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Prevention of Obesity in Teenagers


Obesity is a widespread problem in the US. Many communities across the country are affected by the issue which threatens patients’ health and well-being often without them even realizing it. This paper aims to create an education plan for teenage patients and their parents to effectively inform them and help them avoid obesity. The plan is supposed to clarify teenagers’ view of obesity and help them avoid the condition with help from their families.

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In Florida, the teenager obesity rate is still considerable. As of 2010, every tenth teenage was obese. While the more recent data is not available, the research shows that adolescent obesity is on the decline (CDC, 2010). That shows that the current prevention programs are effective, but continuing to work in that direction can accelerate the process. The population at my clinic includes many teenagers of various ethnicities, which makes it a good site for obesity intervention. The approach to the program should be multi-faceted. Since teenagers are much more independent than small children, it is important to address them directly. On the other hand, family support is crucial in combating such conditions. Thus, it is important to develop an education program that will involve both teenagers and their parents.

Identifying the Focus Groups

The implementation of the education plan will require several steps. First, the focus groups need to be identified. Besides the obese teenagers and their parents, the education plan should target the patients from the potential risk groups. The patients diagnosed with hormonal imbalance and diseases like diabetes should be the primary focus of the intervention. Other than that, as the research shows the prime factor that can attribute to obesity is neighbourhood deprivation. It was shown to be more important than the individual well-being of the family (Rossen, 2012). Keeping in mind the state of the community from which the patients come is a key factor to targeting the intervention accordingly. Low-income neighbourhoods are likely to produce obese children since the overall poor socioeconomic state discourages outdoor activities and makes healthy foods less accessible. Even for a relatively high-income family, a deprived neighbourhood means a higher risk of obesity in children. Ethnicity can be another concern. As the research shows, African-American teenage females are prone to obesity (Nichols, Newman, Nemeth, & Magwood, 2015). That makes them another group in need of careful monitoring and review.

Intervention techniques

The second part of the plan is identifying the effective intervention techniques. The research shows that promoting the cooperation between the patients and their families is one of the most effective techniques for combating obesity (Nichols et al., 2015). Teaching parents about the positive effects of family support should be the first part of the education plan. Care should be taken to ensure that parents are informed about proper nutrition and lifestyle practices which help prevent obesity. After that, the practitioner has to elaborate on the need to support the child’s pursuit of the healthier lifestyle.

Aside from the obvious point of providing children with healthier foods and promoting physical activity, the medical workers should emphasise the need to provide the children with a positive image to follow. The other effective intervention technique is addressing the teenagers directly. With a right approach educating them how to lead a healthier lifestyle on their own can help both prevent obesity and get a positive emotional response. Another potentially effective approach is using the mobile apps. Those programs offer a comprehensive approach to a healthy lifestyle, combining it with everyday advice delivered straight to the teenager’s mobile phone. While the effectiveness of this approach is not fully proven, the research has shown a generally positive impact of the mobile phone-based interventions (Quelly, Honors, & DiPietro, 2015).

Approach to Teenager and Parent Education

Finally, the correct approach to education has to be used. The demonstrative approach seems to be the most relevant. Giving clear visual examples at all stages is the easiest way to ensure the understanding. At the start of the program, families should be taught about the effects of obesity on the organism in order to ensure the issue is taken seriously. Next, the medical worker should explain the steps that all of the family need to take and how they will help them. It is important to underline that the whole family should cooperate. After that, the professional should talk to the child separately. He should focus on the effects of the obesity on that teenager personally. Giving medical prognosis based on the child’s current condition is a good way to be persuasive. At this stage, the educator can introduce mobile apps as an effective method of achieving a healthier lifestyle. The final part of the program should focus on the cooperative efforts and support the teenager needs to combat obesity. The educator should stress that the efforts of the whole family are essential for a successful intervention. The scale of the program can vary from a single session to a small course which includes tracking the progress of the patient. The expenses associated with the program are minimal and are limited to the cost of time spent by the educator.


Overall, the proposed plan is simple. It includes tried practices and techniques to prevent and combat obesity. According to research, a similar approach has already helped many families. Implementing it at my workplace will help the ongoing struggle against obesity.

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CDC. (2010). Florida State Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Profile. Web.

Nichols, M., Newman, S., Nemeth, L., & Magwood, G. (2015). The Influence of Parental Participation on Obesity Interventions in African American Adolescent Females: An Integrative Review. Journal Of Pediatric Nursing, 30(3), 485-493.

Quelly, S., Norris, A., & DiPietro, J. (2015). Impact of mobile apps to combat obesity in children and adolescents: A systematic literature review. Journal For Specialists In Pediatric Nursing, 21(1), 5-17.

Rossen, L. (2013). Neighbourhood economic deprivation explains racial/ethnic disparities in overweight and obesity among children and adolescents in the USA. Journal Of Epidemiology & Community Health, 68(2), 123-129.

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