COM-451-501 Integrated Strategic Communication Group Project
“The Effect of a Modern Lifestyle on Childhood Obesity” Hamda Khalifa 200720965 Maryam Ali
“This Project is dedicated to Maryam Mirza who passed away” 18.03.2011
Table of Contents Section Executive Summary
Research -Analyzing the situation
- Organizational Analysis
-Analyzing the public -Analyzing the key characteristics of the key public
-Message Source and Spokesperson
-Photos and Captions
Executive Summary The youth of our society not only here in the UAE but possibly world wide are consumed with electronic video games and the cyber world. Children here in the UAE not only enjoy playing for long constant hours during the day but they are highly committed to their hobby and spend a lot of money in purchasing the necessary attire to maintain their habit. The problem that we wish to state is not about the excessive hours spent in front of the television or PC but the fact that hours of the day are wasted playing video games indoors and not being used to exercise out doors. In our current generation children prefer to spend whatever free time they have holding their gaming console. As a result of this the number of over weight children has increased greatly and the number of children getting diabetes has gone up as well. Children nowadays are inactive they don’t enjoy moving outdoors in the fresh air they stay in one spot for hours if they aren’t forced to move. Therefore our campaign is to raise awareness to parents and institutions to urge their children to be more active in their childhood and not stay cooped up in their living room or bedroom remaining inactive and gaining weight. We also would like to show kids by using their imagination the different games they could play outside which hopefully will encourage them to go and have fun with their siblings or friends and as a result make them healthier. We will form a series of talks to present to the families and institutions that will contain solutions and a well-designed program that will consist of different activities that will get their children to be more active. Whereas for the children we will form an interactive video since that’s what they are interested in that explains the benefits of being active and the how playing video games is not good for their health. Analyzing the situation Her in the UAE the situation that is presented to us is that the current youth of the nation is suffering from an inactive and unhealthy lifestyle, this issue has been voiced to us by leading newspapers such as the gulf news where it was mentioned by Suzanne Trease, Chair of the Department of Health and Physical Education, “Trease
blames a sedentary lifestyle for the rise of obesity in the UAE. "A lot of them [students] have things done for them," she said. Trease said that from observation, physical activity is not typically part of the Emirati culture and is therefore not instilled in children by parents”(Naidoo, & Moussly, 2009). Therefore the position we face with our campaign idea is how do we convince institutions and families to incorporate a more active program for children in school schedules and households. This is important as they state further down the article, “Trease stressed the urgency of incorporating healthy living into UAE's lifestyle. "It's imperative we educate this generation and those to come, about healthy living because if we don't, life expectancy will grow even shorter. If you can walk moderately for 30 minutes a day and keep your heart rate above 130 beats per minute, that's a great start"(Naidoo, & Moussly, 2009). Then on the other hand we have the children that we want to encourage and motivate to actually participate in these activities. The reason why this may be a challenge is because schools may view this as them needing to acquire a larger budget to provide staff and equipment in order for the children to play activities with the correct supervision. Then we have the parents who may lead a very busy lifestyle with work therefore they may say they have no time to accompany their children since they have no time or not a large enough budget to sign their kids to a sporting club. Our campaign will view the different ways in which we can approach this and convince them how to get kids moving without costing too much. The situation with the kids may be a bit more difficult since if they are accustomed to no moving a lot it would be hard to convince them to do so. After getting them to do it the first time they may find themselves being fatigued and then the second time may not be to keen on being active so we should find a way to keep them committed and encouraged until they feel that being active is part of their daily routine. Organizational Analysis The client we will be representing is the Dubai Health Authority. The reason is because the government of Dubai has expressed great concern in the past about the increase of obesity within the Emirate. This apprehension was displayed in an article released by the Dubai Health Authority where they mentioned, “Now-a-days, obese children under 10 years of age have been suffering with type 2 diabetes, which was earlier considered as adult-onset diabetes, affecting people over age 40”, (Jindal,
2010). Therefore, there is an obvious concern for children’s overall health since this isn’t the first health awareness campaign hosted by the Dubai Health Authority there were multiple in the past that were not highly successful. So hopefully by allowing us to project the message across to the designated audience we would be satisfying our client and public. Analyzing the public "The UAE records one of the highest rates of obesity in the world with almost 70 per cent of the population suffering from the malady." But there's limited data on obesity in the region, which is the reason for the research study”(Naidoo, & Moussly, 2009). “UAE children have 1.8 times the rate of overweight compared to international standards at 10 and 18 years of age”, (Al-haddad, Little, & Abdul Ghafoor, 2005). The public that we wish to appeal to are young children from grade 4-9 of both genders which would make their age range start from 9 in grade 4 and go up to 15 in grade 9. This is because during this age they are very much inactive which results in them being overweight, “Nearly 78 per cent of UAE children lack the amount and type of physical activity that would protect them from cardiovascular disease and keep them healthy, according to a study conducted by the World Health Organization”, (Zaman, 2010). The second audience we wish to acquire is educational institutions here in Dubai since children spend most of their day in school so we have to try and make a change there, which hopefully will influence the child and allow them to carry the habit home. Parents have a large part to play in the up bringing of the new generation therefore, we hope to be able to persuade and enlighten parents about this ordeal. Goals By the end of our campaign in duration of 2 months we will have educated parents, children and institutions on the benefits of exercise. We will have contributed to the nutrition and activity programs of schools. Parents will be more aware on the seriousness of the matter and will be able to provide solutions easy for them and their kids. The children will be weighed in after 2 months and weight loss recorded.
