Primary prevention of childhood obesity in Philadelphia school-aged children

Primary Prevention Paper Guidelines – Grading Criteria (Rubric)

This paper is designed to help you think about how you, as a nurse, can prevent a disease and promote health within a specific patient population. You will design strategies for health promotion/primary prevention that will reach a large group of people or a community.

Topic prompt: “It was reported that nearly 70% of youth in Philadelphia, the majority of whom are black or Hispanic, are overweight or obese.” (CDC, 2021). This paper is to focus on primary prevention and health promotion through physical activities and diet interventions on childhood obesity in school-age children Philadelphia

Student will develop a written paper (5 page maximum excluding references) and include the following headings (Significance of health problem, Strategies for health promotion/primary prevention, and Variables impacting health promotion/primary prevention):

I. Significance of health problem to health status (30%)

1. Implications of age, gender, ethnicity if appropriate

2. Incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, cost implications

3. Identify a population of focus – be specific

II. Evidence based strategies for health promotion/primary prevention (35%)

1. Health teaching principles (how would you assess readiness to learn, subject relevance, reading level, learner engagement, etc.)

2. Health teaching approaches. Create an outline of the content of what would be taught. How long would the presentation be, where would the presentation take place, and what format would the edcuation be taught in)

III. Identify and address variables impacting health promotion/primary prevention goal attainment relevant to health problem (cultural, legal, psycho-socio-economic, family variables) (25%)

IV. Organization, grammar, spelling, APA style of writing, meets page requirements, and must have a minimum of three references (at least 2 current journal references.) (10%)

This paper must be submitted to Safe Assign prior to submission deadline. The similarity should not exceed more than 20%. To avoid high similarities result, be very careful about quotes and using other people’s material. Avoid the overuse of direct quotations, especially long ones. Paraphrasing is usually more efficient and makes it easier to avoid extraneous details.

Primary Prevention and Health Promotion through Physical Activities and Diet Interventions on Childhood Obesity in School-aged Children in Philadelphia Essay Sample

I. Significance of Health Problem to Health Status

 Obesity is one of the major health problems affecting the community in Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania. Obesity contributes to adverse health effects on the community in Philadelphia, including children. According to the CDC, 41% of children between 6 years to 17 years are obese and overweight in Philadelphia (CDC, 2020). A significant proportion of children who are obese and overweight in Philadelphia are African-American and Hispanic children, which shows significant racial disparity in the prevalence of obesity in the region. The rate of obesity among African-Americans and Hispanic children in Philadelphia is nearly double the national rate (PDPH, 2020). 

According to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, childhood obesity will greatly increase the short-term and long-term risk for poor mental and physical health. In this regard, children who are obese will be more than five times more likely to be obese as adults, which increases their risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and different types of cancer (Kumari et al., 2022). The CDC has also consistently indicated that at least one-third of children who are born after the year 2000, including 50% of Latino and African-American children, will develop diabetes by 2050 (CDC, 2020). This is mainly because of increasing obesity rates. Among the school-age children in Philadelphia, nearly one in every child will have obesity. Over the years, the rate of childhood obesity has only slightly decreased from 21.7%, which was the prevalence rate of obesity in 2006 but has remained stable relative to National trends at about 17% (CDC, 2020). In Philadelphia, the obesity rate is highest among Hispanic boys compared to other races. Although the obesity rate among African-Americans has reduced over the years, it has remained relatively stable in recent years. On the other hand, among girls, obesity is highest among African-Americans and Hispanics, which is more than two times the rate of Asians (PDPH, 2020). The high prevalence of obesity has therefore persisted over the years. Scholarly studies have consistently indicated that the lifetime medical costs related to childhood obesity are an estimated $17 billion higher among fifth graders compared to those who maintain a healthy weight during childhood but only gain weight in adulthood(CDC, 2020). Healthcare-related costs among fifth graders who maintain a healthy weight during childhood and during adulthood are $25 billion lower compared to obese children (CDC, 2020).

This health promotion project will therefore focus on school-age children in the Philadelphia community by advocating for physical activities and diet as the central interventions to deal with childhood obesity.

II. Evidence Based Strategies for Health Promotion/Primary Prevention

The health promotion exercise would include school-age children in their schools. The children would be taught a 35-minute lesson on effective strategies they can use to prevent obesity, such as taking a healthy diet and being physically active. To assess the readiness to learn among the children, the instructor would ask the children questions about their experiences with obesity. This would include asking the children what they know about obesity and whether they are aware of any negative health effects of being obese. On the other hand, assessing subject relevance among the children would be possible, which would include trying to assess the prior knowledge of the children on the subject of obesity. The reading level of the children would be determined by the current grade in which the children are in school. For instance, grade 5 children would be expected to have a grade 5 reading level. The content of each lesson would therefore be tailored according to the reading level of the target children. During the health promotion exercise to educate school-age children on the importance of physical activity and taking a healthy diet in preventing obesity, learner engagement would be promoted by asking children questions and the use of teaching aids such as charts and diagrams that students can refer to during the lesson (Mozaffari et al., 2020). 

