Modern societies face various problems; as a rule, these problems are determined as such related to certain phenomena, non material concepts or certain individuals. This leads us to the assumption that people are inclined to look for problems that do not touch them closely, at the same time they neglect those issues which might concern themselves. Among such problems one can name healthy lifestyle of an individual living in the modern world. Living a healthy life involves working out properly and eating wholesome food, these factors being absent results in overweight, heart related problems and other organs disorders, premature ageing as well as osteoporosis. It is a pity but what concerns more the majority of the people is taxes, political parties, problems involving personal relationships job-related problems, the fact that their physical condition and the fundamentals of healthy eating habits are far from perfect is often disregarded. That is the reason of the need for the society to work out an elaborate program which is to outline the intentions of leading a healthy life where adequate physical training and healthy eating principles are integrated and well balanced. That is why our society needs a complex program that will unite it in its intentions to live healthy life combining proper exercising and diet, based on healthy food. Theoretical fundamentals are required for the above program which will analyze the present situation in the society, outline the objectives and the ways to achieve them.
The Analysis of the Issue
Firstly, one ought to be aware of the concept that the key factors of healthy lifestyle are healthy eating habits and adequate amount of physical exercise. Even the classic ancient philosophers stated surely that both appropriate eating habits and everyday physical activity are of great importance. To support this one can quote a remarkable saying of French doctor and researcher Anthelme Brillat-Savarin dated 1926: “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are” (The Phrase Finder). Having said these words he maintained the fact that the food an individual eats has a direct impact on the individual’s physical state and his health condition in general along with the mental condition. The above words are true for the modern society in which one can see junk foods and various sugared fizzy and alcohol drinks with other harmful ingredients being widely advertised. The advertisements are often so appealing that people get accustomed to them and consume various perilous products since the time they were children. Thousands of people, suffering from obesity, find themselves in the deadlock every year due to the mass culture popularization of fast cooking and eating fast foods. The increased amount of sugar in blood is the cause of diabetes; osteoporosis is provoked by high levels of soda; various ingredients of energetic drinks lead to insomnia, mental troubles and heart-related diseases. As far as foods are concerned, increased calorific values together with high level of fats and carbohydrates are the cause of obesity, problems that affect liver, kidneys and intestinal tract. Once people are diagnosed with the above problems, they go to see the doctors and get the medicines prescribed, though the medicines have contra indications, which may cause other diseases. Thereby, the absence of data about wholesome products and adequate eating regimes turns out to be a never-ending chain of illnesses. Another aspect of the issue under discussion is the absence of physical activity in the daily routine of an ordinary person, which has also been the subject of discussion for centuries. There is a statement of Abu Ali Abn Sina (Avicenna), an outstanding Arabic doctor and philosopher, who lived in 980-1037, that states that “physical exercises are the most significant factor for one’s well being” (International Standing Conference for the History of Education). Everyday ration which consists of unhealthy products characterized by high rates of carbohydrates and fat on the one part, and the absence of physical activity on the other cause fatness. The natural process of depositing extra amounts of carbohydrates as body fat conditions acquiring obesity. Should daily physical activity that makes our bodies use calories and burn fat be scarce, a human body becomes a depot of live energy which has the form of fat. Obesity causes the increase in the level of pressure on heart and other organs, bones and spine being under stress too. Thereby, absence of knowledge about the significance of physical activity and wholesome food leads to serious health disorders giving rise to a great number of questions concerning public health. A social project, the purpose of which is to provide the public with information and encourage it to become conscious of its principles of eating habits and physical activity, has initially to outline the characteristic features of population to aim attention at.
