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Diet Management in Obese Adolescents

Despite the measures taken to improve the quality of nutrition, obesity remains one of the primary areas of concern not only in the U.S. but also on the global scale (World Health Organization, 2015). Seeing that the promotion of healthy lifestyles among the community members and preventing diseases and disorders are the primary concerns of nursing, the specified issue is very relevant to the nursing practice. The purpose of the paper is to explore the effects of patient education along with more efficient techniques for managing obesity based on parental supervision on adolescents with obesity.

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Background and Significance of the Problem

When considering the factors that contribute to a steep rise in obesity levels among the target population, one must mention poor dieting choices and sedentary lifestyle (World Health Organization, 2015). Despite the gravity of the obesity outcomes among children and adolescents, the problem is often discarded as lacking significance by adolescents and their parents (Schlechter, Rosenkranz, Guagliano, & Dzewaltowski, 2016). The observed phenomenon can be attributed to the fact that the line between being overweight and obese might not be easy to spot by the target population.

At this point, the concept of the Body Mass Index (BMI) needs to be brought up. Designed to determine the presence or propensity toward obesity in patients, BMI is typically defined as the rating scale allowing the identification of weight-related problems (Prakash & Rao, 2015). The BMI formula is rather simple:


(Saiedullah, Sha, Siddique, Tamannaa, & Hassan, 2016). Thus, the goal of the paper is to define the effects that diet management and supervision have on the target population.

Statement of the Problem and Purpose of the Study

According to the 2015 global statistics, 42,000,000 children and adolescents suffer from obesity (World Health Organization, 2015). Therefore, the tools that will help improve the efficacy of dieting among adolescents need to be sought, and parental supervision is one of the suggested solutions. One must mention that several programs and frameworks have been designed to address the needs of adolescents with weight-related problems, including diets, an elaborate system of physical exercises, etc. (Jewell, Blessitt, Stewart, Simic, & Eisler, 2016).

However, the lack of motivation and enthusiasm leads to the incompliance with the suggested treatment instructions among young patients (Antoniou et al., 2015). Therefore, the intervention based on parental supervision coupled with a change in the patient’s diet is viewed as the possible intervention and the solution to the identified problem. It should be noted, though, that, in the specified scenario, parents should be not merely supervisors but also change agents that will encourage their children to accept the provided treatment options.

A recent study on the application of the approach based on parental supervision as the means of addressing the problem in question points to the fact that there are several patterns among the target population leading to the failure of the proposed interventions, the reluctance to eat the suggested food being the key one: “One such pattern is picky or fussy eating, which is characterised by the child eating a limited amount of food, restricted intake, being unwilling to try new foods and having strong food preferences” (Antoniou et al., 2015, p. 298). Consequently, consistent supervision of the eating patterns among the target population must be viewed as a necessity and the possible foundation for a more efficient intervention.

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The purpose of the study, therefore, is to explore the effects that the use of dieting and parental supervision as the strategies for addressing the problem of obesity has on adolescents aged 18-21 and with BMI of 30-39.9.

Research Questions, Hypothesis, and Variables with Operational Definitions

Research Question

Does the use of parental supervision of the diet choices made by adolescent patients with weight problems (age: 18-21, BMI: 30-39.9) affect the health outcomes positively (i.e., successful management of obesity and promotion of healthy diet choices) in the target population as opposed to the absence of parental guidance and any diet modification whatsoever?

Hypothesis: Research and Null

Research hypothesis

In adolescent patients aged 18-21 and with BMI ranging from 30 to 39.9, the use of the treatment strategy based on the promotion of healthy dieting choices and the introduction of parental supervision as the means of managing the target population’s behavior leads to a gradual drop in obesity levels and the acceptance of the suggested healthy dieting strategies, in contrast to the approach based on the absence of parental supervision and instructions about healthy dieting.

Null hypothesis

In adolescent patients aged 18-21 and with BMI from 30.0 to 39.9, the introduction of the weight management strategies such as parental supervision and the promotion of healthy dieting choices does not lead to a weight drop and the acceptance of the suggested healthy lifestyle.

Identifying and Defining Study Variables

In the course of the research, the relationship between the use of parental supervision coupled with healthy diet choices and the changes in the patients’ weight will be examined. Therefore, the strategies of parental control and healthy dieting are the key independent variables. The patients’ weight, in turn, is the primary dependent variable.

Operationalize Variables

As stressed above, the identification of the effects that the independent variables ostensibly have on the dependent one is the primary goal of the research. To explore the degree to which the specified variables impact the independent one, it will be necessary to quantify the research results. Thus, the foundation for a comprehensive program for weight management in adolescents can be built.


Antoniou, E. E., Roefs, A., Kremers, S. P., Jansen, A., Gubbels, J. S., Sleddens, E.F., & Thijs, C. (2015). Picky eating and child weight status development: A longitudinal study. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 29(3), 298-307. Web.

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Jewell, T., Blessitt, E., Stewart, C., Simic, M., & Eisler, I. (2016). Family therapy for child and adolescent eating disorders: A critical review. Family Process, 55(3), 577-594. Web.

Prakash, V. B., & Rao, S. V. (2015). A study of body mass index, lipid profile, and free radical status in coronary artery disease. International Journal of Technical Research and Applications, 3(6), 26-28.

Saiedullah, M., Sha, F. R., Siddique, M. A. H., Tamannaa, Z., & Hassan, Z. (2016). Healthy Bangladeshi individuals having lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level compared to age-, gender-, and body mass index-matched Japanese individuals: A pilot study. Journal of Molecular Pathophysiology, 6(1), 1-4. Web.

Schlechter, C. R., Rosenkranz, R. R., Guagliano, J. M., & Dzewaltowski, D. A. (2016). A systematic review of children’s dietary interventions with parents as change agents: Application of the RE-AIM framework. Preventive Medicine, 91, 233-243. Web.

World Health Organization. (2015). Childhood overweight and obesity.

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