Diabetes is a significant public health challenge that affects populations of all ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic groups. The severe conditions development varies for individuals with specific genetic, socioeconomic, and environmental circumstances; however, proper lifestyle choices and habits built at a younger age can help prevent the disease (Eva et al., 2018). Modern treatment technologies continuously improve; however, diabetes remains a significant challenge for healthcare services nationwide. Multiple policies and interventions already exist to regulate citizens’ dietary sugar intake, promote a healthier lifestyle, and make timely medical checkups. However, most of these prevention strategies are addressed to the adult population and are inefficient in most cases. This assignment aims to discuss if government officials should establish policies to promote diabetes prevention in educational institutions.
Nursing in the outpatient family practices includes educating parents and their children about specific preventative or treatment attitudes to help them maintain health. In the case of diabetes, daily self-management is required once the disease develops, and a particular lifestyle must be followed to avoid the conditions’ occurrence. Communication with parents and children revealed that the latter refuses to obtain knowledge about sugars, foods, and the importance of active life because they do not understand why they need it (Eva et al., 2018). However, if the interventions promoting the risk of diabetes and prevention practices were included in the educational programs at schools, it would impact the younger generation’s perception of the disease.
Diabetes is a significant public health challenge because of its high costs and prevalence among diverse populations. CDC (2020) also states that “210,000 children and adolescents younger than age 20 years—or 25 per 10,000 US youths— had diagnosed diabetes” (para. 4). Moreover, the trend of increasing incidence in the mentioned age group exists, specifically among Hispanic and African American populations (CDC, 2020). The problem is significant and urgent because the tendencies in fast-food consumption and sedentary lifestyle become prevalent among children, enabling them to develop unhealthy habits. Although public health policies address the problems of proper nutrition at schools, they do not teach young students about the consequences of having an unbalanced diet.
Policies for chronic disease prevention do not address the severity of diabetes and might not be understood by the children. Timpel et al. (2019) claim that “interventions for the prevention of diabetes commonly include communication strategies to inform individuals about the risk and symptoms and to try to persuade them to eat more healthily, be more physically active” (p. 1845). In California, Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) exists as a Medi-Cal covered benefit, yet it is developed for patients with pre-diabetes conditions (California Department of Health Care Services [DHCS], 2021). Adjusting the program can help improve the health policy and decrease the prevalence of disease cases statewide.
As the diabetes prevention policy would require the educational institutions to participate, Californian schools and their executives would need to be involved. Furthermore, the stakeholders such as Department of Health Care Services’ representatives and medical workers would participate in developing the intervention (DHCS, 2021). Indeed, nursing practitioners who educate parents about preventative measures and risks of pre-diabetes conditions can collaborate with schools to develop a program for children of various ages. Parents and communities representatives can also become stakeholders if they support the initiative and help local politicians with similar views win elections.
Key factors government officials must consider for successful implementation of diabetes prevention policy for children are related to school education and the price of intervention. Indeed, practical aspects require evaluating students’ grades, analyzing the diabetes prevalence statistics, and selecting the aimed age. Economic factors address the costs of healthcare providers’ involvement, printing handouts, and integrating the program into the Californian educational system (CDC, 2020). Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic might add additional aspects such as political influence and the demand for prioritizing dealing with the more considerable healthcare challenge than diabetes. Lastly, social factors such as children’s diverse backgrounds might impact the program development as they would require, for instance, translating it to Spanish.
Policymaking for public health initiatives requires diverse options to work simultaneously; thus, research and preparation are crucial at that stage. Media representatives such as The Desert Sun, Daily Californian, or California Healthline can be reached out for collaborating in creating the news about the novel strategy to address diabetes. The stories covered by journalists must contain an evidence-based foundation; therefore, retrieving scholarly articles about educational interventions and diabetes prevention is necessary. For instance, the study “New directions for diabetes prevention and management in behavioral medicine” conducted by Stetson et al. in 2017 revealed that the educational initiatives must be repeatedly applied to the same group (Stetson et al., 2017). Recent statistical information about diabetes incidence in California must also be requested from the Department of Public Health.
Legislative options are crucial to consider because the initiative can receive additional subsidizing if the law would support it. Moreover, updates in the educational program require the submission of multiple governors, and diabetes prevention can be integrated as a joint resolution within the Californian DPP (DHCS, 2021). Another option for implementing the initiative is to contact California’s Committee of Health and offer testimony to let the members decide how the legislative support can be received. Lastly, local communities that support healthcare policymaking for improving children’s life can provide valuable strategies for the program’s launch (Rutledge et al., 2018). Their leaders can also offer an additional influence on the government and recommend working with educational institutions.
In California, diabetes is one of the most significant healthcare challenges because it is prevalent in diverse populations regardless of age and gender. Besides, children of the groups with higher socioeconomic status tend to develop severe lifestyle habits such as sugar consumption and low activity level (CDC, 2020). The low status’ representatives are at risk due to their poor diets and lack of balanced products that do not increase the risk of diabetes. Children do not perceive diabetes prevention measures as a serious concern because they lack understanding of the disease’s nature and development (Eva et al., 2018). Consequently, behavioral intervention through education can change how they think of the severe chronic condition. Educational programs created in collaboration with nursing practitioners and teachers are a workable recommendation for new policy implementation.
Research also reveals that the program requires following up, and including it in the educational system might be challenging due to the recent COVID-19 emergency. However, the recommendation to create a campaign for raising the question of diabetes prevention among children is appropriate. News, public sources, community representatives, and California’s Committee of Health legislators can be notified and involved in the initiative realization (Rutledge et al., 2018). The selected healthcare issue requires complex addressing, and if government officials establish policies to promote diabetes prevention in the educational institutions of California, the younger generation would be more cautious in their lifestyle choices.
Bechara, G. M., Castelo Branco, F., Rodrigues, A. L., Chinnici, D., Chaney, D., Calliari, L. E. P., & Franco, D. R. (2018). “KiDS and Diabetes in Schools” project: Experience with an international educational intervention among parents and school professionals. Pediatric Diabetes, 19(4), 756-760. Web.
California Department of Health Care Services (2021). Diabetes Prevention Program. Web.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes statistics report, 2020. Web.
Eva, J. J., Kassab, Y. W., Neoh, C. F., Ming, L. C., Wong, Y. Y., Abdul Hameed, M., Hong, Y. H., & Sarker, M. M. R. (2018). Self-care and self-management among adolescent T2DM patients: a review. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 9, 489. Web.
Rutledge, G. E., Lane, K., Merlo, C., & Elmi, J. (2018). Coordinated approaches to strengthen state and local public health actions to prevent obesity, diabetes, and heart disease and stroke. Preventing Chronic Disease, 15, 14.Web.
Stetson, B., Minges, K. E., & Richardson, C. R. (2017). New directions for diabetes prevention and management in behavioral medicine. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 40(1), 127-144. Web.
Timpel, P., Harst, L., Reifegerste, D., Weihrauch-Blüher, S., & Schwarz, P. E. (2019). What should governments be doing to prevent diabetes throughout the life course?. Diabetologia, 62(10), 1842-1853. Web.