Essays on Childhood Obesity

Essay Introduction

The Healthcare effectiveness data and information set (HEDIS) is one of the most widely used performance improvement tools in healthcare. A third of children and adolescents in the United States are obese or overweight (Church & Schub, 2018). This is a leading nutritional disorder in children in the adolescent population. This increases the risk of dangerous diseases such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, hypertension, joint problems, and acid reflux (Church & Schub, 2018).

Research Paper on Childhood Obesity

Primary care settings have been recommended as an environment where pediatric overweight and obesity management or treatment can be conducted, and the effectiveness can also be evaluated for outcomes in these settings (Amaro et al., 2016). The food environment has changed over the years, which increases the risk of childhood obesity. Foods are high in calories, fat, and sodium, as well as larger portion sizes, snacks, and high fructose drinks. Unhealthy food consumption by children has increased due to unhealthy food advertising. Due to an increase in computers, television, and video games and more reliance on cars compared to walking, there is decreased physical activity (Church & Schub, 2018). Statistics have revealed that almost 1 in 5 school-age children and young people in the United States suffer from obesity (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018).

Argumentative Essay Examples on Childhood Obesity

One way that obesity can be managed is through diet modifications. In order to reduce the number of overweight children, diet changes need to be made. This includes the promotion of consuming fruits and vegetables and the reduction of high-fat or high-calorie food intake (Amaro et al., 2016).

Thesis Statement for Childhood Obesity

For younger children, dietary modification is focused on creating healthy food choices that will assist them in growing their weight and creating lifestyle patterns that would support a healthy adult body weight (Church & Schub, 2018). As adolescents, dietary modifications can be designed for weight loss. However, this puts adolescents at risk of developing eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa (Church & Schub, 2018). Most successful diets are variety based, for example, eating foods that consist of adequate nutrients. Treatment for obesity or overweight should involve education about the maintenance of a healthy weight and providing support for the adoption of these changes as a way of life permanently. Patients and providers should have realistic goals and allow for a slow change (Church & Schub, 2018).

Secondly, behavioral lifestyle interventions can also assist in weight management. Components of behavioral lifestyle interventions include settings goals, changes in the environment, monitoring behavior, promotion of self-management skills, and reinforcing behaviors that are positive (Amaro et al., 2016). These changes require family involvement. One of the most frequent adaptations includes goals for each family, adjustments made per family basis or resource, and making these materials available to these family members (Collier et al., 2019). There are challenges with these changes as sometimes members of the family are not willing to participate, are not present at the primary care provider visits, or there is an inconsistency between the family members (Collier et al., 2019). The use of positive communication skills like motivational interviewing, discussion of different healthy living, environmental change, and family support can assist in making necessary changes (Browne & Haynes, 2017).

Thirdly, physical activity habit changes can help assist in managing weight. An intervention to reduce weight is to increase physical activity in these children or adolescents. It is recommended to increase the intensity of physical activity, increase the duration, and decrease sedentary activity (Amaro et al., 2016). This can involve being active in school, being part of sports activities, spending less time watching movies, playing video games, and planning daily physical activities for the whole family (Amaro et al., 2016).

Titles: Measuring Outcomes

In order to assess the outcomes for our patients, it is necessary to obtain patients’ height, weight, and waist circumference and monitor the changes. For children for ages 3-12 years of age, a growth chart can be used to monitor the weight and height of these children in relation to their norms by age (Church & Schub, 2018). For adolescents, BMI can be calculated, and their waist circumference can be measured in order to monitor their growth and weight. To assess intake habits for patients, it is important to take a 24-hour diet history. This means that we need to access or question what food or beverage the patient has consumed over the 24 hours (Church & Schub, 2018).

It is also important to question the patients on regular meals, snacks, habits of the family for television, computer, game time, intake of vegetables, water, high-calorie foods and any family medical conditions related to obesity, level of physical activity, personal and families eating habits, eating at night, and caffeine consumption (Church & Schub, 2018). Other laboratory tests can also be performed, such as a lipid panel to assess for high cholesterol, fasting lipid, creatinine level, and Vitamin K levels to assess renal and adrenal function, thyroid-stimulating hormone levels, blood glucose level, and HgbA 1c to access for diabetes which is common in obesity (Church & Schub, 2018).

Improved Patient Outcomes

Primary care interventions include promoting a healthy lifestyle for the patient and their family members. This assists in having the family be part of the care and management of the patient’s weight. Having family involved in the care and going step by step with the child assists in better outcomes for these patients (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2018). Educating the family members about the causes of obesity can help keep the family updated and make good choices regarding diet, exercise, and progress. Premature discontinuation from pediatric obesity treatment programs can be due to issues faced in the most clinic can be due to financial problems, or other issues faced by patients (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2018).

Primary care providers need to address modifiable barriers for patients, such as the use of technology to increase access, modify operations such as reimbursement of cost including advocacy, transportation, and having flexible scheduling, effective referral process with primary care and other medical practices collaboration. Primary care physicians ensure that patient-centered treatment with a family-based approach to treatment needs to be taken. We need to identify the patient’s or family’s expectations, address these expectations, establish mutual treatment goals, and work toward them together (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2018).

According to a study conducted that was designed to have a systematic review by providing quantitative analysis, which is a meta-analysis of pediatric weight management of intervention in primary care settings and evaluation of these interventions. This study provides a standardized effect size that quantifies the effectiveness of weight management intervention in primary care settings when compared to education, active lifestyle, and conditions that can be controlled. As the primary care setting is effective for weight management programs, prevention, intervention, and assessment of these efforts need to be included in all primary care settings (Amaro et al., 2016).

Weigh management can be addressed and followed by the primary care provider in a PCP by assessing the BMI of a patient, and if treatments take longer, they can be referred to other health care providers. According to evidence-based care standards, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends family support in order to make lifestyle changes, considering obesity as a chronic condition and providing education about the health risks involved with obesity. Electronic health records (EHR) can assist in improving patient assessments and interventions. Family-based behavioral counseling helps obese or overweight patients achieve their goal BMIs (Conlon et al., 2018).

Patient Ratings

One of the major problems with weight management for pediatrics is the failure to make appointments. Scheduling conflicts, different patient expectations, and financial problems are some common barriers to treatment. It is found that there is better appointment follow-through when there is less travel distance, shorter wait times, and better service (Bruni et al., 2019). This increases the chance of canceled or no-show patients, which helps the practice save costs and also be able to create a good rapport with patients. The use of technology these days has greatly improved customer service for patients.

As a practice, it will be beneficial to keep up with technology, such as text messages, emails, and calls for appointment reminders. Most patients have smartphones, and downloading apps that help keep track of their weight and provide tips on healthy living can be very beneficial. One of the apps that is recommended is Healthy Growth which provides tips on growth, physical activity, and nutrition that is created uniquely for each parent with children (American Academy of Pediatrics,n.d.).


Childhood obesity has greatly increased over the world. There are major health consequences of obesity, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and depression. Primary care providers can play a major role in incorporating healthy behaviors in children and their families in order to prevent obesity. Lifestyle changes through a healthy diet and increasing physical activity can assist in the child’s weight and well-being. Primary care physicians are able to keep track of the progress of weight loss, changes to be made, and further steps that need to be taken to improve patients and their family’s health. Due to reliance on technology, most families suffer from obesity, and incorporating the families in the weight management program with the child will greatly benefit the child as the results are more promising.

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