Childhood obesity is an issue of growing health significance in elementary school education

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Recall your own childhood and the physical education lessons and classroom environment in which you participated.

Reflect upon and list several factors (either at home or school) that influenced your motivation to participate in physical education. Include any positive or negative effects.  If these factors had not been present, how might your lifestyle and current levels of motivation be different?

This is some of my own work in my classroom environment…

Childhood obesity


Childhood obesity is an issue of growing health significance in elementary school education as it hinders efforts by the education system to provide students with quality physical education. Over the past three decades, there has been a two-fold increase in cases of childhood obesity in the United States so that one in every three children is now categorised as either being obese or overweight.  Childhood obesity is linked to impaired physical and cognitive development and this could lead to deleterious economic and social consequences like diminished school performance, and social exclusion.

Physical activity acts as an effective means of arresting the incidences of child obesity, and basic skills are postulated to be a significant aspect in determining a child’s inactive or physically active behaviour. Moreover research evidence shows that young adults and adolescents characterised by proficient motor skills with regard to sporting activities have a higher probability of leading physically active lifestyles. This is because physically active lifestyles begins when a child is still young and is carried on into adulthood. On the other hand, obesity hinders a child’s physical development so that obese and overweight children have a very hard time partaking in physical challenges. This is likely to result in limited social international, physical activity avoidance, thereby leading to negative weight and health outcomes.

The issue of childhood obesity is not new and debates on its effect on physical education and education have been ongoing for several decades now. Owing to the negative health outcomes associated with this issue, this has attracted the attention of key stakeholders in the education docket, along with stakeholders in health as well as the social workers. All these stakeholders have been very vocal in an attempt to minimise cases of childhood obesity in elementary schools. The CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) has published useful guidelines for use by school on how to reduce childhood obesity in schools. In addition, Harvard’s school of medicine, in their website, have provided a complete list of recommendations for adoption by school in preventing cases of childhood obesity (Harvard TH Chan 2015). These sources have been included because they provided credible and detailed information on how school can contribute towards reducing cases of childhood obesity. They thus recognise schools as valuable change agents.


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