Policy Priority Issue

Topics: Obesity, Medicine, Nutrition Pages: 6 (1635 words) Published: March 16, 2014
Policy Priority Issue: The Childhood Obesity Pandemic
Marla C. Khalikov
Chamberlain College of Nursing
NR506 – 10999: Health Care Policy
Winter 2014

Policy Priority Issue: The Childhood Obesity Pandemic
Childhood obesity is a global pandemic requiring prioritization in policy and health care reform. It has many effects on acute and long term health, including increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and certain types of cancer. This paper addresses my personal interest in childhood obesity, the relevance to nursing, problem sources, empirical evidence critique, evidence-based practice options, sites to keep current, and prioritizing the level of action to best accomplish the goal of eradicating childhood obesity. Childhood Obesity: Why It Matters To Me

I have a vested interest in this topic because my family has an extended history of Type II Diabetes, Hypertension, and Stroke. I want to minimize the chances of my children acquiring these conditions. In addition, I live in San Antonio, Texas, which is one of the highest ranking cities in the United States for obesity, so I would like to see my community improve. The impact for nursing on childhood obesity is great. We need an in-depth exploration of how to assure that nurses are equipped with the policy, leadership, and behavioral change intervention skills, such as advocacy, collaborative leadership, and social marketing skills, that hold promise for preventing the critical public health challenge of overweight and obesity in our children (Berkowitz & Borchard, 2014). The pandemic of childhood obesity is truly a nursing concern as it embodies every aspect of the metaparadigm of nursing: person, environment, health, and nursing. Nurses are responsible for being advocates for the patient at the political and legislative level as well. They care for obese children through identifying the causes, assessing the condition, implementing treatment modalities, and evaluating the results of these interventions. The treatments include standard ADPIE guidelines of nursing, but also incorporate education, behavior modification counseling, advocating for health care reform, keeping abreast of current research and policy, and acting for legislation that supports best evidence-based practice for resolution of childhood obesity. Childhood Obesity: The Problem, Options, and Recommendations Lifestyle changes in our families, communities, schools, and country have led to difficulties in children consuming a healthy diet and engaging in physical activity on a regular basis. Currently, it is common for families to not have financial or geographical access to healthy nutrition or have safe places for their children to get exercise and play. In addition, schools have had poor dietary choices readily available and have cut regular physical education out of the curriculum. This contributes to the obesity pandemic and the medical conditions listed previously. Obesity rates have increased dramatically among all age groups since 1970, more than quadrupling among children ages 6 to 11. Today, more than 23 million children and teens in the United States-nearly one in three young people-are overweight or obese. Lower-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by the epidemic (RWJF, 2014). This is a devastating problem because of the profound affect it has on individual health, community health, health care systems, and financial burden at every level. Preventing childhood obesity is critical to protecting the viability of our health care system. Childhood obesity is a risk factor for many costly chronic diseases that put a tremendous strain on our health care system. It's estimated that the obesity epidemic costs our nation $117 billion per year in direct medical expenses and indirect costs, including lost productivity (RWJF, 2014). The goal is to dramatically reduce childhood obesity, thus reducing...

References: Arons, A. (2011). Childhood Obesity in Texas: The Costs, the Policies, and a Framework
For the Future
Berkowitz, B., Borchard, M. (2014). Advocating for the Prevention of Childhood Obesity: A
Call to Action for Nursing
OLPA. (2014). Bill Tracking: S. 799—The Prevention of Childhood Obesity Act. Office of
Legislative Policy and Analysis
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