Educating our youth and their parents will possibly help reverse some of the ill effects of obesity and poor diet choices. Once parents have an understanding of the damage that diet is having on their children, maybe they will pass their new found knowledge and wisdom to their children in a loving, supporting fashion. As a Christian, I approach nursing as a labor of love which brings glory to God by providing for clients, the clients families, and supporting my peers.
If you use God’s word as a guide for how you conduct yourself you will approach nursing with a more nurturing approach than a non-believer. Once you have the wisdom that God gives you to guide you, you are powerful. As Christians we are aware that God arms us with this knowledge and has an expectation that we will use it to bring glory to him.
The Bible instructs parents to start training children young so that the lessons become second nature. “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Prov. 22:6 New International Version). We as nurses need to support them and be patient as they improve upon their roles which will benefit their children in the long run and finally reverse the growing numbers of obese children in the United States once and for all.
As Christian nurses, we serve as role models to our clients and their families. It is our job to help children and their parents see that the parents control what kids eat. Typically in the past parents would be more involved in determining what their kids would eat and the activities they would participate in (Rolfes, Pinna, & Whitney 2016). Parents can be more proactive in their child’s life by encouraging activity, limiting and controlling the majority of what kids eat, and engaging the child more. One way of teaching children to eat better is by including them in the process of preparing food (Rolfes et al., 2016).
Sadly, in the United States (US) one of the most prevalent medical conditions that affect children is childhood obesity. In fact, childhood obesity in the United States (US) has tripled since the 1970’s.
Data from 2015 and 2016 shows that the prevalence of obesity in youth rose steadily during the last 18 years (Hales, et al., 2017). There are several factors that can leave children vulnerable to suffering from this epidemic such as socioeconomic background, culture, and family lifestyle.
Regarding childhood obesity, God has given us the responsibility of knowledge so it is our job as nurses to educate children and parents about the risk factors that can be reversed in order to avoid being another statistic.
After careful reflection and prayer, the topic of childhood obesity really touches my heart. According to Hales, Carroll, Fryar, and Ogden (2017), obesity is more prevalent among non-Hispanic black (22.0%) and Hispanic (25.8%) youth which is the category my family falls into. As a child I struggled to maintain a healthy body weight, suffered from a distorted body image and have had my oldest son Rocco fight the same battles before he came to live with me full-time.
First of all, obesity is defined as having excess body fat. The way the degree of obesity is measured is known as body mass index (BMI), which is a commonly used screening tool that measures body fat and quantifies it into levels ranging from fat to lean depending on the percentage (CDC, 2018).
As a nurse, it is important to follow a code of ethics that will help guide your actions. The American Nurses Association (ANA) established 9 provisions that encompass a set of values to help put things in perspective (Code of Ethics, 2015). The provisions contained within the Code of Ethics for nurses serves as a guide to help with the promotion of clearer decision-making and the performance of virtuous action. These provisions are not just another regulation or rule of nursing but an outline of actions that we as nurses are obligated to perform for the good of the client and our profession. The provisions all contain an element of the kind of nurse I aspire to be but the provision that speaks to my heart is provision 2 which states, “The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, community, or population.” (Code of Ethics, 2015).
The provisions within the code of ethics remind me of the Ten Commandments in a sense because, while most of us know what the right thing to do is, the Bible simplifies some major sins in the form of the Ten Commandments.
Christian nurses are agents of restoration and healing put on earth to help people from all walks of life no matter what their beliefs are. As a Christian nurse, I view the Bible as the code of ethics put in place by God for me to follow and lead an ethicallife.
The Bible commands us to bring glory to God by our deeds and actions. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Mat. 5:16 New International Version). Fortunately for us, God speaks through his words and directs us in the way to proceed.
This paper will discuss how nurses are guided by the nursing code of ethics, childhood obesity, and childhood obesity prevention.
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