Childhood Obesity: Sharing the Responsibility, Not the Blame
(5.76 Contact Hours)

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Written by: Carolyn O'Reilly-Beck

To successfully complete this course and receive your certificate, you must read the content online or in the downloadable PDF, pass the post test with a 70% or better, and complete the evaluation form.

The price of this course is $35.00. You will only be asked to pay for the course if you decide to grade the post examination to earn a certificate with contact hours.

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Learning Objectives

Childhood Obesity

After completing this course, participants should be able to:



Introduction

Childhood obesity is not a new issue. As nurses we are well aware of this serious public health concern. Professional nurses witness first-hand the effects of childhood obesity as they treat children in emergency rooms, primary care offices, school clinics and other settings. Preventing disease and promoting healthy lifestyles are standards of nursing practice - fundamental to almost everything nurses do in patient and community education (Jones 2010). And as nurses we recognize the magnitude of the childhood obesity issue and the implications for the obese child. We fervently educate families about the importance of making healthy food choices and the benefits of exercising regularly. But as we look around us, we can see that the issue of childhood obesity continues to be one of our nation's greatest health dilemmas.

Healthy People 2010 identified overweight and obesity as leading health indicators and set measurable goals for reducing childhood obesity to 5% and reducing adult obesity (over age 20) to 15% and reducing child obesity 10% from the 2005-2008 levels by 2020 (Healthy People 2010). In 2004, the Progress Review of Healthy People 2010 addressed nutrition and overweight and, paradoxically, reported an increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity for all age groups in the United States (Budd 2008).

What are the reasons for this lack of progress in combatting childhood obesity? Everyone seems to have their own opinion. Many people blame parents for not teaching healthy eating habits to their kids. Others suggest that the school districts are to blame for eliminating or reducing physical education classes and for not offering healthier foods in the cafeteria. So who really is to blame; the parents for being poor role models? The fast food industry? The food companies and their never-ending marketing campaigns aimed at kids? Do we blame it on the fast paced life-styles so many families live? Are the schools at fault for serving meals high in fat, carbohydrates and calories as a way to cut costs? In truth, every one of these things contributes in some way to the childhood obesity problem that plagues us today.


We are a nation of advocates. Of change makers. Of visionaries. We have achieved incredible medical advancements, such as developing childhood vaccines for adult cancers. When we decide as a nation that something should happen, it does. And yet, despite decades of mounting evidence, we have not been able to address the single-most important health threat facing our children today: childhood obesity.

Jacob C. Warren, Ph.D. and K. Bryant Smalley, Ph.D., Psy.D.
Always the Fat Kid: The Truth About the Enduring Effects of Childhood Obesity


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