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The U.S. Public Health System has many achievements both nationally and globally as discussed in this lesson.
1. For your first post, please identify ONE area/opportunity in which you believe the public health system should focus for future improvement and support your choice with current data. This could include current data on health status, risk, population growth, etc. Include one recommendation for intervention that might help with improving the area you selected.• For example, you might choose childhood obesity as a growing challenge for our nation. Your post would include the current data on childhood obesity and the predictions for the future. You might use journal articles, the CDC website, the American Academy of Pediatrics, etc. to support your focus of improvement. Lastly, you would propose community programs involving children and their parents around healthy eating.
2. Review a minimum of two other posts from your classmates and provide further recommendations for their focus of improvement supported with data.
Student 1:
Hello everyone,
As the lesson states, being healthy can be subjective and is not exclusive to the absence of disease. It goes on to cover how environmental health, mental health, education, socioeconomic status, and many other aspects contribute to the overall level of public health. With that being said, I think a great area to focus on is creativity, access to creative arts, and reforming the education system. Creativity is slowly diminishing in the school system and it becomes more apparent as funding becomes scarce and the first programs to be cut are usually the electives. These electives are always creative classes that range from music and theater, to even home economics, fashion, and wood shop. Most of the education is a standardize system that is almost entirely reliant on memorization, with declining flexibility on how creativity can be implemented in teaching the curriculum that can get students more engaged and enrich their education experience. Creativity is extremely beneficial to young children in their development. It promotes skill development such as problem solving, attention span, verbal skills, and hand eye coordination. It incites cultural tolerance, curiosity, reflection, emotional intelligence, and stronger critical thinking skills. (Maryville, 2021). The list goes on in how important creativity is to development, but it should not be halted at early development. Creativity and participating in some type of art should be present throughout our entire lives. How many people can say they have a hobby? How many of them can say it is one where they create something? How many of us can say our lives are enriched from our own creativity?
There are studies that have been conducted, such as this one by Heather Stuckey, that show a correlation with creative artistic expression and positively influencing mental and physiological health. More studies and information is definitely needed, so there isn’t a definitive confirmation. However, anecdotally, you could ask anyone who actively participates in some type of creative outlet if they feel a benefit from it and I’m sure there will be overwhelmingly positive answers. You could even ask yourself. You may feel good when you sing your heart out on the car ride home, dance at a party, or cook a meal for your family. Think about the outfits that you wear or the decorations in your house. When you have personal autonomy to do things the way you want to do them, that is your creativity manifesting.
I would highly recommend making creative arts a part of the core curriculum while possibly eliminating a grading scale. The purpose is to allow people to find their niche in what they have an affinity toward and provide a consistent point of interest or outlet. This could even be in the form of athletics. I would also encourage changing how curriculum can be taught. Let children act out their favorite chapter of a book or have students write a poem about a historical event. These are great ways to vary how we stimulate our minds and deter from the mundanity of an antiquated system.
The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current LiteratureThis review explores the relationship between engagement with the creative arts and health outcomes, specifically the health effects of music engagement, visual arts therapy, movement-based creative expression, and expressive writing. Although there is …PubMed Central (PMC)
https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1125194.pdf
Does Our Education System Kill Creativity? | Applied Social Psychology (ASP)
Creativity for Kids: Benefits & Tips for Nurturing an Innovative MindLearn how art and creative expression can help children overcome trauma and develop strong emotional intelligence and key skills while also having fun.Maryville Online 
Student 2:
One area in which I believe the public health system should focus for future improvement is childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is one of the serious problems in the United States (CDC, 2021). Based on the 2017 – 2018 research from CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the prevalence of childhood obesity was 19.3% or 14.4 million children and adolescents between the ages of 2 to 19 years. For 2 to 5 years old, the obesity prevalence was 13.4%. For 6 to 11 years old the obesity prevalence was 20.3%. Lastly, for 12 to 19 years old, the obesity prevalence was 21.2%. However, childhood obesity is also common among certain populations. For Hispanic children, the obesity prevalence was 25.6%. For non-Hispanic Black children, the obesity prevalence was 24.2%. For non-Hispanic White children, the obesity prevalence was 16.1%. Lastly, the obesity prevalence for non-Hispanic Asian children was 8.7%. The prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing due to various risk factors. For instance, poor diet, lack of exercise, socioeconomic factors, psychological problems, and family factors. Being obese during childhood can put children on a path that is difficult to change. As they grow older, they will likely develop complications such as physical, emotional, and social well-being. Some examples of complications of childhood obesity are diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breathing problems, low self-esteem, and increased risk of anxiety and depression (Mayo Clinic, 2020). The public health system must focus on childhood obesity not only to improve the health of Americans but also to reduce morbidity and mortality rates in the United States.
One recommendation for intervention that might help to decrease childhood obesity is dietary treatment. Family involvement or support is crucial for the healthy diet of their children to minimize excessive accumulation of fat, improve well-being, and enhance self-esteem. For instance, family members must set a good example to eat healthy food and exercise regularly. They can provide healthy snacks and encourage family activities such as biking and hiking.
Some community programs that involve children and their parents to improve healthy eating are the following: providing nutrition education and creating a healthier school environment. Providing nutrition education programs in the community is vital to educate families with nutrition information about healthy eating. For instance, they can learn how to read nutrition facts labels and prepare healthy meals for their children. Next, creating a healthier school environment such as providing healthy food during lunch. For instance, students can only purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy food in the school cafeteria instead of chips and soda. These two community programs will not only improve healthy eating but also prevent health problems such as obesity.
References
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, April 5). Childhood obesity facts. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html
Mayo Clinic. (2020, December 5). Childhood obesity. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/childhood-obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20354827 

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