The Characteristics of the Target Group
To start with, each social program requires a target group to aim attention at; this is due to the fact that people of different age groups should be approached using different methods which have a direct impact on the efficiency of the program. To provide this we suggest that representatives of both sexes whose age ranges from 18 to 30 should be included in the target group. We base the choice on the fact that the people of the above age range are generally characterized by a high level of responsibility for their health; they are generally not married and are not too busy to follow special training and study course based on the given program. The knowledge they will get from the courses will make it possible for them not solely to take care of their own health, but apply the knowledge they gained in educating their children. Besides, the young age of representatives of this group allows them to take up physical activities not being exposed to any possible dangers of being injured or having aftereffects. The processes of metabolism of even overweight individuals are highly adaptable to alterations in eating habits and physical activity. They have a possibility to go on educating themselves on the basis of the program, applying techniques of self education they acquired at schools and colleges. One part of the target group is to comprise people who are overweight, do not exercise and do not follow healthy eating regime, another part is to be composed of those who have normal weight corresponding to their age and dimensions, do not eat healthily and do not exercise in a daily or weekly basis. The two chosen groups are to be composed of males and females in equal proportions. The above groups must consist of 10 individuals of both sexes from every state, their age ranging from 18 to 30 half and half. Middle-aged people from all parts of the country should be included into the groups that are formed. The groups should not accept people who suffer from fatal diseases and have mental illnesses; they are to follow the program created for people with disabilities and those having disorders. Thereby, chosen principles will provide the arrangement of groups of individuals satisfying all the requirements necessary to assure the success of the program.
Community Assessment Method
The outcomes of the program can be most effectively tested if every person is assessed at the following phases: before the course starts, in the course of the course itself, when the course comes to an end. Each phase of assessment should be elaborated so that it could be possible to record any possible alteration of the following parameters: information about healthy eating, knowledge of the facts about the healthy diet, recognition of probable risks and dangers of unhealthy foods, information about the fundamentals of physical exercising activity, probable transformations of body parameters of a person, possible alterations in the way a person estimates himself and assesses own advancement in the course of training. With the help of the above characteristic features it will be possible to make assessment of the knowledge, the state of the body and mind of a person, together with self assessment observations of the impact the program has had on person’s parameters. So, each person taking part in the Healthy Lifestyle program will have to answer the questionnaire and have their physical parameters measured (the proportion of body fat, weight, ratio of pulse, blood pressure, lung capacity, level of sugar in blood, limit of physical activity exercised during a certain period and so on). One should also note that the program is not to accept people who have heart-related problems and other grave disorders and fatal conditions. It is explained by the fact that some limitations in daily intake of food and the increase in the amount of aerobic and anaerobic physical activity might lead to exacerbation of the disease, and this might cause complications and occurrence of critical condition. It is extremely unwanted to allow the above condition and it is essential not to let it happen. To provide restrictions being kept without being violated, all people who take part in the program are to be examined by medics. The purpose of the complete medical examination is to establish that people participating in the program have any heart disorders and problems with functioning of other organs, any psychic problems, any osteoporosis and diabetes, cancer or tumors of other types and any autoimmune diseases. After that, a qualified psychologist must guarantee that the people who take part in the program are extremely willing to participate in the program, they are aware of it being their own desire and recognize the benefits they will have gained when the program is over. The method of community assessment, which is suggested, would enable the researchers to become aware of every factor which is undergoing change in the course of the program. This would assist the assessment of the efficiency of the program.
Literature Review on the Subject
The implementation of all the programs of any type necessitates the analysis of the outcomes of identical programs which have already been implemented. The purpose of the above analysis lies in making sure the mistakes made in the past will not be repeated. A contemporary Healthy Lifestyle program is to comprise the analytical data and methodology of successful outcomes of the programs implemented before together with the most recent research in medical field, healthy eating habits and physical exercise. The above are the most significant factors to ensure the low occurrence of errors in methods and practices. It has been proved by the analysis of the previous programs concerning public health that they focused their attention mainly on the cure of illnesses, proves that they were mainly concentrated on the treatment of diseases, rarely they were concerned with the diseases being prevented. For instance to mention the most outstanding advancement in public health within the period from 2001 to 2010 Koppaka specifies the following accomplishments: decrease in the number of diseases which can be prevented with the help of vaccine, contagious diseases being prevented and controlled, control of smoking, backing of the mother and child health care, safety on the roads, prevention of diseases connected with the cardiovascular system, prevention of cancer and prophylaxis of children being poisoned by lead (Koppaka). It can be inferred from the above facts that public health bodies mainly aim their actions at preventing certain specific diseases instead of evaluating and adjusting the level of society being conscious of the fundamentals of healthy living. Social consciousness which will result in specific actions is aimed subsequently at preventing the majority of illnesses and reducing the danger of occurrence of certain genetic diseases. As far as alimentation is concerned, there exists the national standard for wholesome meals at schools. But it ends up in this standard being only just the instructions or norms for educational establishments and higher financial provision (United States Food and Nutrition Service). Hence, there is no governmental national program which is directly aimed at increasing the consciousness of society as far as healthy eating habits and physical activity are concerned. If the situation is regarded as a conflict for a person to choose between the companies that produce food and drinks and the government, in the situation we are now the government is more likely to be defeated. This is the reason why the elaboration and implementation of the given program will play part in raising the awareness of the importance of healthy eating and the role of physical activity.
