Fruit and Vegetable Intake on Fast Food Consumption in Elementary School Children

The problem of healthy eating is one of the burning issues in contemporary health care for children in particular because of obesity that affects many preschoolers. One of the possible reasons for obesity development apart from sedentary lifestyles or certain diseases is the consumption of fast food. Consequently, attention to children’s nutrition is necessary to address the problem. There is a supposition that an increase in fruit and vegetable intake among elementary school-aged children has the potential to decrease the consumption of fast food. Apart from having a positive impact on the obesity problem, a diet rich in fruit and vegetables has such benefits as the reduction of cardiovascular disease and stroke as well as protects against some types of cancer (Upton, Upton, & Taylor, 2013). Consequently, there is a need for developing change interventions aimed at the promotion of fruit and vegetable consumption among children. Considering the age of the target group, the nursing plan will include both school and family interventions to achieve better results.

Change Model Overview

One of the tools for implementing change in nursing is the ACE Star model. It provides a framework for organizing evidence-based practice processes that create a background for change interventions. The model is a suitable guide for facilitating change related to nursing because it comprises five stages of knowledge transformation such as knowledge discovery, evidence summary, translation into practice recommendations, implementation into practice, and evaluation.

Define the Scope of the EBP

The nursing practice issue for this project is increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables, thus reducing the consumption of fast foods among elementary school-aged children. Fast foods are considered to be among the reasons for childhood obesity. In fact, the problem is that there are about 17% of obese children and adolescents in the United States (Ferry, 2018). Moreover, low levels of fruit and vegetable consumption in childhood are maintained in adulthood, and overweight children are at a high risk of becoming obese adults. At the same time, healthy eating, including the consumption of fruits and vegetables, has the potential to reduce fast-food consumption. Apart from the positive impact on obese and overweight children, an increase in fruit and vegetable intake will influence healthcare on a broader scale reducing the risks of obesity-related health problems in adulthood.

Stakeholders

The team for this project will include the leader of the team, a physician, a school nurse, a nutritionist, a representative from the school staff, and a representative of parents.

Determine Responsibility of Team Members

All of the mentioned team members are significant for the project. The leader of the team is guiding the project. A physician provides an examination of children and assesses their health condition. A school nurse controls children’s health during the project implementation. A nutritionist develops a diet based on the consumption of fruits and vegetables suitable for elementary school students. A representative of the school staff, or a teacher, is involved in the promotion of fruits and vegetable consumption. A representative of parents informs other fathers and mothers about the importance of fruits and vegetable intake at home.

Evidence

Summarize the Evidence

Janicke et al. (2014) suggest the application of comprehensive behavioral family lifestyle interventions (CBFLIs) to address pediatric obesity. They believe CBFLIs are the effective measures able to improve weight outcomes in overweight or obese children. The researchers revealed the fact that CBFLIs can be used as efficient tools for managing weight issues among obese or overweight children. It is a strong outcome because the overall effect size compared to the control group was statistically significant, with confidence levels of 95 percent. Upton et al. (2013) evaluate the Food Dudes program regarding its impact on children’s lunchtime consumption of fruit and vegetables. The researchers conclude that the program can be effective for children consuming school-supplied lunches for three months. Finally, Kipping et al. (2014) provide evidence for a decrease in snacks and energy drink consumption as a result of interventions aimed at an increase in physical activity, reduction of sedentary behavior, and increase in fruit and vegetable consumption in children.

Develop Recommendations for Change Based on Evidence

The recommendation is to encourage the use of CBFLIs as a tool for managing weight among elementary school-age children.

Translation

Action Plan

  • Project development
  • Team selection
  • Team training
  • Selection of an experimental group
  • Health assessment of the experimental group
  • Implementation of the pilot study
  • Assessment of the results
  • Analysis of achievements.

The timeline for this plan is two months. Three weeks are needed to develop the project and prepare the team, one month is for the implementation itself, and one more week is necessary to evaluate the results and analyze them.

Process, Outcomes Evaluation, and Reporting

The desired outcome is a reduction in the consumption of fast foods by elementary school students. It will be measured through a survey involving children, their parents, teachers, and cafeteria staff. The key stakeholders will receive a printed report with the results.

Identify Next Steps

On a larger scale, the project can be implemented in other schools and with other age groups. The project can be applied to other classes at school or involve all the children of the school. Permanent implementation can be achieved due to the delivery of the project results to school administration and making it a part of the school’s policy.

Disseminate Findings

Within the organization, the results of this project will be communicated during a presentation. External dissemination will be provided by publishing the report and video of the presentation on the Internet.

Conclusion

To summarizing, it should be mentioned that the problem of children consuming less fruit and vegetables than necessary is a burning one because it leads to obesity. Therefore, interventions aimed at an increase in fruit and vegetable intake and simultaneous reduction of fast food consumption are a demand of time. The project needs careful preparation that includes knowledge discovery, evidence summary, translation into practice recommendations, implementation into practice, and evaluation. In case all stages of knowledge transformation are followed, the project is expected to achieve its goals.

References

Ferry, R. (2018). Web.

Janicke, D. M., Steele, R. G., Gayes, L. A., Lim, C. S., Clifford, L. M., Schneider, E. M., &… Westen, S. (2014). Systematic review and meta-analysis of comprehensive behavioral family lifestyle interventions addressing pediatric obesity. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 39(8), 809-825.

Kipping, R., Howe, L., Jago, R., Campbell, R., Wells, S., Chittleborough, C., … Lawlor, D. A. (2014). Effect of intervention aimed at increasing physical activity, reducing sedentary behavior, and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children: Active for Life Year 5 (AFLY5) school based cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 348(may27 4), g3256-g3256. Web.

Upton, D., Upton, P., & Taylor, C. (2013). Increasing children’s lunchtime consumption of fruit and vegetables: an evaluation of the Food Dudes programme. Public Health Nutrition, 16(06), 1066-1072. Web.

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