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Childhood Obesity and Community Nursing Intervention


Across America, childhood obesity has become a national crisis. It is estimated that among the children aged between 2 and 19, one in every three children faces the problem of overweight or obesity. According to CDC (2016), the children aged between 6 and 11 years had an obesity prevalence rate of 17.5% while for those aged between 12 and 19 years it was 20.5% in the period between 2011 and 2014. Obesity leads to many health challenges. For instance, overweight and obesity are leading risk factors for hypertension and diabetes. Also, it has great financial implications as state and federal governments spend billions of dollars on medical costs to manage conditions caused by obesity (Karnik & Kanekar, 2015). Obesity has adverse psychological effects on the children as they cannot actively interact with other kids during playtime. A case in point, among girls, it has been associated with low self-esteem.

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Significance of the Problem

Among the pediatric population, the problem has become the greatest health concern as it has surpassed drug abuse. It is important to note that if the problem is not addressed, the children will grow with the overweight burden, and soon, the country will suffer economically as the people supposed to build the nation will be sick and most of the finances will be spent on health interventions. It is alarming that CDC (2016) pointed out that in a population-based sample of young people aged between 5 and 17 years, 70% of those who are overweight and obese have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. As a result, nurses have a vital role to play in addressing childhood obesity. This should be carried out at the community level as the nature of the problem requires a concerted effort between the key stakeholder such as parents and health professionals. For instance, a study by Traun, Flood, Meinen, Daniels, and Remington (2016) to determine the tools, strategies, facilitators, and barriers to effective childhood intervention at health facilities noted that for success to be achieved, there is a need for stronger connections between the key stakeholders, that is, the community, dieticians, and physicians. Thus, community nursing intervention is critical and should be designed by involving all the key stakeholders.

Statement of the Problem

Many factors have been attributed to childhood obesity such as behavioral and perception issues that enhance or hinder effective intervention measures. However, it has been found that sound health policies, advocacy, and concerted effort among stakeholders can be effective in interventions targeting children who are overweight and obese. For example, Visscher and Kremers (2015) pointed out that inclusive and comprehensive interventions are the basis for sustainable and effective health promotion programs. Prevention of obesity requires a change that will ensure that people adopt lifestyles that guarantee long-term good health benefits. As pointed out by a study by Visscher and Kremers (2015), the intervention should be based on comprehensive knowledge of the various determinants of health. To address obesity among children, an in-depth understanding of the context of the problem is needed to point out to the preferences of the consumers of the intervention. As such, the intervention requires participatory approaches in which stakeholders are involved in all the intervention stages.

Purpose of the Intervention

As indicated by CDC (2016) statistics, childhood obesity has become major stress for many American parents and has negative economic implications. Due to the high prevalence rates and the associated health risks it predisposes to the pediatric population, health professionals have the mandate to play. It is encouraging that despite the health risks, there are proven remedies to the problem. Therefore, the primary goal of community nursing intervention is to solve the problem of childhood obesity in order to improve the quality of life for the children and their parents. Due to the gravity of childhood obesity, there is a need for health professionals to design efficient and effective interventions to alleviate the problem. Besides, nurses have unique roles in preventing, promoting, and advocating for better practices; hence, the need for community nursing interventions to address the problem of childhood obesity.

Research Questions, Hypothesis, and Variables with Operational Definitions

Research Questions

The research questions will act as the guidelines for the design of the community nursing intervention to prevent childhood obesity. The following will be the guiding research questions.

  1. To what extent do nurses have a direct role in influencing the health status of a community?
  2. What are the key determinants of behavior that nurses should put into consideration to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the childhood obesity intervention program?
  3. Are there cultural perceptions in the community that affect the nutrition and well-being of children?
  4. Who are the main stakeholders in the health of children and what is their comparative effectiveness in the intervention?


  • H1. Childhood obesity is caused by multivariate factors that have a direct or indirect influence on the weight of the children; hence, interventions should be drawn based on consideration of all the determinants.
  • H1.Parents’ cultural conceptions are the determinants of children’s health and can influence the outcome of the intervention.
  • H0. Nurses do not have a direct influence on community intervention to prevent childhood obesity; the outcome depends on the involvement of all key stakeholders.

Identifying and Defining Study Variables

Different determinants should be considered in order to achieve success in childhood obesity intervention. Therefore, for the current intervention, the main variables include the health-related behavior, health history of the child, and demographic factors.

Demographic factors: The education and occupation of the parents/guardians and the age of the children.

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Health history: This is detailed information about the way the child has been gaining weight since birth and the dietary patterns of the child.

Health-related behaviors: This includes the health practices of the child such as physical exercise and environmental health factors that contribute to obesity. This variable will expound on the determinants of the dietary patterns and the conceptions of parents about obesity.

Operationalizing Variables

The health history will be operationalized by examining the well-child cards, the use of Head Start Records, and any other relevant information provided by the parents. The current weight will be measured using weighing scales and tape measures for the height. This will be used to compute the obesity status of the children. Dietary patterns will be estimated by the use of 24-hour recall which will be provided by the parents. Also, health-related activities will be provided by the parents and operationalized by the use of a Likert Scale to rank the practices as either healthy or risky.


CDC. (2016). Childhood obesity facts: Prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States, 2011-2014. Web.

Karnik, S., & Kanekar, A. (2015). Childhood obesity: A global public health crisis. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3 (1), 1-7.

Traun, B. D., Flood, T. L., Meinen, A., Daniels, M., & Remington, P. (2016). A qualitative pilot study of pediatricians’ approach to childhood obesity. WMJ, 115(3), 134- 139.

Visscher, T. L., & Kremers, S. P. (2015). How can we better prevent obesity in children? Current Obesity Reports, 4(3), 371-378.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, December 18). Childhood Obesity and Community Nursing Intervention. Retrieved from

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"Childhood Obesity and Community Nursing Intervention." StudyCorgi, 18 Dec. 2020,

1. StudyCorgi. "Childhood Obesity and Community Nursing Intervention." December 18, 2020.


StudyCorgi. "Childhood Obesity and Community Nursing Intervention." December 18, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "Childhood Obesity and Community Nursing Intervention." December 18, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Childhood Obesity and Community Nursing Intervention'. 18 December.

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