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Obesity in young children is becoming more and more of a problem in today’s society. The effects of this epidemic can be life long, or even fatal. Lack of nutritional education on the nurses’ behalf, theories on pre-birth influences and ignorance to the long term effects of obesity have lead up to being the main problems when dealing with childhood obesity. The causes of this epidemic range from before the child is even born, to the teenage stages. The role of a nurse is to address health problems of a single person, or poor nutritional habits of a family. It is important to involve the family as a whole when addressing a single person about their weight so that they know that they have their family behind them, supporting them through it all. “The child is embedded within the family system and therefore, it is very difficult for obese children to alter their dietary or physical habits if not supported by their families.” (Rabbitt 731).
If a nurse implements these kinds of strategies when addressing the epidemic, a greater impact of importance would be laid upon the person facing their obesity. There are many theories out in the scientific field that have to do with causes in childhood obesity. We hear about poor nutrition and shortfall of exercise, but we might have looked over the mothers role when she is pregnant. Poor eating habits and not enough exercise are both factors that contribute to the theory: The Developmental Over-nutrition Hypothesis. This theory states that the fetus of and overweight mother is more prone to being overweight as a child due to over exposure of free fatty acids and higher levels of glucose (Ding 0353). Research done by Debbie Lawlor and some of her colleagues has proven an association between BMI of parents and children (Ding 0353).
With the statistics that come with this research, we are able to identify core problems with family nutrition and eating habits. The fetus of a mother does not have the choice of what they do or do not eat, so it is the mothers’ responsibility to make sure that her baby is fed with proper, healthy foods. The amount of obese children in the United States has tripled since the 1980’s (Childhood Obesity 1). Not only is it the nurses’ and mothers’ job to watch what their child consumes, but schools play a major role in the epidemic as well. Although schools strongly promote exercise, the food that they are feeding to the children does not help progress their intentions of preventing childhood obesity. When I was in elementary school, we were served fried foods galore. There was never a day that went without some kind of greasy, fatty foods. Convienence also is a major facto when it comes to eating healthy.