Obesity and the Professional Nurse’s Role Paper
Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Currently, there are more than one third of children and adolescents who are determined as being overweight or obese (Ogden et al, 2014). In the past 30 years, the numbers of children who are affected by obesity have more than doubled (CDC, 2014). Clinically defined, children who are determined to be overweight are those who have excess body weight for their height and it is attributed to fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of (Stats, 2014). Children who are determined to be obese are those who have an excess amount of body fat and it is not attributed to physical ...view middle of the document...
Along with these preventable diseases in children, there have also been increases in specific cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and artherosclerosis (Seal, 2011). Other health problems nursing professionals can expect to potentially have to develop interventions for are nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome, asthma, and sleep apnea. Children who are obese are also more likely to develop psychosocial problems such as low self-esteem, anxiety related issues, social withdrawal, significant depression, and potentially suicidal behaviors (Daniels et al, 2005). Each of these factors has to be taken into consideration when developing treatment plans and goals for an obese patient.
Three areas contribute to obesity in patients. Those areas are unhealthy nutrition, sedentary lifestyle, and genetic factors. Nurses who engage with obese patients and their families play a critical role in the prevention and treatment of obesity. One area that a nurse can help to pinpoint these negative contributing factors is through a detailed family history. A family history can detect patterns of unhealthy nutrition, sedentary lifestyle practices, and genetic influencers that contribute to the patient’s obesity. This information provides further insight into treatment approaches that may be utilized and benefit not only the patient, but the family as a whole (Seal, 2011).
While the solution for decreasing childhood obesity seems fairly simple, there are a lot of complexities that underlie children being able to lose weight. Incorporating one hour of physical exercise daily seems like a logical solution, but in a recent study (Fadhouri et al, 2014), children who do incorporate at least one hour of physical activity daily are still determined to be overweight or obese. What this suggests is that treatment approaches will have to engage a wider diversity of interventions in order to meet the health demands that obese patients have. Interventions will instead need to be addressed from a multitude of interventions. Some of these interventions can include weight management, dietary education, and physical activity (Georgesen, 2014). Other suggested interventions are more holistic in nature and work with not only the physical, but the mental and spiritual components of treatment. Programs of that nature revolve around dietary education, physical activity, relationships, self-esteem, and positive lifestyle choices (Chilton, Hass, and Gosslin, 2014). There are barriers however to these types of treatment interventions such as time, transportation, and the ability to afford the program, as well as application in all settings, not just in clinic based programs.
Nurses should be aware of various factors that help to individualize the teaching plan and maximize the learning results (Taylor et al, 2010). Factors that should be taken into consideration when developing the teaching plan are the patient’s age, their developmental level,...