Theory of the Health Education Program
This requires no proof, that appropriate Health Education Program is to be well grounded theoretically. The appropriate theoretical basis for the program assist in choosing key notions, strategies which are to be applied and methods of their being implemented so that the set goals could be achieved. We consider it relevant to base our program on the Theory of Intervention Mapping. Schemes of the above theory are created with reference to the 20 year research on the main notions and techniques applied in health education. Taking into account the fact that Healthy Lifestyle is public health program, the theory elaborated for medicine is to serve the basis for the program. It is stated by the founders of the theory that it comprises five stages of development: “creating a matrix of proximal program objectives, selecting theory-based intervention methods and practical strategies, designing and organizing a program, specifying adoption and implementation plans, and generating program evaluation plans” (Bartholomew, Parcel, Kok //heb.sagepub.com/content/25/5/545.abstract). An observable model of the theory has been designed by Stewart and we also consider it relevant for our research (Graph 1)
Through the elaboration of each of the notions it is possible to ensure the program being developed and the efficiency of the selected methods of work being assessed. During the stage of evaluation we make a decision which group a stakeholder is to be referred to an outline the items for the calendar of the program. The stakeholders also go through the initial assessment stage to become aware of their physical condition and state of mind before the plan is being implemented. Besides we make a decision concerning the location of trainings and study courses as well as potentially needed facilities. It is also necessary at this stage to elaborate the appropriate basis of data and methods. As a result, in the process of the elaboration of the following aspects will be taken into consideration: pedagogical aspects (Smith), healthy nutrition (Ogden, Carroll, Kit et al.) and the significance of adequate physical activity (Ace Fitness).
At the second stage of the theoretical basis it is necessary to outline the practice of the goals. As far as our research is concerned, its general goals include the application of information and practical foundation of the significance of healthy nutrition and adequate physical activity. Besides, the research is related to three phases of observation of the state of body and mind of the participants in the course of the research. At the initial stage of the study the participants are also informed about its general goals and advantages. It is of vital importance to motivate the participants in order to keep them interested in the course of the program being implemented.
At the third stage of the theoretical basis it is required to apply techniques and approaches which will constitute foundation for the theory. The following works are taken into consideration: “Deliberate Practice Theory” (Ericsson, Krampe, Tesch-Römer) and “Pedagogical Approach for work-based learning” (Brodie, Irving). As far as our research is concerned, the concept of “physical work” from the above sources will be replaced by “physical exercising”, as long as we see exercising as a kind of work on the health of a person. Thereby, physical exercising and practice of preparing meals will ground theoretical foundation of the program.
The layout of the course is the next significant stage of the National Health Program. The members of the chosen control group are to agree upon the syllabus and portfolio of practice education turning to nutrition and fitness experts for guidance. The above specialists give reasons for the significance of certain elements to consider which may be difficult for the participants of the group. At the end of this stage the curators give the account of the reached arrangements and prospects for future.
The fulfillment of the plan is among the most significant phases of the program. The duration of the course constitutes six months or one semester with respect to an educational establishment. We tend to believe that the time framework that has been chosen is sufficient both for theoretical and practical study. Moreover, the period of six months is sufficient for an individual to make corrections in his or her eating habits and work out their own program of physical exercise. During the finishing months of the program the participants are getting accustomed to the alterations that happened in their daily routines. In order to amend and improve the self practices and self assessments of the participants the course ought to be repeated in a semester.