Positioning We would like our campaign to be viewed as trying to improve the lifestyle and health of the youth in Dubai. We do not only focus on parents and institutions although they play a huge role in the shaping of a child, we tap into the psyche of the children and try to understand what makes the direct their time and energy to playing these games. Moreover we don’t only change the food consumed we give reasonable and attainable solutions that can easily be interpreted by parents and schools. Our main interest here is the children for it is a shame that they spend their childhood in front of a screen they are missing out on the world around them. Objectives By the end of our campaign in duration of 2 months we will have educated parents, children and institutions on the benefits of exercise; specifically by a series of talks and actual instructive classes on how to get the children to move and play activities we will measure this by the number of parents and faculty sign up and agree to this. We will have contributed to the nutrition and activity programs of schools this will be checked by the end of the campaign this would visible on the schedules to that the schools incorporate what they’ve learnt. The children will be weighed in after 2 months and weight loss recorded. Proactive strategy Our campaign is created to spread awareness to parents and children that are 8 years old up to 16 year old teenagers about obesity and overweight, specifically to encourage children to start engaging in more physical activities instead of spending hours playing video games. The first strategy that our campaign is planning to use is to reach schools. The plan is to increase physical activities and emphasize sports and exercise including games that are entertaining and fun and will motivate the kids to participate and enjoy their time at the same time. Food is a very important element to decrease this problem and guide parents and children to live a very healthy lifestyle. Schools
should be educated and aware about the food they are providing and guided to provide healthy choices, and educating schools is part of our campaigns strategy to spread awareness and decrease obesity from an early age. Parents being educated is a very important element, our campaign will create a program in schools to educate parents and schedule different lectures to cover different aspects to teach parents how to provide a healthy life style to their kids, control the number of hours spent on video games and fight obesity. Reactive strategy Reactive strategy is prepared if parents were in denial and were not accepting the idea that their kids need help and are not aware of how serious the problem is, and if kids were not reacting to the program and refusing to participate. Therefore we will use the shock strategy to alarm parents with the true reality of their children’s condition. In this case our campaign will provide solid proof and try to deliver the message to parents on how crucial the problem is and how it could affect their kids in the future after a sufficient amount of research is conducted in the matter. Using the help of doctors and nutritionist to explain, educate and clear up the problem to parents to convince them to take actions and change their children’s lifestyle and justify the reason why we approached this matter with such apprehension because it’s a matter that requires serious action. If the children refused to participate and make changes, the plan is to change the routine of exercises and activities and provide physical activities that are more creative and exciting that kids might response to, and allowing kids to use their own imagination and translate their video games into games that require physical activities. Message source and spokesperson To be able to educate parents and create awareness strong sources and effective spokesperson is needed. A pediatrician from the Al Wasl Hospital would will be giving lectures to parents in Arabic with of course translated facts to be handed out in English and Arabic about obesity and how it is a major cause of many diseases. In addition a children’s sports trainer will give lectures in English to emphasize how physical activities is extremely important and crucial
in a child’s day. A real example of a child that completed our program who began overweight and used to spend most of his time inactive, but has faced this problem and lost weight by decreasing the time spent indoors and substituting it by exciting physical activities and exercise instead. The main spokesperson to inspire kids will be a celebrity that is loved and known between our age group, the famous local football player Ismaeel Mattar who will talk to the kids and will give a training session of exercises to motivate and inspire the kids. Message appeals Our campaigns strategy is to use two different message appeals. The first message appeal we will use to deliver the message is emotional appeal the reason we would use this form of appeal is, “Pathos, also called the pathetic or emotional appeals, persuades audiences by arousing the emotions”,(Lanham 74). The problem of obesity at a young age will need the help of parents, therefore emotional appeal to reach the parents and kids will be in our benefit to touch the parent’s emotions and encourage them to join their kids and help them. The second strategy our campaign will use is fear appeal. Since fear is known to be one of the strongest emotions, it should impact the parents and children to be aware of how serious and dangerous obesity is. This is stated through research, “The meta-analysis suggests that strong fear appeals produce high levels of perceived severity and susceptibility, and are more persuasive than low or weak fear appeals. The results also indicate that fear appeals motivate adaptive danger control actions such as message acceptance and maladaptive fear control actions such as defensive avoidance or reactance” (Witte, 2011). Verbal communication Strong words and quotes such as “Joint problems -- overweight people are more likely to get defects in load-bearing limbs” (Lang, 2011), will be used to communicate to parents. Clear simple and effective language will be used in our advertising, posters and brochures. Simple but effective quotes will be used, quotes from the best nutritionist. Brochures will be distributed on parents that will include advice and guidance to control kids activities and encourage them to decrease the time spent on video games and substitute it by physical activities.
