Nutrition, Physical Education and Obesity

Statistics show that majority of American youth live sedentary lifestyles yet this can cause both health and learning problems in schools. Schools are at a unique position to solve the obesity problem because this is where students spend most of their time; their level of physical activity through physical education is determined through these schools and so are nutritional lifestyles.

There is a need to determine what the link between these three aspects is i. e. physical education, nutrition and obesity in schools in order to understand what the root cause of obesity is. Purpose The purpose of this study is to determine the link between physical activity, nutritional intake and obesity in schools. In other words, the study will attempt to determine whether nutritional intakes in schools could be causing childhood obesity and also whether physical activity is a contributory factor towards obesity in schools.

In other words, there will be two phases in this research; the first is establishing a link between physical activity and obesity in schools and the second will be establishing a link between nutritional intakes and obesity in schools. The variable parameters will be nutritional intake and physical inactivity and obesity will be the non variable factor. All the latter issues will be examined within a school context. (Jefferies, 2007)

Obesity levels in the study will be determined by measuring Body mass Index of the children chosen for study. It should be noted that when the latter measurements exceed ninety five percent, then those children fall within the category of obesity or they can also be called overweight. Physical activity can be determined by looking at fitness levels. Here standard fitness tests will be administered in which one’s aerobic capacity will be ascertained and so will their recovery tests.

Nutritional information will be analyzed by looking at a number of issues that range from the content of the food to the amount of time allocated to it and the number of students who actually eat that school food. At the end of the study, the research should be able to determine what the contributory levels of nutritional and physical activity in schools are towards causing obesity. In other words, the research will be able to verify whether school programs play a contributory role to causing obesity amongst children.

(Alderman, 2004) 2) Description of the Community The community chosen for study is the high school environment. This will encompass a series of individuals from various social and economic backgrounds since the schools chosen for analysis will be public schools. These schools will be located in the State of California. The reason why this particular area was chosen for study was that California is rich in a number of public schools and it is highly multiracial thus representing a larger portion of the entire country demographic.

Most public schools contain a mixture of individuals from different social economic backgrounds but there are some that are located in rich neighborhoods and thus considered wealthy while others are located in poorer locations. Since five schools will be utilized for this study, then care will be taken to represent all sides of the divide. Two schools will represent low income backgrounds, two schools will come from middle income households while one school will represent wealthy households.

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