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Childhood Obesity in Ocean Springs Mississippi


Obesity can be defined in simple terms as having too much fat than the amount required by the body and it occurs when you consume more calories than is required by the body. This imbalance between the calories getting in and out of the body may be a result of overeating, eating foods of high-fat content, genetic makeup, and the lack of physical activity to help in metabolizing the excess fats. It’s also important to note that being overweight does not necessarily mean being obese because the extra weight could be as a result of muscles, body water, fats, or even bones (Medline plus, 2009, Para. 1).

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To ascertain whether a person is obese or not, a BMI (body mass index) test – a measure of weight and height – is carried out. The BMI is not able to ascertain the number of fats in the body and may therefore provide misleading information, especially where a person has a lot of muscle, even though it may be efficient on persons of average body weights.

Obesity has been shown to have a lot of trigger effects and some of these include the consumption of a lot of calories. Research has shown that there has been increased carbohydrate consumption in the USA over the past years and this can be attributed to the fact that agricultural production in most of the developed countries is less expensive. Lack of sleep is also associated with obesity as it leads to the production of ghrelin which stimulates appetite and hence overeating. Some bodies react negatively to some medications leading to overweight, and therefore alternative medication should be afforded to those individuals who are susceptible to weight gain.

Another cause is the sedentary lifestyle in which machines are used to do most of the chores hence the body is not exposed to enough exercise. Some of the food substances taken in may disrupt the endocrine system thereby interfering with the lipid metabolism (Medical news today, 2009, Para. 10). Mississippi is one of the states that have taken the government initiative of Healthy People 2010 goal seriously in a bid to reduce the levels of obesity to about 15% or less (Cardiology Today, 2009, Para. 11).

Obesity in Children in Mississippi

In Mississippi, around 24% of students in grades one to eight have reported cases of obesity, with more cases likely to occur, prompting Mississippi State Department of Health and the Department of Education to come up with the childhood obesity prevention program to train nurses on techniques to deal with increasing cases of childhood obesity in the area (News around the State, 2009, Para. 1) Mississippi is the leading state with the highest number of obesity cases, accounting above 30% of all cases reported (Cardiology Today, 2009, Para. 6).

It is one of the states that have taken the people 2010 goal for health with a lot of seriousness. The state’s childhood obesity has also been on the rise, hitting a 44.4% mark; and it’s due to this high rate that the state has taken steps to promote healthy eating and an active lifestyle through

Interventions using Watson Theory

The theory was developed to bring focus on nursing as an “emerging field and profession with its distinct ethics, values, and knowledge to the society” (Fitzpatrick and Wallace, 2006, p. 624). The theory of human caring is based on several assumptions to be made for to be effective, Watson has outlined the curative factors to be taken into account by the caregivers and they include the formation of an altruistic humanistic system of values which implies that the values should be developed from childhood and be shared with the parents, and to instill faith and hope into the patients through nurse’s encouragement to the individual’s wellbeing even when medication has failed.

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This is important since it enables the nurse to genuinely interact with the problems of her patients, through being warm and empathetic with the patient. The development of feelings and expression, both negative and positive, is important since they help alter thoughts and behaviors and should therefore be allowed in a caring relationship. In addition, the promotion of interpersonal teaching ad learning is important since it enables the nurse to get the patient’s view on the problem; the environment should be supportive, protective, and spiritually nourishing. Lastly, assistance with the gratification of human needs is important and should be met to realize optimal healing (Watson, 2009, Para. 12).

The community health workers in Mississippi can use Watson’s theory in educating the children and parents o to reverse the obesity trends among them. They can help instill values of healthy feeding and healthy lifestyles in the children and their parents, which is important from a young age so that the children grow up practicing these values. They can also instill hope and faith in the children who are obese through words of encouragement, as it will enhance their total wellbeing; the nurse can also learn to genuinely express his or her emotions towards the child, which may be crucial in creating a friendship with the children and encouraging them to take the steps in changing the situation.

The nurse can also make the children change their thoughts as well as behaviors by expressing to them both negative and positive feelings and promoting interpersonal learning and teaching between them and the children. This will enable the nurse to know the obese children’s perspective on their condition and allow them to make the right decision after learning from the nurses. They can also help provide an environment that is supportive, corrective, and protective as this will enhance the healing process. Lastly, the nurses can intervene in the situation by providing the human needs to the children since they are important in enhancing optimal health.


Obesity is a serious health issue to the children and can result in the patient developing diabetes, heart disease, skin infections such as acne, high cholesterol levels, or even arthritis and its therefore important that the nurses develop a rapport with the children both obese and nonobese to allow cooperation in enhancing the healing process by encouraging positive behavior change through the adoption of a healthy lifestyle and health-oriented Values. To find a solution to the problem in Mississippi both the government and the community will have to work together and join heads in making crucial decisions towards reducing the cases of obesity both in children and adults.

Work Cited

Cardiology Today. ”U.S obesity rates continue to rise.” Cardiology Today. 2009. Web.

Fitzpatrick, Joyce J., and Wallace, Meredith. .Encyclopedia of nursing research. 2nd Edition. New York, Springer Publishing Company. 2006.

Medical news today.” What is Obesity?” Medical News Today. 2009. Web.

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Medline Plus. “Obesity”. Medline Plus: Trusted Information for You. 2009. Web.

News Around the state.”Mississippi School Nurses to be First in Nation to Offer Childhood Obesity Prevention Program.” Hospitals and Hospital Employees in the News around the State. 2009. Web.

Watson, Jean. “Watson’s philosophy of nursing”. Current Nursing: A Portal of Nursing Professionals. 2009. Web.

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