Talks in both Arabic and English will be held and given by special trainers that will work along side the children during their activities that will educate parents how to control the number of hours that their kids spend on video games, and how to encourage their kids to go out and play games that need physical actions. There will be classes that will also educate parents to be able to create healthy meals for their kids that will include healthy choices but is delicious at the same time. In addition some lectures will be held by a spokesperson of the campaign an example is the footballer Ismaeel Mattar to spread awareness between both parents and kids about the side effects of being overweight and the lack of exercise. Social media will be a part of our verbal communication strategy, face book page and blogs will be created in both English and Arabic to provide a space for parents to discuss and suggest new ideas and advice to other parents to encourage their kids to participate and start adding physical activities on daily basis. Nonverbal communication Nonverbal communication will be mostly used to reach kids since it is an easier way for the kids to absorb and understand the problem through images and symbols instead of verbal communication. Posters and images will be displayed to the kids to spread awareness. Pictures of a child that suffers from being overweight, with a picture of the same child after following a healthier life style looking much slimmer and healthier. Some images of internal organs of people that suffer of obesity will be displayed as well, to allow children to be able to see what really happens inside of their bodies and how it is affecting their health. Music will be also one of our campaigns strategies to encourage the kids in their exercise routines to create a fun and exciting atmosphere. We will create a song made up of the sound clip of the infamous video game “Super Mario” that will incorporate other current music sounds, to be able to communicate and reach the kids indirectly and try to make the physical exercises fun and entertaining for the kids. A logo will be also created for our campaign. The logo will have been designed to express the purpose of our campaign, which is creating a healthy lifestyle for our young generation. Example below:
Pre-campaign: Before launching our campaign, intensive research was made to be able to pick the locations that our campaign will take place in. We looked through schools and made research to be able to find the numbers and statistics that will help us make the decisions. Some schools had a higher rate of obesity than other schools which made it clear where our campaign should take place in and where our expertise will be most needed. Our campaign has to first take permission from the government, head masters of schools, and also the parents before launching the campaign. Letters will be sent to parents through students to get permission and approval of parents to start the campaign and the new programs in their children’s schools. Press releases: We will be sending out a press release specifically announcement releases that will inform the audience about the campaign and will interest the anticipated audience. A press release will be send to numerous newspapers to reach the educational institutions, business institutions, and parents. To reach our targeted audience we decided to send the press release to four newspapers AlBayan, Emarat Alyoum, Gulf News, 7 Days. Our choices are local Arabic newspapers with mass audience and are newspapers that are very common to the Arabic readers. Al Bayan newspaper and Emarat Alyoum newspaper are Arabic newspapers that are very popular in the UAE and have large audience. For English readers the choice of Gulf news and 7days newspaper was made to send the press release. Gulf news is a very popular and common English newspaper therefore it is to our benefit to send the press release through Gulf news. 7 DAYS newspaper is a free of charge English newspaper that is provided in many places such as work locations, universities, schools, petrol stations, coffee shops, and restaurants that will help spread our press release and reach our targeted audience. Website: Our campaign will create an internet homepage that will be very informative and helpful and a way to communicate with the audiences that are interested in our program. For parents that are interested in our campaign and program this website
will provide information about our program, tips and advice to a healthier lifestyle for their kids, and audio recordings of the lectures that our campaign will hold. Parents will be able to participate and join the program easily through the website. It will be an effective way of communication between the campaign and the targeted parents. Buzz Text messages through mobile phones will be sent to the parents in schools about the launch of our campaign to create a buzz and directly reach our audience. In addition, a face book page will be created to post effective images and videos and to provide a space for our audience to communicate and share their suggestions and opinions. There will also be a Blog that will be held by the campaign that will include images, news, updates and information about our campaign. Photos and Captions Diagrams explaining the internal and future dieses caused by obesity will allow us to gain more of an impact because visually to see what’s going on inside the body may effect the children and parents to take action. And example is presented below:
Images of showing the result after committing to having a healthier lifestyle to encourage both parties that it is possible to loose weight.
