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Childhood Obesity Prevention: The Role of Nursing Education


Nowadays, many healthcare facilities and independent researchers admit the growth of childhood obesity as a global epidemic problem. The role of a medical worker is frequently discussed to underline a possibility to monitor a body mass index (BMI), evaluate co-morbidities, and give counseling (Dabas & Seth, 2018). Nursing knowledge also has a critical influence on the child’s development and growth, and nurse-family cooperation may prevent obesity in children.

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Such outcomes as the improvements in nutrition education, regular health screening, and parental involvement are the elements of nurses’ participation in interventions focused on childhood obesity control and prevention.

The Role of a Nurse

Nurses participate in leading and changing the quality of health care and supporting doctor-patient cooperation. Nurse practitioners have to deal with childhood obesity challenges and identity healthy physical and environmental factors to help pediatric patients and their parents (Buckley & Bennett-Murray, 2018). In this project, there are three main areas where the role of nurses has to be discussed, including nutrition education, the importance of health screening, and parental involvement.

Nutrition Education

Control and prevention of childhood obesity depend on a variety of factors, and nutrition education is one of the areas where nurses can make certain contributions. According to Guerra, da Silveira, and Salvador (2016), schools are the best places for the development of proper nutrition interventions and physical education. The consumption of fruits and vegetables may result in a considerable decrease in weight and control children’s activities and body growth (Guerra et al., 2016). The maintenance of a healthy weight is one of the goals of children, and nurses, as well as parents, have to assist. Their knowledge about what causes overweighting is obligatory for children, and the age between 5 and 15 is a period when such information should be promoted.

Health Screening

Obesity in children is diagnosed as soon as some health screening shows out-of-normal results. BMIs and the level of blood pressure are the main signs of problems in weight among pediatric children (Staiano, Marker, Liu, Hayden, Hsia, & Broyles, 2017). In the majority of cases, parents or children fail to observe slight changes in their bodies. However, nurse knowledge provides an opportunity to analyze patients’ vital signs and recognize threats to health.

Nursing education is a good opportunity for patients to understand what goes wrong and when a child needs professional help. Treatment practices directly depend on the results of screening, and nurses are the major sources of this information (Staiano et al., 2017). Increased nursing assessments and healthcare services for children predict the development of obesity and improve the quality of life.

Parental Involvement

The healthy growth of a child is a direct responsibility of parents. Sometimes, the level of communication between parents and children is not as high and trustful as it should be, and, as a result, a number of concerns occur, contributing to the emergence of health problems. According to van de Kolk, Verjans-Janssen, Gubbels, Kremers, and Gerards (2019), direct parental involvement interventions promote healthy child weight status. Parents should share their experiences and understand the needs of their children in controlling their health. Nurses have specific communication skills to support this type of cooperation and explain why this activity cannot be ignored.

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Investigating medical employees’ opinions, this paper shows what contributions a nurse can make for obesity treatment. Many families need additional support and explanations to comprehend what healthy habits are critical for children. Nurses work with patients and doctors, and their experience is usually enough to improve families’ awareness about obesity control. Nutritional education, health screening significance, and parental involvement are the elements of nursing education for patients. This information should help parents and children understand how to predict obesity-related complications and maintain good health.


Buckley, J., & Bennett-Murray, J. (2018). The role of the nurse practitioner and childhood obesity. Cultura del Cuidado, 15(2), 27-33.

Dabas, A., & Seth, A. (2018). Prevention and management of childhood obesity. The Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 85(7), 546–553. Web.

Guerra, P. H., da Silveira, J. A. C., & Salvador, E. P. (2016). Physical activity and nutrition education at the school environment aimed at preventing childhood obesity: evidence from systematic reviews. Jornal de Pediatria, 92(1), 15–23. Web.

Staiano, A. E., Marker, A. M., Liu, M., Hayden, E., Hsia, D. S., & Broyles, S. T. (2017). Childhood obesity screening and treatment practices of pediatric healthcare providers. The Journal of the Louisiana State Medical Society, 169(1), 2-10.

van de Kolk, I., Verjans-Janssen, S. R. B., Gubbels, J. S., Kremers, S. P. J., & Gerards, S. M. P. L. (2019). Systematic review of interventions in the childcare setting with direct parental involvement: Effectiveness on child weight status and energy balance-related behaviours. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 16(1). Web.

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