Outline of Taught Content

The presentation to teach school-age children the importance of physical activity and a healthy diet in preventing obesity would be taught in a 35-minute session in a school setting. The lesson would include the use of audiovisuals, video, different forms of props, and printouts to teach children the importance of a healthy diet in preventing obesity. The learners would also be categorized based on their learning preferences using the VARK model. The VARK model identifies four primary learning styles, including auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and reading and writing (Mozaffari et al., 2020). In this regard, visual learners will learn through visual aids such as images, diagrams, and videos. Such learners would therefore benefit significantly from seeing information presented in a graphical format. On the other hand, auditory learners prefer to learn through speaking and listening. Auditory learners would therefore benefit significantly from discussions, lectures, and audio recordings (Mozaffari et al., 2020). On the other hand, writing and reading learners prefer to learn through writing and reading. Such learners would therefore benefit significantly from handouts, textbooks, and notes. Finally, aesthetic learners prefer to learn through hands-on experiences and movement. Such learners would therefore benefit significantly from activities involving physical manipulation and movements, such as role-playing experiments and simulations (Mozaffari et al., 2020). During the health promotion session involving school-aged children, different approaches to teaching would therefore be applied in consideration with the different learning styles of the children. The lesson would therefore begin with asking the children about their knowledge of obesity and effective strategies to prevent obesity. A video would then be shown to the children on the physical activities and the healthy foods that children should eat to prevent obesity. The children would then be given pictures and printouts involving healthy foods that they should consume. The children would also be told to keep the pictures and show them to their parents at home. The children would then be shown live examples of healthy food, such as vegetables and fruits. The children would also be allowed to consume fruits and vegetables at the end of the lesson. The end of the lesson would also involve summarizing the main topics in the lesson, such as important physical activities and healthy foods that can help to prevent obesity. The children would also be asked questions to assess their understanding of the topic. Asking the children questions would also play a significant role in enhancing the memory of the children towards the topic.

III. Identify and address variables impacting health promotion/primary prevention goal attainment relevant to health problem

The prevention of childhood obesity through physical activity and taking a healthy diet can be significantly impacted by the culture in which the children are brought up. For example, African-American and Hispanic children might be more susceptible to obesity because of the diet of such cultural groups. African-Americans and Hispanics normally prepare foods with high fat and sugar content that can contribute significantly to childhood obesity (Okobi et al., 2022). The family in which a child is born might also have a significant impact on the ability to take up physical activity and take a healthy diet in a bid to reduce obesity. Children who are born in a family that normally takes fast foods and where food is not prepared at home might therefore struggle to prevent themselves from obesity. Such a child might be obese because of the environment. Psychosocial economic factors can also play a significant role in health promotion and prevention of obesity among children. Children from low-income neighborhoods might therefore struggle to access parks and walkways where they can perform physical activities (Okobi et al., 2022). Such children are, therefore, likely to be obese because of the lack of physical activities. Children from low-income neighborhoods might also struggle to access healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables. This is because most low-income neighborhoods do not have a sufficient number of groceries, with the only readily available food being fast food. Children from low-income neighborhoods might therefore struggle to access fruits and vegetables, which can negatively affect their ability to attain the goals related to childhood obesity (Okobi et al., 2022). Finally, legal restrictions such as laws governing the setup of certain neighborhoods can inhibit plans to deal with the problem of childhood obesity. For example, the building of parks and play areas for children in some neighborhoods might be inhibited by the laws governing such neighborhoods (Okobi et al., 2022).


CDC. (2020, May 29). CDC – Community Profile – Philadelphia, PA – Communities Putting Prevention to Work.

Kumari, S., Shukla, S., & Acharya, S. (2022). Childhood Obesity: Prevalence and Prevention in Modern Society. Cureus.

Mozaffari, H. R., Janatolmakan, M., Sharifi, R., Ghandinejad, F., Andayeshgar, B., & Khatony, A. (2020). The Relationship Between the VARK Learning Styles and Academic Achievement in Dental Students. Advances in Medical Education and Practice, Volume 11(11), 15–19.

Okobi, O. E., Izundu, I. C., Evbayekha, E. O., Egberuare, E. O., Segun, E. O., Abdulgaffar, R. A., Oyelade, B. O., Onyema, J. J., Peresuodei, T. S., & Abu-Undiyaundeye, S. U. (2022). Obesity in the Pediatric Population of the National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample (NIS), USA. Cureus.

Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) (2020).Obesity among School-Aged Children

            in Philadelphia, 2010—2019. CHART 2020. 2(8):1-4.

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