The Need for a School-Based Student Obesity Prevention Program: Perceptions of Rural Elementary Principals

By Armstrong, Travis D.; Msengi, Clementine et al. | Rural Educator, Summer 2017 | Go to article overview

The Need for a School-Based Student Obesity Prevention Program: Perceptions of Rural Elementary Principals


Armstrong, Travis D., Msengi, Clementine, Harris, Sandra, Rural Educator


Ogden, Carroll, Kit, and Flegal (2014) reported the percentage of children aged 6-11 years in the United States who were obese has increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. During this same time period, adolescents aged 12-19 years old who were obese has increased from 5% to nearly 21%.

According to Rural Health Information Hub (2015), obesity rates in rural communities are higher than the nation as a whole. Several factors contributing to this include higher poverty rates, sedentary rural jobs and limited access to obesity prevention and treatment services. Other issues include lack of sufficient exercise facilities and infrastructure to encourage physical activity and limited access to healthy and affordable food. Nutritional practices such as frequent consumptions of high fat diets, less consumptions of fruits and vegetables also lead to higher rated of obesity in rural areas (Stratis Health, 2016).

In fact, in 2012 nearly one third of US children and adolescents were overweight (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015. There are long-term health effects related to obesity, such as greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, social and psychological problems, and a greater likelihood to become an obese adult (Office of the Surgeon General, 2010). Thus the purpose of this study was to explore the need for the school to implement student obesity prevention programs as perceived by rural school principals. The research questions guiding this study were:

1. Why do school leaders perceive there is a need for school-based obesity prevention programs?

2. What are the aspects of a school based obesity prevention program that school leaders feel are essential to conducting a successful and effective program?

3. What barriers do school leaders encounter in conducting an obesity prevention program?

Literature Review

Childhood obesity carries over into the school setting, having a negative impact on students in a multitude of ways (Li, 2012). Jansen et al. (2014) concluded that when students enter kindergarten, a high BMI was shown to be a risk factor for students to be victimized or bullied based on the physical appearance of being overweight. Campos, Sigulem, Moraes, Escrivao, and Fisberg (2006) conducted a study that found obese students performed significantly lower on IQ testing compared to students in the normal weight range. Tobin (2013) found that even when controlling for socioeconomic status, teacher experience, and school urbanicity, obese students acquired significantly lower test scores in reading (-11.15 points) and math (-11.13) compared to healthy weight peers. Prior studies also indicated that obese students were at higher risk of being retained (Falkner et al., 2011), obtaining a lower grade point average (Mosuwan, Lebel, Puetpaiboon, & Junjana, 2009), missing more days of school compared to normal weight peers (Schwimmer, Burwinkle, & Varni, 2003), and having low self-esteem (Florin, Shults, & Stettler, 2011).

Walker (2011) emphasized that schools are an essential venue for primary prevention of children becoming overweight or obese due to the amount of hours per day students spend in school, the fact that one to two meals are consumed there, and resources including school nurses and physical education programs are already in place. Thus, obesity prevention programs in schools are needed to teach behavior modification and incorporate instructional programming to promote the practice of healthy eating and an active lifestyle. School officials and relevant personnel need to assess the needs of their school and determine an appropriate intervention program for obesity prevention (Power, Bindler, Goetz, & Daratha, 2010).

Muriello et al. (2006) noted that overweight children and adolescents are at risk for numerous health related problems, including Type 2 diabetes, asthma, hypertension, high blood lipids, along with psychological vulnerabilities ranging from low selfesteem to depression. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Need for a School-Based Student Obesity Prevention Program: Perceptions of Rural Elementary Principals
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.