HEADS FOUNDATION NUTRITION EDUCATION PROGRAMME TO COMBAT OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY

IN KHAYELITSHA CAPE TOWN

SOUTH AFRICA

 

A. Project Summary.

I. Project Brief

1.1. Project Name

1.2. Background

1.3. Project Goal

1.4. Time Frame

1.5. Target Group

1.6. Project Carrier

1.7. Company and Oganisational Structure

1.8. Essential Personnel Contribution

II. Goal and Justification of Project

2.1. Problem Analysis

2.1.1. Epidemiological features of Obesity among Children in South Africa

2.1.2. Socio-Economic and Medical Projections

2.1.3.Heads Foundation’s Nutrition Education Project

2.2. Project Goal and Developmental Context

2.2.1. Project Goal

2.2.1. Developmental Context

III. Project Implementation Plan

3.1. Methodology and Planning Process

3.2. Description of the Priority Project Components and the Anticipated Results

3.2.1. Comprehensive Lectures on Nutrition

3.2.2. Provision of Regular and Adequate Physical Activities

3.3. Project Monitoring and Evaluation

3.4. Anticipated Results

 

Abbreviations

 

AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

BMI: Body Mass Index

HIV: Human Immune- Deficiency Virus

SADHS: South African Demographic and Health Survey

 

A. Project Summary

 

I. Project Brief

1.1. Project Name

Heads Foundation Nutrition Education Programme in Khayelitsha

1.2. Background

The billion dollars of health costs that impact on most countries in the world today can be attributed to a poor nutrition. Early nutrition education programmes is very important especially in the light of the growing problem of obesity among children and adolescents and its impact to the healthcare and educational systems. Children and adolescents are quite prone to getting addicted to chips and cookies, and this has created negative impacts as they grow up, resulting in belly fat, improper bone development, weak core, and so on. Obesity among children and adolescents is on the rise in many communities across South Africa, as these young people are quite immature to understand why their parents insist on nutrition and a balanced diet with emphasis on fruits and vegetables. According to a statistical data from the South African Youth Risk Behaviour Study, 9% of males and 30% of females within the age range of 13 to 19 years were overweight and obese. Among girls in black, white and Asian communities, the study showed a prevalence rate of 30%, 34% and 41% respectively. Another study by the National Food Consumption Survey showed a prevalence rate of 19% among children aged 12 to 107 months.

Overweight children and adolescents face high risk of a permanent damage such as immediate psychological problems which they can carry through out their lives. Other long term damage from hypertension, cholesterol and abnormal glucose can lead to an increased risk of developing a cardiovascular disease. Besides childhood obesity can lead to an enormous increase in cost as medical expenses related to childhood obesity is on an  

 

average higher than that for non obese children.

In spite of the growing problem of obesity among children and adolescents in South Africa, nutrition education targeting them is often limited or severely restricted in the country’s elementary schools curriculum. Non-Profit organizations such as Heads Foundation, South Africa, have considered this overweight and obesity in children and adolescents and are willing to invest on a nutrition education program in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa. The Foundation responds to an urgent and declared need to prevent children and adolescents in this community from becoming overweight and obese by regulating their eating habits. Thus it aims to develop a nutrition education programme in this community which is aimed at increasing young people’s knowledge and awareness of the link between diet and health.

This proposal describes the planning process and implementation plan of a 1 year nutrition education programme by Heads Foundation in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. The project will comprised a collaborative development of a project that includes comprehensive lectures on nutrition that will educate children and adolescents on the importance of making healthy food choices, and provision of regular and adequate physical activities to overweight children and adolescents.

1.3. Project Goal

To prevent overweight and decrease obesity among children and adolescents in Khayelitsha, Cape Town by promoting healthy eating habits and food choices, increasing physical activities and promoting a positive and a healthy home food environment.

1.4. Time Frame

Project Duration: 1 year

The Project will be monitored and implemented within a year and will run from June 1st 2011 to May 31st 2012.

 

1.5. Target Group

This intervention will target children and adolescents who are at risk for overweight and overweight children and adolescents within the age range of 6 to 25 years and will focus on Khayelitsha in order to promote the reinforcement of learned principles in the community. The intervention will approach all the 54 schools operational in Khayelitsha to identify 5 school children who are at risk of becoming overweight or obese and 5 overweight and obese school children in each school. The intervention will also incorporate children and adolescent who do not go to school. The overall program anticipates a total of 1000 youths from Khayelitsha for participation. These children and adolescents will be approached and will benefit from a series of classes including a variety of nutrition related topics, physical activities and fun activities along with the utilisation of advanced technology to keep them interested. They will also be encouraged to learn by example, by watching other people as they participate in healthy eating habits. This will encourage them to continue with their newly acquired eating habit.

