With capstone being officially over, I have had some time to think about the work we have done throughout the semester. It has definitely been an interesting semester, but I have come to realize that the work we do in the Cleveland schools does make a difference. Mid semester, we made the discovery that an overwhelming amount of kindergarten and third graders fall into the overweight or obese category. At first, it did not really seem like anything we did would make a difference because we were tackling such a big issue. However, I think we all have realized that even just making people aware of the obesity crisis could potentially make a difference.
For our project, we decided to make an informational brochure to distribute to Cleveland's ward with the highest obesity percentage in the children we screened. This being said, we took a draft of our brochure to the three schools located in Ward 11, and received feedback from some of the faculty and staff at these schools. We received a lot of positive feedback, as well as helpful suggestions to improve the brochure. The faculty suggested that we distribute the brochure to the entire community because it is such an important issue and needs to be addressed.
The schools do not really seem to be addressing the obesity crisis that is happening not only in the area, but everywhere. This is only because they simply do not have enough time or money to implement programs that address obesity when there are other, more acute health problems present in the schools. While interviewing school nurses and school principles, it was stated on multiple occasions that asthma, diabetes, seizures, and other more acute health problems seem take importance over overweight and obese children. Although this makes a lot of sense, obesity can lead to other health issues in the future, so I think that a continuation of an obesity project would be a great idea for a capstone group in the Cleveland schools next year. Possibly a continuation of the research we have already done. We have identified several possible correlates relating to the amount of overweight and obese children in the Cleveland area, and it would be interesting to see what a group of seniors next year could do with this information.