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Obesity Prevention and Weight Management Theory

Nursing Theory for Obesity Prevention

The issue of obesity prevention within the project will be guided by a nursing theory. One of the theories applicable in case of childhood overweight is a middle-range theory of weight management (Pickett, Peters, & Jarosz, 2014). The focus of this theory is on psychosocial, cultural, and environmental factors that have an impact on the behaviors responsible for weight control. In fact, this theory is a deductive continuation of Oren’s theory of self-care related to the issue of self-care deficit (Alligood, 2014).

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The theory comprises the following concepts that are significant for obesity prevention. These concepts are “weight management behaviors, weight management agency, weight contextual factors and weight control” (Pickett et al., 2014, p. 243). The concept of weight management behavior is related to the concept of self-care. It presupposes behaviors directed at the preservation of caloric balance. In addition, it includes physical activity as a necessary component of weight management.

Weight management agency can be explained as “the ability to engage in weight management behaviors” (Pickett et al., 2014, p. 244). It is related to the concept of self-care agency. Weight management agency comprises ideas related to personal weight, motivation to manage weight, and knowledge of weight management. On the whole, weight management agency accumulates interventions aimed at weight control.

Weight contextual factors include the factors that have an impact on the capability for weight management and influence the individual’s requisites related to weight such as dietary preferences or the balance between activity and rest (Pickett et al., 2014). Moreover, these contextual factors include age, gender, comorbid conditions, socio-cultural background, and the impact of environmental and socioeconomic factors.

Finally, weight control is a significant component of this theory. In fact, it is compared to the concept of health. Also, weight control is a final goal of the project. It results from weight management behaviors that can be developed in project participants under the guidance of a professional nurse. The expected results of weight control are normalization of the actual body weight as well as the body mass index (BMI).

Implementation Plan and Outcome Measures

The implementation plan for the project will comprise the following stages. First of all, it is necessary to select personnel and provide their teaching to prepare them to work with children. The majority of professional nurses are prepared to work with adults in the aspect of managing obesity (Zhu, Norman, & While, 2013). Nevertheless, they lack the necessary experience with children and need additional training. Another important aspect of the implementation plan is the selection of project participants and informing them about the conditions of joining the project. The next stage is the implementation of a social-network-based intervention, which will be followed by measuring project outcomes.

The measurement of the project outcomes consists of three stages. During the first one, the measurements such as the height, weight, and body mass index, are reassured. The second measurement takes place after project completion. It helps to evaluate immediate results of the project. Finally, a control measurement will take place six months after the end of the project. It will allow assessing weight management behaviors developed in the course of the project.

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Potential Barriers to Plan Implementation and Ways to Overcome Them

Despite careful preparation, both practical and theoretical, some barriers can appear on the way to plan implementation. The first possible barrier is the lack of qualified nursing personnel with the experience of work with children (Penn & Kerr, 2014). This barrier can be overcome through introduction of an educational intervention for nursing staff focused on children with obesity. Another possible barrier is low interest of the potential participants of the project. Frequently, children with obesity refuse to acknowledge the problem and prefer staying uninvolved in any interventions aimed at obesity reduction and prevention.

However, this barrier can be addressed by a peculiarity of this project, which is the implementation of social networks. It allows staying anonymous and thus can attract more participants than the projects where physical presence is important. Finally, there can be a problem with outcomes measurement after project implementation and in six months due to problems with contacting all of the participants. To attract children and make them interested in reporting their results, it is a good idea to involve some bonuses such as free tickets to the movies to those participants who report their results.


On the whole, the project addresses a burning issue of childhood obesity. It implies an innovative social-network-based educational intervention, which is expected to attract more participants and demonstrate better results. The project demands careful preparation including the choice of staff and its training as well as stimulation of participants to report results. In this project, the role of a nurse is, probably, the most important one. Nurse professionals will be responsible for educational interventions and might need additional training. Finally, the project is expected to be effective for children with obesity who realize they have a weight problem and are ready to resolve it.


Alligood, M.R. (Ed.). (2014). Nursing theorists and their work. St. Louis, MS: Elsevier Mosby.

Penn, S., & Kerr, J. (2014). Childhood obesity: The challenges for nurses. Nursing Children & Young People, 26(2), 16-21. Web.

Pickett, S., Peters, R., & Jarosz, P. (2014). Toward a middle–range theory of weight management. Nursing Science Quarterly, 27(3), 242-247. Web.

Zhu, D., Norman, I., & While, A. (2013). Nurses’ self-efficacy and practices relating to weight management of adult patients: A path analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10(1), 131-141. Web.

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