This intervention shall focus on children and adolescents because of the growing incidence of obesity among them in this community and across South Africa. These obese children and adolescents often grow to become obese adults, with a probability of their obesity to exceed 50% when they become adults especially if their parents are overweight. Thus an early nutrition education is necessary for them to develop properly and to cultivate the right eating habits in order to adapt to the right lifestyle and follow balanced eating habits as they grow up.

1.6. Project Carrier

The Project carrier is Heads Foundation. The project will be realised through a year’s period. The project’s components will be implemented entirely by Tem Foundation.

1.7. Company and Oganisational Structure

Heads Foundation is a Non-Profit Organisation established in the Republic of South Africa with registration No. 147-047-NPO. The organisation is aimed at making

 

significant contributions to the lives of thousands of people in Africa through five main initiatives. These include health and HIV/AIDS, education and training, Sport and recreation, food security, poverty alleviation and community development.

The organisation focuses on some pertinent African issues that require immediate action, solution and achievable results and its mission is to train, empower, create awareness, manage and develop communities across Africa.

The Foundation is structured in the following manner. It is made up of a General Assembly and an Executive. The Executive branch of the Foundation manages the overall performance and activities of the Foundation and is responsible for executing priorities identified by the Foundation. Heads Foundation is structured as below:

1.8. Essential Personnel Contribution

Heads Foundation shall recruit six educators to develop a conceptual framework for the development and implementation of the nutrition education programme in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. These educators shall include two registered dieticians, a liaison, a physical educator, a project coordinator and a technical support specialist.

II. Goal and Justification of Project

2.1. Problem Analysis

2.1.1. Epidemiological features of Obesity among Children in South Africa

Obesity is becoming an increasing problem in South Africa. Obesity and its co-morbidities negatively affects the lives of many South Africans, and the consequent burden of the disease contributes to increasing cost of health care both in the public and private sectors. The first South African Demographic and Health Survey (SADHS) revealed an overall prevalence of overweight (BMI>25) and obesity (BMI>30) with more than 29% of men and 56% of women being classified as overweight or obese. The survey included a sample of South Africans aged 15-95 years old and the results highlighted the

 

influence of age, gender, ethnicity, demographics and socio-economic status on the prevalence of obesity.

One major public health concern is that obesity and overweight are not limited to the adult South African population but have also been well documented in children and adolescents. For example another survey by the SADHS revealed that 10% of South African women within the age range of 15 to 24 years were already considered obese.In addition to this, the Youth Risk Behaviour Survey in 2002 also found that 17% of adolescents were overweight and 4.2% were obese and a regional school based health and fitness survey of an estimated 5000 children aged 12 to 18years, revealed that the future prevalence rate especially among black girls will be 37%.

The above statistics show an increase in the incidence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents in South Africa especially as the country undergoes an epidemiological transition. Thus a comprehensive multifaceted nutrition education intervention is needed to address this problem.

 

2.1.2. Socio-Economic and Medical Projections

It remains exceptionally difficult to access the socio-economic impact of this disease in South Africa. However there is growing evidence of a huge impact on the house hold income of the people. This impact begins as soon as a member of the household becomes overweight or obese. Childhood obesity can lead to an enormous increase in cost as medical expenses related to childhood obesity are on an average higher than that for non obese children. Besides this economic impact which greatly impact household income, overweight children and adolescents face high risk of a permanent damage such as immediate psychological problems which they can carry through out their lives. Statistics have shown that overweight and obese young people feel very uncomfortable about their sizes and are often faced with challenges of being a source of mockery. Other long term medical complications such as damage from hypertension, cholesterol and abnormal glucose can lead to an increased risk of developing a cardiovascular disease.

 

2.1.3. Heads Foundation’s Nutrition Education Project

Tem Foundation has taken a long term challenge to develop a Nutrition Education Programme responding adequately to the increase incidence of overweight and obese children and adolescents in South Africa. A Task Force as well as Nutrition Educators are the driving force for the implementation and monitoring of this project in Khayelitsha, Cape Town which includes comprehensive lectures on nutrition and provision of regular and adequate physical activities to overweight children and adolescents in this community. These components of the program will in detail be elaborated in subsequent paragraphs

2.2. Project Goal and Developmental Context

2.2.1. Project Goal

To prevent overweight and decrease obesity among children and adolescents in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa, by promoting healthy eating habits and food choices, increasing physical activities and promoting a positive and a healthy home food environment.