The closing stage is the assessment plan of praxis. On the basis of the above mentioned facts each person will go through three stages of observation: pre, mid and post program. Based on the assessment outcomes a certificate will be awarded to a participant, there will be demonstrated analyses in dynamics and given advice for further steps. Thereby, physical characteristics as well as personal attitudes and feelings of the participants will be integrated in the assessment methods.
Measurable Objectives of the Program
The designed program of healthy living is supposed to have specific short and long term objectives. The fruitful changes in the lifestyles of the first, target or test group of participants are short term objectives. Taking into consideration the fact that each of the ten participants represents their states, the results they have reached must serve an illustration of the certain educational approach in practice. Its aim is increase the number of participants who would participate in the second course of the program. As far as long term objectives are concerned, it should be stated that one of the objectives is founding National Healthy Lifestyle establishments in all the states and provide the access to them for all the participants, the admission to which is not limited by the requirements. In some years it would entirely transform the attitude of people in the communities to the significance of physical activity and healthy nutrition in their in their daily routines. So, in 10 or more years, the society will reach a new stage in realizing the importance wholesome nutrition and physical training. The cultured people, by-turn, will pass the experience and knowledge they gained to their children. Therefore, we regard our program as highly effective and efficient and all-embracing.
Illustrations of Methodology in Use
The suggested methods must initially be popularized and brought to the public. The popularization can be ensured by the groups of social initiative or by means of mass media and the internet. The television commercials are to start informing about the program; it can even be done in the form of a TV show. We are certain that every individual will get interested in the process of body and knowledge being changed. The most suitable format for the program would be a reality television show because people would understand the program and the way it was being implemented. The possibility to avoid diseases and getting fit would intrigue the society. Social networking sites also should be used for the people to feel the way the participants felt and share the feelings. This will arouse the curiosity of the public and serve the basis for the participants to be of the program.
Methods of Evaluation of the Efficiency of the Program
As it was stated before, the evaluation of the efficiency of the program is to be carried out on different stages of its implementation, uniting combining self assessment physical characteristics. It is significant to make the assessment of the participants’ stage before the program so that further changes could be evaluated. Evaluation in the middle of the term is vital to verify if the fundamental principles work and to make corrections in case it is necessary. The evaluation after course is significant in terms of observing the dynamics of the transformations and assesses overall efficiency of the program. A special role is played by physical assessment during the course. Firstly, it serves to test the objective state of the participant that is if he or she is losing body fat, improving fitness and raising functioning characteristics of organs. Secondly, possible aggravating of the condition or function of organs can be traced by physical assessment. People are not similar, so it is significant to provide individual approach as far as physical changes of each individual are concerned. Moreover, to examine the subjective changes in the attitude of the person regarding the course self assessment and assessment of mental state should be carried out. This would enable the assessment and correction of the participants’ motivation.
It is also significant for every program to foresee possible obstacles that may make the study incomprehensive and ineffective. Absence of participants can be mentioned among possible barriers. People may tend not to belief or have no motivation, or just be passive. Should such cases arise, the supervisors must work do their best to give people enough motivation to participate. Funding and social interest can be mentioned among other barriers. To raise interest not only among ordinary citizens, but local and state bodies the program it is necessary to introduce the program to initiative groups, public health organizations and government. They should be acquainted with the nation’s long term perspectives regarding the program of Healthy Lifestyle. One can explain low social interest by the importance of the program being lost among a great amount of information. So, the program should be widely explained to the public.
All the above stated factors confirm the effectiveness of the program of Healthy Lifestyle being implemented in short and long term perspectives equally. Appropriate scientific research, pedagogical and methodological basis could ensure the latter. As far as the presented approaches and the theory, serving the basis of the program, are concerned, we make an assumption that it is highly effective in terms of raising social recognition of healthy nutrition and adequate exercise being important. The peculiar features of the layout also enable to avoid barriers and obstacles. Based on the provided information we consider that the program should be implemented. The USA requires healthy nation, and suggested National Program of Healthy Lifestyle can ensure significant transformations in this sense in a few decades.