Childhood obesity is one of the primary health concerns in the United States. It can be explained by the fact that it entails different critical health conditions, including chronic ones, such as type II diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, certain types of cancer, some cardiovascular, psychosocial, and metabolic diseases, and mental health issues as well as increased risks of morbidity (“Childhood obesity prevention program,” 2013). According to a recent study, there were approximately 12 million children, who are either overweight or obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). More than that, there have been no positive changes in this figure since the beginning of this century (Karp & Gesell, 2015). It means that the challenge is constantly aggravating (Nabors, Burbage, Woodson, & Swoboda, 2015). For this reason, it is critical to pay special attention to solving the problem of childhood obesity by focusing on minimizing the risks of the issue – preventing it. Therefore, the objective of the proposed evidence-based research is to speculate on the effectiveness of one of the interventions related to preventing obesity – launching an after-school obesity prevention program aimed at educating children and their parents.
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In this way, the primary idea is to educate children on the criticality of a healthy diet and physical activities for preventing the problem of childhood obesity. The fundamental assumption of this evidence-based project is the following: after-school obesity prevention programs are helpful for gaining a better understanding of the postulates of a healthy lifestyle, thus contributing to the decrease in the number of obese children. Also, these programs may improve kids’ quality of life due to the improvement of eating habits and fostering exercise habits (Nabors et al., 2015). In addition, it is essential to get parents involved so that they serve as role models for their children – eat healthily and exercise – so that children develop healthy eating and exercise habits.
Therefore, the expected outcome of the intervention is helping young children to develop healthy habits so that they give preference to fresh and healthy food in case of having free access to junk alternatives and exercise regularly. In this way, it is anticipated that they will get used to the taste of healthy food and what it looks like. In the middle run, it may help to prevent childhood obesity. Moreover, in the long run, similar interventions may help to cope with this problem and decrease the risks of related health conditions.
At the same time, it is paramount to mention that this issue was chosen not only because of the criticality of the childhood obesity problem but also due to its direct connection to the nursing practice. To begin with, being an FNP in a pediatric setting, there is direct access to patients with obesity, i.e. encountering them to become engaged in the programs. It means that there are no barriers to distributing needed materials and educating people. In addition, because of having enough background, it is not complicated to develop detailed and easy-to-follow guidelines for educating both children and their parents. Moreover, health care staff often deals with the consequences of such problems as obesity. From this perspective, it is a responsibility to make an effort to prevent the problem and share the necessary knowledge with people who possibly lack it and do not know how to protect their children’s health.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Childhood obesity facts. Web.
Childhood obesity intervention programs: Comparative effectiveness review and meta-analysis. (2013). Comparative Effectiveness Review, 115(1), 1-18.
Karp, S. M., & Gesell, S. B. (2015). Obesity prevention and treatment in school-aged children, adolescents, and young adults. Primary Prevention Insights, 5(1), 1-4.
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Nabors, L., Burbage, M., Woodson, K. D., & Swoboda, C. (2015). Implementation of an after-school obesity prevention program: Helping young children toward improved health. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 38(1), 22-38. doi:10.3109/01460862.2014.973081