2.2.1. Developmental Context

Obesity and overweight have purely been anticipated as a health problem. However this disease impact on the society is much larger than can adequately be responded to from the health sector alone. Obesity and overweight as demonstrated by the Heads Foundation’s project is also a development problem with enormous consequences on the society. Developing effective and successful nutrition education programmes in a community within South Africa, will have a huge impact on the entire country. If an organisation such as Heads Foundation sets an example, with a strong effort to fight the disease in South Africa, other non-profit organisations will follow suit. Moreover the ‘role model’ project will give a clear public statement about the seriousness of this disease across communities in South Africa.

 

The overall goal of the project is therefore to prevent overweight and decrease obesity among children and adolescents in Khayelitsha by promoting healthy eating habits and food choices.

III. Project Implementation Plan

3.1. Methodology and Planning Process

The methodology used to derive this project and to identify the two priority components of providing lectures on nutrition and provision of regular and adequate physical activities to children and adolescents has been a series of collaborative workshop between members of Heads Foundation and the executive. The first workshop helped identify the two priority components of the nutrition education programme and the targeted area. The second workshop allowed members of Heads Foundation to fill these components with programmatic expectations while the third series of four workshops were used to develop a detailed work plan for these components. As an implementation and decision making organisation, Heads Foundation has decided to form a Task Force that will monitor the implementation progress. This structure is complemented by the position of Nutrition Educators that will train these children and adolescents and report to the Task Force.

3.2. Description of the Priority Project Components and the Anticipated Results

3.2.1. Comprehensive Lectures on Nutrition

Heads Foundation will facilitate a continuous nutrition education program in Khayelitsha. This intervention will focus on young people who are at risk of overweight and obesity and overweight and obese children and adolescents. This component of the programme will include a series of three classes every week which will take place at Heads Foundation and at elementary community schools around Khayelitsha. Each class will last for two hours. During these classes the children and adolescents will learn about the importance of eating healthy, being physically active, how to accomplish healthy eating and physical activity and how their families can participate and play a huge role in their success. The lectured topics will include but not limited to healthy cooking and preparation methods, exercise and knowledge on fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy

 

products and lean meat.

Due to the length and intensity of this program, Heads Foundation has decided to recruit Nutrition Educators that will move the planning and implementation forward and educate these young people.

3.2.2. Provision of Regular and Adequate Physical Activities

This component of the program will incorporate the nutrition lessons into physical activities that will be held every Saturdays from 10a.m to 12pm at a Khayelitsha sport ground negotiated by Heads Foundation. Some of the activities of this component will include a relay race, a scavenger hunt for fruits and vegetables, cooking practices and dancing to songs about healthy eating. This component of the program shall take place during the second half of the implementation of the project and will be held three days a week. Each participant will receive a smart watch, an interactive heart rate mirror and a calorie counter that measures the rate of calories consumed and expended based upon the heart rates. These smart watches will be individualised based on the child’s or adolescent’s age, height, weight and target heart rates. At the end of every week they will be required to turn in their watches to be synchronised into the main computer at Heads Foundation. The information from these watches will be updated on the projects website where the parents of these young people as well as themselves will be able to utilise this website and track their progress.

3.3. Project Monitoring and Evaluation

These components will initially be informed by thorough formative and baseline research including a pre-test and survey that will take into account information about the type of food these children and adolescents eat, their level of physical activities, their knowledge  

 

on food and exercise, their attitude about healthy eating and physical activity and their weight. The planning and implementation process will further be accompanied by continuous monitoring of data and activities of these children to determine whether they use the knowledge gained from these lectures. At the end of the program, these children and adolescents will receive a test similar to the pre-test as a post test. The final impact evaluation will be analysed through levels of change and maintenance and collated with the initial baseline data.

 

3.4. Anticipated Results

Repudiation of unhealthy eating habits and an increased healthy eating habits and food choices among children and adolescent thereby reducing the risk of becoming overweight and consequently obese.

Increased interest to do physical activities by young people.

Job creation and poverty alleviation as the project will utilise the services of certain experts which include dietician, a liaison, a physical educator, a fundraising organiser and a technical support specialist as well as members recruited into the Task Force.

Decrease in heart and cardiovascular diseases.

Decrease in mortality rates.

Reduction of household expenditures.

Active youth and healthy population.

Increase in peer educators who will influence healthy eating habits in the greater

THIS PROPOSAL IS PREPARED IN CONSULTATION WITH THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF HEADS FOUNDATION

 

 

 

 

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