Friday, April 26, 2013

Blog 11 - Action Plan

Because my topic deals with childhood obesity, I think a good specific intervention to act on would be going to the school cafeterias and providing better or healthier options for the kids’ meals. I would plan to implement this strategy in the schools of the children, especially the schools that are in areas with the highest obesity rates. I could also implement part of this strategy in the food companies that sell their food to the school cafeterias. By doing this, I could attempt to stop the problem before it occurred, because then there would not be the unhealthy food options in the cafeterias in the first place. A main barrier to this, on the implementation stage, would be cost because in most cases the more unhealthy food options are the cheaper foods. It is easier to get mass amounts of the more unhealthy food for less money, which is why the cafeterias would look to buy that type of food first. This barrier could be easily managed, however, with a little more money from various outside funds.

For the communication section, the key stakeholders that would need to be on board with this strategy would be the children with obesity, the parents of the children with obesity, the schools’ cafeteria’s employees and/or manager and the food companies that currently sell food to the cafeterias and the companies that will sell the healthier options to the cafeterias. A way to inform the actual kids with obesity and their parents of the new food change in the cafeterias could be just mass emails or postings on the school’s website. I could also send letters to their houses about the change, but that could take a lot of time and money to do. To inform the other groups of stakeholders, I would set up a conference in order to bring the cafeteria employees together with the previous and future food companies and discuss the new plan. Although there could be disagreement among the groups, I think that they could collectively come up with solutions and agreements.

To evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention, I could use surveys to get people’s opinions on the changes. From these surveys, I could make even more changes to the strategy, or less changes if the majority of the surveys show disapproval. Another way to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention would be to look at the medical records of the obese children before my intervention strategy and then after a few weeks with the strategy in place. Therefore, I could see if the obese children have lost any weight at all due to changing the food in their cafeterias.


  1. Having read this post, I can tell that your implementation and communication will be manageable. The communication is a strong part and works well with reaching the community at large with minimum costs, while the use of outside funds will be helpful as well. The evaluation piece could work with some tweaking such as the surveys during the process of in acting the cafeteria switch and a couple of months to review the medical records as this would provide more time to let the program take effect. Also, if you have time, you may want to look up Jamie Oliver and see what worked and failed for his food revolution program as this would allow you to critique someone who tried to change cafeteria food servings to a healthier option. Great post and good luck on the paper!

  2. Hi, I think your post was really good. I think the intervention that you plan to implement was a good one because it's goal was to provide children with healthier options in schools. I think this makes sense because kids are in school for about 7 hours a day, five days a week. Therefore, this intervention should have a very beneficial impact. I agree with your statements about contacting the food companies that provide the foods to the school because these foods are cheaper because they are unhealthy- I'm just not sure how easy it would be cost wise, especially if you consider certain areas like public versus private schools and poor neighborhoods, etc. Also, the idea about the mass emails is actually a very good idea because technology is so commonplace these days. The conference idea is good too, especially because you would think that if all of the stakeholders are in it for the sake of the children in the first place, they would be willing to take the necessary actions to keep them healthy as well. I feel like surveys is always a nice start to thinking about your evaluation process. Overall nice post! Have a great rest of the semester! Woot Woot!