The prevention of cardiovascular diseases is directly associated with developing effective strategies to address the problem of obesity in Western countries, including the United States. Much attention should be paid to the role of nurses in this process. Even though nurses cannot control people’s daily activities and prevent them from eating unhealthy food, they can contribute to educating the population regarding principles of a healthy lifestyle and diets to avoid overweight and risks of developing cardiovascular diseases.
It is possible to agree with the idea that people are responsible for their health, and they should control their eating habits and exercises to prevent obesity. If persons do not want to change their habits to improve health and avoid risks of cardiovascular diseases because of obesity, it is rather difficult to influence their decisions and daily habits. However, the problem can be in the fact that these people are not aware of easy steps that they can take to overcome their health problems (Peate, Wild, & Nair, 2014). From this point, nurses should perform as educators and motivators to change the trend associated with increased rates of obesity and cardiovascular diseases not only in the United States but also worldwide.
In their work with patients, nurses should accentuate strategies and habits that are effective to cope with the problem of overweight gradually. When people do not notice immediate results, they often do not believe in achieving positive outcomes. Therefore, when patients think that some medications can help them cope with obesity or high levels of cholesterol without other actions, they should be provided with an alternative plan which includes simple steps to follow. According to British researchers, the prevention of obesity depends on changing behavioral patterns (Sellwood, 2013). Therefore, nurses should educate patients on how they can change their behaviors and habits in the most appropriate manner to achieve high results. Furthermore, nurses need to educate parents and teachers regarding the risks of obesity among children (Soltani, Ghanbari, & Rad, 2013). Thus, the goal is to demonstrate that the reduction of calories can be an easy task while following some rules, and moderate activities during five or ten minutes per day can also be effective.
Still, many patients do not follow nurses’ and practitioners’ recommendations even if they are rather simple. As a result, after the first coronary artery bypass surgery, risks of further surgeries increase (Peate et al., 2014). However, it is important to inform those patients with cardiovascular diseases who reject losing weight or following recommendations that insurance companies can refuse to pay for the other surgery because of high risks. Thus, it is possible to speak about an ethical question related to the situation when someone should pay for the surgery that could be avoided by a patient.
The problem is in the fact that people are often unaware of their role in preventing the development of different diseases, including obesity and cardiovascular disorders. Another problem is the fact that patients often do not want to take some actions to improve their health and avoid one more coronary artery bypass surgery, for instance. From this perspective, nurses should focus on educating people regarding a healthy lifestyle, diets, and exercises to help them become more motivated and cope with their health problems.
Peate, I., Wild, K., & Nair, M. (2014). Nursing practice: Knowledge and care. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.
Sellwood, L. (2013). Public health and obesity: The role of the district nurse. British Journal of Community Nursing, 18(1), 26-33.
Soltani, P. R., Ghanbari, A., & Rad, A. H. (2013). Obesity related factors in school-aged children. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, 18(3), 175-179.