If children maintain the lifestyle they are currently living at the weight they are living we will present to them images of themselves at the age of 40.
Hopefully the images presented will make parents and children aware of the seriousness of the situation they are in and hopefully entrust us in taking action towards their weight loss and improving their lifestyle. Studio Interviews An interview would be conducted with a certified pediatrician from Al Wasl hospital in Dubai where questioned would be asked about over all children’s health. Questions would be asked about the seriousness of being overweight and the multiple diseases that would result from leading an unhealthy lifestyle. The interview would be pre-recorded and aired as a few minute show where factual information would be given out to viewers.
Special Events A sports day event before the launch of the campaign would allow us to interact with our audience and gauge the level of fitness amongst the children. We would also get the children excited about participating further in more active games. This event would be held at the prime location of the campaign. Distribution To distribute the informational brochures we would give each student a designated information pack that they can take away with them. And for the parents and educational instructors we would give them at the end of the lecture session an information pack that contains the key point mentioned by the speaker and informational brochures.
Schedule and Budget
Evaluation plan After having completed the entire set period of assigned activities and the change of nutritional intake in both the educational institutions and households, we would from a weigh in day for all who participated to monitor and document the overall improvement. To ensure this healthy lifestyle continues we will ask schools whether or not that wish to implement the nutritional recipes into their menus. Moreover institutions will be asked if they wish to incorporate more of an active program to keep children active. After the ending of the campaign the families and teachers will be able to access further guiding on how to improve the lifestyle of their children online. This way they will be able to reach our experts and upload improvements in their children’s overall health and hopefully encourage other struggling families to stay persistent. References •
Al-haddad, F., Little, B., & Abdul Ghafoor, A. (2005, January). Childhood obesity in united arab emirates schoolchildren: a national study. Retrieved from http://www.fchs.ac.ae/fchs/uploads/Files/Semester%201%20-%2020102011/1972/Childhood%20Obesity%20UAE.pdf
Jindal, N. (2010, July 12). Uae health ministry's anti-obesity programme targets teens. Retrieved from http://www.themedguru.com/20100712/newsfeature/uae-health-ministrys-antiobesity-programme-targets-teens-86137133.html
Lang, K. (2011). The dangers of childhood obesity . Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Dangers-of-Childhood-Obesity&id=310534
Lanham, Richard A. A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.
Naidoo, A., & Moussly, R. (2009, December 13). Youth obesity the uae's biggest problem. Retrieved from http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/education/youth-obesity-the-uae-s-bigproblem-1.552573
Witte, K. (2011). A meta-analysis of fear appeals: implications for effective public
Zaman, S. (2010, October 23). Inactive children in uae face heart disease risk. Retrieved from http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/inactive-children-in-uaeface-heart-disease-risk-1.700424
After few years: http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/issues/Issue_318/picture.gif
Before ad after pictures: http://slimnirvana.com/images/Child%20Weight%20loss.jpg
Diagram of the internal effect of obesity: http://images.obesityhelp.com/uploads/cms/11323/complication-childhoodobesity.jpg
logo design: http://www.stone-cross.info/cwlc/images/C4LIFE_SmallLogo.jpg