Abstract

In recent years, childhood obesity has become a public health crisis within the United States. With children living in rural communities considered at risk for developing this condition, there is a critical need for multi-level programs to prevent this condition by establishing proper health behaviors in children at a young age. This project focused on identifying evidence-based interventions to prevent the development of childhood obesity in a rural school system in Harlan county, Kentucky by promoting healthy nutrition and adequate levels of physical activity. Harlan County Public Schools’ current policies were evaluated in regards to how well they met current recommendations for nutrition and physical activity. Then, previous studies that included interventions focused on improving these health behaviors in children were analyzed in regards to their efficacy and limitations. Based upon these studies, suggestions were made for improvements in Harlan County’s school system. It was found that while Harlan County’s current policies showed initiative towards promoting healthy behaviors, there was still a need for improved and better defined policies. Recommendations to improve school nutrition included eliminating processed foods from the school menus and replacing them with healthier options, while recommendations to improve physical activity included establishing more periods of organized physical activity during the school day.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2017

Mentor

Fontaine Sands

Department/Professional Affiliation

Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Department

Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing

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