Preventing Childhood Obesity: Turning Farmers’ Markets into pharmacies

Thumbnail Image
Mokaya, Zachary
Master of Leadership Development
Childhood obesity poses serious public health challenges. It is a global problem and is steadily affecting many low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings while becoming a pandemic in among the developed nations. The prevalence has increased at an alarming rate. Close to 35 million of the 42 million children considered obese or overweight are living in developing countries (World Health Organization, 2013). Overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to develop non-communicable diseases i.e. cardiovascular diseases at a younger age. Overweight and obesity, as well as their related diseases, are largely preventable. (WHO, 2013). Prevention of childhood obesity therefore needs high priority. In this paper, childhood obesity is discussed as an epidemic that require a range of medical interventions for treatment and prevention and should be covered under medical insurance without out of pocket costs and/ or deductibles. It should be recognized as a medical condition or a disease. The research examines the risk factors that cause obesity in children, it will review the literature describing prevention strategiesor interventions and describe the role primary care physicians should play. Literature on childhood obesity prevention supports family and Primary care Physicians’ involvement in influencing dietary habits of every household. Childhood obesity prevention interventions should start early before children develop poordietary patterns. The physicians are encouraged to partner and collaborate with parents and families, Local, State & Federal Governments,farmers markets, andinsurance companiesto provide prescriptions for accessing fruits and vegetables. The new healthcare law will cover treatment of obesity depending on each individual plans. Many plans have been put into action already and will expand as 2013 winds down. Patients who are obese as determined by their healthcare providers through the BMI number may be placed on a treatment plan