I feel that the proliferation of technology (computer, cell phones, and video games) along with the advertising campaign created by the fast food industry has contributed to giving teenagers choices that doesn’t involve critical thinking. Schools have not put enough emphasis on the importance of health and physical education. If I am not mistaken, in order to graduate, students from high school don’t need as many credits for health and physical education as say math or science based subjects. In addition, parents are either not educated or they themselves don’t exercise good health practices. Teens model their parent’s bad habits that lead us to our current obesity crisis.
In my opinion, I think Healthy People 2010 is a work in progress and it has to start with focusing on the goals that were established and educating the family group (parents and children). They need to be included in the process to make it work. The main target group is our teens since they will be our leaders in future generations.
Therefore, I think the goals can be obtained based on how the obesity crisis contributed to many of the target issues that are stated within this initiative. If we can alleviate the causes of obesity, then it will work. Although there are many other contributing factors that will challenge our goals currently and in the future. Setting the foundation with nutrition, health and fitness education and a better advertising campaign geared toward our teens will set the groundwork for the Healthy People 2020 initiative.
In developing Healthy People 2020, one of my main objectives for the initiative is continue concentrating on the focus areas that were issues in 2010 and hopefully those focus areas will be reduced to half than in 2010. The user alliance that included national and state agencies would have increased from 2010. Based on the criteria, the priority goals will include:
- Educate the public at large on the benefits of eating healthy and doing some type of exercise daily.
- Continue to focus on the major illnesses (obesity, cancer, diabetes, etc.) by using research and alternative therapies to reduce the prevalence or concurrently cure the illness.
- Using the adults that were the focus for reducing obesity when they were teens in 2010 as ambassadors for at-risk children and teens in 2020.
- Continue to do research and fund organizations that treat mental illness in children, teens and seniors.