Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

If it IS Broken, Fix It

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

Though it had long been a homespun truism in the southern United States, the phrase "If it ain't broke don't fix it" was purportedly popularized by former president Jimmy Carter's Director of the Office of Management and Budget, T. Bert Lance (Nation's Business, May 1977). But if it is broken, we must fix it. In response to historically high child and adult obesity rates, rising healthcare costs, and a shortsighted focus on treatment rather than prevention, this research project explored three possible "fixes" for health indicators that are indicative of "broken" lifestyles. First, the impact of advertising on obesity was examined. With more than $4 billion invested in advertising by the fast food industry in one year, it is not surprising that 84% of parents reported taking their child to a fast food restaurant at least once a week. We addressed the question: can these same advertising tactics be used to reverse obesity trends and promote better nutrition? Second, the role of exercise from early childhood through adolescence was considered. Psychological and physiological effects of involvement in one sport, gymnastics, were evaluated relative to physical, social, and character development. Third, homeopathic and alternative medicine were investigated and compared to traditional models of healthcare. Conclusions are presented as to cost-effective measures to promote wellness in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

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If it IS Broken, Fix It

Though it had long been a homespun truism in the southern United States, the phrase "If it ain't broke don't fix it" was purportedly popularized by former president Jimmy Carter's Director of the Office of Management and Budget, T. Bert Lance (Nation's Business, May 1977). But if it is broken, we must fix it. In response to historically high child and adult obesity rates, rising healthcare costs, and a shortsighted focus on treatment rather than prevention, this research project explored three possible "fixes" for health indicators that are indicative of "broken" lifestyles. First, the impact of advertising on obesity was examined. With more than $4 billion invested in advertising by the fast food industry in one year, it is not surprising that 84% of parents reported taking their child to a fast food restaurant at least once a week. We addressed the question: can these same advertising tactics be used to reverse obesity trends and promote better nutrition? Second, the role of exercise from early childhood through adolescence was considered. Psychological and physiological effects of involvement in one sport, gymnastics, were evaluated relative to physical, social, and character development. Third, homeopathic and alternative medicine were investigated and compared to traditional models of healthcare. Conclusions are presented as to cost-effective measures to promote wellness in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.