The Problem of Childhood Obesity

Swartz (2009) defines childhood obesity as a condition in which the child’s body weight is more than the normal weight for the respective age, sex and height. Accordingly, childhood obesity leads to complications like legs bowing, joint pains, sleep apnea and psychosocial disorders (Melinda, 2011). Moreover, Kolata (2010) stated that obesity results into increase in the risk of developing health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and respiratory diseases. Therefore, childhood obesity requires prevention strategies. As a result, I developed a childhood obesity protocol containing risk identification, assessment, counseling, documentation and follow up.

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According to Gance (2008), parents should refer to a counseling on obesity in case if the child’s body mass index for age is more than ninety-five percentile, and if the child’s family cannot access nutritional counseling. In addition, a child with physical problems like joint pains, difficulty in breathing, and bowed legs requires investigations and further management (Dietz, 2009).

According to Cabbalero (2010), assessment of obese children includes history taking, physical examination, psychosocial analysis, and monitoring of diet and activities. The history of medical conditions is taken because some medications like multivitamins increase appetite (Armstrong 2009). Besides, monitoring also involves a review of a family history such as like weight issues because obesity can be genetically inherited (Swartz, 2009). Furthermore, from the presenting complain, the possible causes of obesity are determined (Swartz, 2009). On the other hand, physical examination entails weight and height taking followed by calculations of body mass index and determination of weight for age and height for age percentile (Melinda, 2011). In addition, Kollata (201d) states that psychosocial analysis is the assessment of the family readiness for changes. Besides, this assessment is done via identification of conflicts between caretakers, the access of the family to resources and the sources of the family stress (Kollata, 2010). Finally, review of a diet involves reviewing the diet that the child mostly takes (Gance, 2008). On the other hand, the activity review involves identification of the hours spent watching television and the hours spent playing outside (Dietz, 2009).

Cabbalero (2010) concluded that counseling should follow a diagnosis of obesity and goals should be set during the counseling session. Moreover, the counseling should focus on diet and behavior modification (Armstrong, 2009).To begin with, dietary counseling includes guidance in making food choices, discussion on food substitutions, suggestion of replacement of junk food, and counseling on both the amount and frequencies of food servings ( Swartz, 2009). On the other hand, behavioral counseling concentrates on encouragement of outdoor activities such as football playing for example (Melinda, 2011). Finally, goals are set according to the recommendations and they may involve behavior change or dietary change (Kollata, 2010).

Gance (2008) stated that documentation should prove that a nurse must performed specific tasks. In this case, everything is documented accordingly, and it includes risk determination, assessment, counseling and follow-up (Dietz, 2009). For instance, the nurse can document the child’s weight, height, medical condition and the dietary intake (Cabbalero, 2010).

The follow up of an obese child is essential in determining the child’s progress (Armstrong, 2009). During the follow up session, the nurse should assess the child condition and document (Swartz, 2009). If there is deterioration of child’s condition, the nurse can either set new goals or focus the patient’s attention on the need of further management (Melinda, 2011). Additionally, the nurse can counsel the patient and stress the importance of adhering to the set goals (Kolata, 2011).

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In conclusion, childhood obesity is a preventable condition yet very common because people find it difficult to change their eating habits and activity patterns (Gance, 2008). Therefore, I recommend that the community should be educated on the health hazard of obesity so that each member of the community attaches meaning to a personal lives and changes a lifestyle.

References

Armstrong, W. (2009). Childhood Overweight and Obesity. Journal of Clinical Nutrition , 786 (90), 267-278.

Caballero, B. (2010). Obesity in Children. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism , 346 (34), 175-189.

Dietz, R. (2009). Child Nutrition: Addressing Childhood Obesity. American Journal of Health Promotion , 12 (58), 135-140.

Gance, P. (2008). Prevention of Childhood Obesity. Official Journal Of the American Academy of Pediatrics , 1000 (342), 31-49.

Kolata, P. (2010). Assessment, Prevention and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity. International Journal of Obesity, 124 (1), 58-63.

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Melinda, N. (2011). Weight Problem and obesity in Children: Healping your Child Reach and Maintain a Healthy Weight. Journal of Pediatrics , 234 (67), 12-18.

Swartz, J. (2009). Helping Children Maintain a Healthy Weight. Journal of Pediatrics , 23 (9), 456-465.

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