Childhood Obesity:

Examining how the Harlem Food Desert is contributing to the obesity epidemic at PS 129.

Allary Montague

PS 129, John H Finley School for Excellence




Food deserts are urban areas with limited access to affordable or good-quality fresh fruits and vegetables. Typically, food deserts are located in inner-city, low-income, and urban neighborhoods. According to the official New York City Health website, 1 in 5 kindergarten students, and 1 in 4 Head Start children, is [are] obese. These statics are not only troubling, but also extremely telling. Why are the childhood obesity rates so much higher in our middle school as opposed to higher income middle schools in Manhattan? Are the parents/caregivers solely to blame? Or is the lack of access to supermarkets, grocery stores or other food retailers that offer the large variety of foods needed for a healthy diet such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fresh dairy and lean meat products a larger contributing factor?





The principal of our middle school, Mrs. Pierre is very concerned about the health of her students. She has decided to create a task force whose sole mission is to examine the relationship between the obesity of the middle school students and the Harlem Food Desert. As a member of this special task force, you will be required to present either a PowerPoint Presentation(minimum of 10 slides), or three page research paper (typed, double spaced, Times New Roman size 12 font in which you explain the issues of childhood obesity and examine in detail the link between this health issue and the Food Desert epidemic of Harlem.




Image result for bad foods vs good foods



You will be using the PPA model to address this issue

        Carefully look over each of these steps and complete the worksheets with your group. Using the information you have learned, you will either make a PowerPoint (minimum of 10 slides), three page research paper (typed, double spaced, Times New Roman size 12 font), in which you examine the link between the childhood obesity in PS/MS 129 and the Harlem Food Desert as well as create a viable solution to this issue.


The Six Steps of the PPA

1)    Define the Problem Worksheet 1

2)    Gather the Evidence Worksheet 2

3)    Identify the Causes Worksheet 3

4)    Evaluate an Existing Policy Worksheet 4

5)    Develop Solutions Worksheet 5

6)    Select the Best Solution/Feasibility vs. Effectiveness Worksheet 6







         PowerPoint Rubric - Please click on hyperlink

         Essay Rubric - Please click on hyperlink




        Congratulations! Having successfully and thoroughly analyzed the link between childhood obesity at PS 129 and the Harlem Food Desert, you have completed your task. You are now a Public Policy Analyst. I encourage you to go further and try to put your solution into motion. Speak with your local council people and find out if they are aware of the solutions you have created.




Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.

Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing
on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.