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CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Childhood Obesity

Shannon Terrell

Delaware Technical Community College

NUR 340 Nursing Research

August 4, 2019
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Many children around the world today are suffering from a well-known issue of

childhood obesity. In today’s era children are more interested in sitting at home playing video

games or spending time on social media that they seem to forget to exercise or just simply be a

kid. Indoor activities seem to be the go to for all children today, which is causing them to

become over weight due to little or no physical activity that they pose in their everyday living.

Physical activity should play a key role in a child’s life whether it be swimming, baseball,

softball, or even playing volleyball with the family. According to the CDC center for disease

control and prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and adolescents in

the past 30 years ("Childhood Obesity," 2016). Incorporating healthy foods and physical activity

daily will help reduce the rate at least by a quarter. Proper education given to parents by

pediatricians, health care officials and school faculty will help too.

What can nurse’s, healthcare officials, parents and school faculty members do to help

improve the epidemic of childhood obesity? Parent’s and caregivers play a huge role when it

comes to nutrition and physical activity. Parents seem to not have the proper education when it

comes to the consequences of having a child or children that are overweight. Children that are

obese could have major health and psychological issues. According to the CDC ("Causes and

Consequences of Childhood Obesity," 2019) state:

o High blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are risk factors for cardiovascular

disease (CVD).

o Increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes.

o Breathing problems, such as asthma and sleep apnea.

o Joint problems and musculoskeletal discomfort.

o Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-esophageal reflux (i.e., heartburn).


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Childhood obesity is also related to:

o Psychological problems such as anxiety and depression.

o Low self-esteem and lower self-reported quality of life.

o Social Problems such as Bullying and stigma

All of these issues can arise when having a child that is or becomes obese. It can be very difficult

for parents and caregivers to make healthy food choices and find the motivation to exercise

especially after a long day of work. Look at it this way it is easier to take steps to prevent a child

from becoming obese than it is to reverse a significant weight problem ("How Obesity Affects a

Child's Long-Term Health," 2015). When children are introduced to food at an early age parents

should establish a proper amount of food so that they can maintain a healthy and proper diet.

The key role in nursing research is to find a prevention and intervention plan for the child

who is suffering from obesity. The role of a school nurse would be to educate and encourage

parents to make healthier choices when it comes to feeding their children. The key to prevention

and intervention is to make sure all parties agree to learn different techniques on how to care for

their child that is obese. Positive reinforcement should always be taken when a child is suffering

from obesity. Positive thoughts always equal to positive results. The involvement of family is a

key feature of effective interventions. In an analysis of different approaches, such as behavioral

camps and weight control programs, a review concluded that treatment for childhood obesity

should be delivered by teams encouraging increases in physical activity and changing dietary

behavior as a whole-family approach ("Tackling childhood obesity," n.d.). Obesity-prevention

programs in or as an adjunct to the primary care setting can emphasize responsive parenting
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practices to prevent obesity ("Childhood Obesity," 2018). Having the proper tools and education

for the prevention and intervention process is the first step for success. Making changes to better

a child’s life that is suffering with childhood obesity is for the best. Implementing a plan of

action for the child such as meal prepping, support groups and just being there for them will help

encourage them in making the change of a healthier life.

The literature used for this review consists of many sources. The search engine

EBSCOhost was used for current and peer-reviewed articles. The use of government websites

included the CDC which helped provide information on interventions, preventions and

consequences of childhood obesity. The other sources were based on nursing practices and very

well health websites. Sources focused on interventions on how to reduce Television times,

improving eating habits, and different behavioral interventions that will guide parents in the right

direction for success.

Despite the fact that there is an increase amount of information in regards to childhood

obesity there were still gaps in the literature that was not included. The articles and websites go

into very little detail when it came to food prepping, and different coping mechanisms for

children suffering from bullying due to childhood obesity and what to do if this happens to them.

Finding an autobiography would have been better, children with the same issues could see

firsthand what childhood obesity could do to you. Great information was provided in the terms of

health issues, and preventions that can be done to stop childhood obesity. Guidance on what not

to do before it happens is very limited.

In conclusion, childhood obesity is a public health concern today. Not only will it affect

children physically and emotionally it can also lead to serious health issues when children

become adults. When noticing issues with a child it is important to reach out to nurses and health
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care officials so they can assess the physical indicators that can be caused due to childhood

obesity. Healthcare officials can also educate our children, parents and caregivers of the process

that needs to be taken in order to seek help. Support groups and organizations in surrounding

areas can assist with prevention and intervention control of childhood obesity. Living with

childhood obesity can be a struggle but it is important to get help as soon as the problem is

noticed. Consuming a healthy diet and being physically active can help children grow and

maintain a healthy lifestyle.


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References

Causes and Consequences of Childhood Obesity. (2019, February 8). Retrieved from

https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/causes.html

Childhood Obesity. (2016, February 16). Retrieved from

https://www.nursingcenter.com/journalarticle?Article_ID=3268867

Childhood Obesity. (2018, December 1). Retrieved from

http://web.a.ebscohost.com.libproxy.dtcc.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=15

&sid=4dc3cf77-28cd-4d60-a9ea-23b41b7f3030%40sdc-v-sessmgr03

How Obesity Affects a Child's Long-Term Health. (2015, March 10). Retrieved from

http://www.verywellhealth.com/the-physical-consequences-of-childhood-obesity-

1095130

Tackling childhood obesity. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://www.nursinginpractice.com/article/tackling-childhood-obesity