Advocacy campaign on Childhood and Adolescent obesity in Kentucky

Advocacy campaign on Childhood and Adolescent obesity in Kentucky Abstract. Healthy leaving is marked practices an individual undertakes from childhood to adulthood. With the high population of obesity among the children and adolescents in Kentucky, many advocacy campaigns have been pushed to resolve the health issue. The campaigns undertaken by the CDC, 2012 and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services were key since they placed policies directed towards the community parents and classroom teaching.

They also focused on the food production to promote healthy dieting as well as establishing various physical activities. Despite the above attributes, there need to introduce policies directed at making follow-up of the existing policies, funding the programs as well as having the human resource to spearhead the implementation of the strategies while also monitoring the health status of the children and adolescent in school.


Obesity refers to having a body mass index of 30.0 and above being a relationship between weight and height. It is related to physical activity, genetic predisposition, medical history, poor dieting, the surrounding the youth is staying be it social or physical as well as physical activity. Obesity amongst the children and adolescents in Kentucky is of concern since the majority of those having adolescent obesity end up having it throughout to adulthood. Furthermore, obesity, in general, leads to numerous health issues. These include liver conditions, some cancers, hypertension, osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, stroke and respiratory condition. The cost of caring for these conditions are high with childhood obesity taking over $14.1 billion as an annual expenditure in Kentucky. Various organizations and care centers launched campaigns and various interventions to improve on this menace. This article revolves around interventions and campaigns in Kentucky targeting the arrest of the prevalent obesity among the youth and coming up with a plan to enhance the already laid system.

Interventions placed by CDC, 2012 recognized the importance of making health options into use by letting them to be accessible, available and affordable for all the Americans including the children in Kentucky. The Division of Nutrition and Physical and Obesity in the CDC provided support regarding providing technical assistance, training, partnership development, translation and dissemination, implementation and evaluation guidance to various communities and national partners. They aimed at getting the dietary quality better than it was before, raise the physical activity in the population covered and in the long haul reduce obesity in various settings ranging from the communities, schools, medical care centers and child facilities (CDC, 2012).

The intervention and campaign provided by The Kentucky Department of Public Health rolled a program offering a grant of $69,000 to the local farms to ensure serving of healthy meals in the school cafeterias. Besides these, there existed farm to school teams having teachers, farmers, community advocates and food service directors. The teams worked in the cafeteria, classroom, and community in teaching children on what they should eat.

The second campaign was directed at the requirement of a daily physical activity in after school and childcare settings. By the help of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the physical activities were to be increased in these contexts. Their campaigns were directed towards various materials for the childcare providers, wellness clinics, lesson plans for the children as well as materials to guide parents. The above moves were to be supplemented by the billboards, bus ads, and radio adverts.

Another article by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services also place various interventions and campaigns concerning their call to action preventing obesity in Kentucky’s youngest children. They directed it to the early child care providers, education professionals, health advocates as well as parents. Its campaigns were centered on the development and promotion of training, campaigns on family engagements and policy recommendations that were to address physical activity and healthy eating among children and the youths.

Reversal of the growing childhood obesity epidemic was a great need and more of the energy as per this article was directed towards changes in policies covering children. Areas to be covered by policy changes included healthy foods and beverages, limited time watching screens, breastfeeding as well as physical activity (“Kentucky: Cabinet for Health and Family Services – ECEcall,” 2015). The intervention was also to ensure early capturing of the weight control as it was evident that the problem kicks off so early that by the time a child is in kindergarten, a lot had been left out. Five years down the line with a reduction of the overall rate of obesity in Kentucky is a relative success that can be attributed to their focus on change of policy.

The call by the cabinet of health turned efficient by the entry placed majorly on the policy change. Change in policy compels everyone to comply hence ensuring the desired practice is attained. Moreover, the plan being a long-term one, it can cover the Kentucky population right early enough before joining school running all the way to adulthood. This program allows for prevention of obesity development as well as maintenance of a healthy lifestyle throughout.



Attributes leading to the success of the campaigns.

  • Unlike the article by the Kentucky cabinet of health, the campaign by the CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and obesity concentrated on the implementation of the lifestyle practices of children which contributed to the effectiveness of the campaign.
  • They facilitated the implementation to strategically involve a broad range of stakeholders ranging from teachers, parents and community members. This strategy enabled them to cover as many children as possible in their campaigns.
  • Campaigns by the Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services turned fruitful due to the fact that it was directed at the screening and [preventive stage by monitoring the weight of the children as well as capturing them right before even joining school hence arresting and the situation early enough.

Plan for health advocacy campaign on childhood obesity.

Obesity refers to having excess body fat while overweight refers to having an excess body weight in relation to height. Children having a body mass index above the 85th percentile but below 95th percentile qualifies to be overweight. Children with BMI at 95th and above are considered obese. In Kentucky, 15.6% were overweight and 17.6% being obese (CDC, 2012). This calls for a better view and intervention to thwart an increase in the number.


  • To advocate for the improvement of care provided to those with childhood obesity via employment of more healthcare workers in schools and community.
  • To advocate for better allocation of funds facilitating various programs aiming at reducing childhood and adolescent obesity.
  • To ensure implementation of the laid down policies on physical activities and ban on certain foods leading to obesity.

By the fact that the number of children and adolescents being 36%, the number is high causing a strain to the healthcare givers in treating obesity (Melissa, 2016). The health sector needs to train and employ more healthcare providers to deal with the already existing cases to ensure proper management. In the long haul, rehabilitation will be embraced to reduce the percentage.

Having a myriad of issues to be accomplished, there exist calls for a constant funding for program management. Fund the Fight; Battling Obesity in Kentucky, 2014 points out CDC being the sole provider of financing the programs concerning obesity in the state. The state government has to chip in and support the programs continue to see their success.

Besides the policies laid down by the above articles ranging from the education in the classroom to the children and adolescents, taking healthy food and having the physical activities program, I will advocate for putting in place personnel to ensure implementation. The staff can oversee the implementation of the healthy eating and physical activity (Butterworth, 2016). This can go hand in hand with continuous monitoring of the weight of the children and intervene medically in case of a deviation from the standard.


Childhood obesity in Kentucky is high, and to reverse the notion of Kentucky being the obese state, great need of intervention exist beyond healthy food and physical activities. It requires continuous health monitoring, proper healthcare to the victims as well as increased funding for the related programs.


Butterworth, B. F. (2016). Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity: A Qualitative

Examination of Community-Based Obesity Interventions in Rural Kentucky.

CDC. (2012). Overweight and Obesity: Kentucky state nutrition, physical activity and obesity

profile. Retrieved 23 September 2017, from


Fund the Fight: Battling Obesity in Kentucky. (2014). SBFPHC Policy Advocacy. Retrieved 23

September 2017, from


Kentucky: Cabinet for Health and Family Services – ECEcall. (2015). Retrieved 23

September 2017, from

Melissa, P. (2016). Childhood obesity rates continue national rise, but Kentucky’s percentage

remains level – Retrieved 23 September 2017,



Wacker, J., Bosley, E., &Bolling, C. (2014). The Pediatrician’s Role in Community Advocacy

for Childhood Obesity Prevention. Pediatric annals, 43(9), e225-e229.