it was found that 9.5% of the children who are 4-5 years of age and living in England are obese with an additional 12.8% of them are overweight. Further, 20.1% of children within 10-11 years of age and an additional 14.2% of the same age range are found to be overweight (nhs.uk, 2019). Thus, presentation of the particular campaign is chosen so that with its help effective steps and approaches can be educated to the parents and the children regarding the way to control their habits to have healthy weight and avoid being obese.

The target audience of the campaign is the parents of 5.11 years aged children to educate them regarding the way the dietary and physical activity is to be arranged to control childhood obesity (nhs.uk, 2019).

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In the Change4Life, the theoretical underpinnings considered are the perspectives mentioned in the behaviour change theories. The Theory of Planned Behaviour informs that one’s beliefs and their behaviours are interlinked. This indicates that attitude regarding behaviour expressed, perceived behaviour control and subjective norms altogether frame the behavioural intention showed by an individual (Alami et al. 2019). The Change4Life is seen to follow the theory according to which through the campaign it is tried to promote advantages of having healthy diet and performing physical exercise among the target population This is done to influence the beliefs of parents regarding the importance of having healthy foods and physical activity, in turn, making them lead their children to develop change in behaviour to accept the information to control and prevent obesity.

The Public Health England who is executing the Change4Life receives funds from sponsors and the Department of Health and Social Care to perform the activities related to the campaign (thensmc.com, 2019). The Change4Life has focused on promoting healthy activities is evident as it has mentioned the dietary rules to be followed such as take 5 fruits and vegetables a day and others to control weight issues. In addition, the campaign is developed by performing research of food market, food intake nature of 883 families with children between 2-10 years of age, analysis of ethnic groups suffering from obesity and others to determine the perspectives to be focussed on to ensure success for the campaign (assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2011). The Change4Life is following the food policies mentioned by the Food Standards Agency to determine the nature of diets to be suggested according to age groups. The Change4Life has developed partnership with private schools, government and private hospitals, the National Health Services (NHS) and others along with commercial brands like Nestle, Kellogg, etc to plan the campaign (thensmc.com, 2019).

The key ethical issue of the campaign is that it does not protect the identity of the families participating in the process thus failing to maintain confidentiality (assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2011). The Change4Life is using television media through Channel4 to promote their message with the help of advertisement. The evaluation approaches such as Tracker study, Artemis database, Academic study and others are used and the examination is on three themes which are exposure of the campaign to the audience, impact of the campaign and development of the social mood created by the campaign. The Change4Life has accomplished its goal by being able to reach 99% of the families in England to make them develop healthy activities to some extent (thensmc.com, 2019; nhs.uk, 2019).

The strength of the Change4Life is that it controls the development of obesity among the population who are at risk of the disorder, in turn, acting to lower prevalence of the disease with progressing years. The weakness of the campaign is that it does not act to control obesity among individuals who are already affected by the disorder and it is focused on the betterment of children while still huge number of adults are also at risk and suffering from obesity in England.

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References

Alami, A., Sany, S.B.T., Lael-Monfared, E., Ferns, G.A., Tatari, M., Hosseini, Z. and Jafari, A., 2019. Factors that influence dietary behavior toward iron and vitamin D consumption based on the theory of planned behavior in Iranian adolescent girls. Nutrition journal, 18(1), p.8.

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk 2011, Change4Life Three Year Social Marketing Strategy, Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/213719/dh_130488.pdf [Accessed on: 5th January 2020]

nhs.uk 2019, About Change4Life, Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/about-change4life [Accessed on: 5th January 2020] thensmc.com 2019, Change4Life, Available at: https://www.thensmc.com/resources/showcase/change4life [Accessed on: 5th January 2020]

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