Ministerial Letter and Letter Response

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Junior (College 3rd year) ・Sociology ・APA ・2 Sources
  • The WA Healthy Children Program has been formulated to help in the reduction of the risk of chronic disease and in addressing the risk factors associated with obesity and overweight, lack of exercise, and poor nutrition that affects children and young people.
  • The program has funded Ngala through an Eat, Play, Thrive program to come up with an education program whose main target are parents and caregivers of kids between 12 months and 12 years (WA Healthy Children Program, 2017).
  • The program has funded the Better Health Company in the developmental of free educational material to help health workers who are in collaboration with parents and children to assist in the discussion of obesity and overweight issues.
  • The Fuel Your Future initiative focuses on adolescents and especially disadvantaged teenagers.
  • The Better Health Program target children aged between 7 and 13 years who are overweight.
  • The WA Healthy Schools Project will be delivered by the Child and Adolescent Health Service and the WA Country Health Service (WA Healthy Children Program, 2017).
  • The Crunch&Sip® Program's primary target is children aged between 4 to16 years, and the participating schools allow students to eat fruits or vegetables and drink water in class (WA Healthy Children Program, 2017).
  • The Healthy School, Food and Drink Project, is supported by the Department of Education, and it provides appropriate training, advice, and support for the relevant stakeholders in school and parents as well. The policy has been in effect since 2007 and canteens must adhere to it in the preparation of meals.
  • The program also provides support materials for school food and nutrition.

Recommendations

That the minister should:

  • Evaluate programs

The minister should make a description of the running programs and question whether they are in line with the mission statement. These programs should achieve outcomes that connect with the mission statement.

  • Make a description of the ministry's activities and cross check against what has been proven to work.
  • Support and monitoring

The minister should ensure that schools adhere to healthy school canteen guidelines as well as monitor the progress of the effectiveness of the program.

  • Monitor the marketing of food industry targeted on children

The government should persist in insisting food labeling to help parents and children to make healthier food choices.

  • Tightening of advertising through mass media

If the government tightens the regulation of marketing, it will reduce the exposure of children to unhealthy foods.

Reflective writing

I have decided to use a ministerial letter to address the minister of health because I believe it will go a long way in changing policies that have an effect on obesity and overweight in children. Additionally, politicians respond better to statistics and facts which are all contained in the letter. Letters are part of sending a message to the government, and they are a form of dialogue that ensures that the citizenry is engaged. The letter will also be an indicator of whom and how legislation affects the public. Further, it is essential for politicians to get different points of view and the letter will serve that purpose. I expect that the minister will act accordingly to help in curbing the recent issue of increased childhood obesity and overweight. The target audience for the ministerial letter is the minister of health of West Australia. The department is responsible for health promotion and education. Therefore it is in the best interests of the minister to be reminded of the current health crisis among school going children. I have indicated all the facts and figures which I think are essential to emphasize the current issue so that the minister is well informed. The other forms of advocacy out there competing with my ministerial letter are briefing pieces and Websites/Social media/Infographics. With advancement in technology and the prevalent use of social media, the public can impact policy with the use of social media sites such as Twitter. Due to the publicity associated with social media, the officials involved can be quick to respond to issues.

References

Obesity and its impact on the wellbeing of WA children and young people. (2014). Ww2.health.wa.gov.au. Retrieved 20 November 2017, from https://www.ccyp.wa.gov.au/media/1327/policy-brief-wmf-obesity-and-its-impact-of-the-wellbeing-of-wa-children-and-young-november-2014.pdf


WA Healthy Children Program. (2017). Ww2.health.wa.gov.au. Retrieved 20 November 2017, from http://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/U_Z/WA-Healthy-Children-Program

 

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