Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

College of Nursing

Sub-Department

Nursing Practice

First Advisor

Kathleen Scharer

Abstract

Childhood obesity is a public health crisis that continues to grow in size and whose

impact threatens the future well-being of today’s children. The causes are complex and multi-factorial; and the consequences are both chronic and serious in nature. Insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, metabolic syndromes, fatty liver disease, menstrual abnormalities, gallstones, sleep apnea, poor body image, low self esteem, and discrimination are all potential consequences of childhood obesity. Research indicates that school-based interventions have the potential to be effective in reducing body mass index and childhood obesity. Increasing physical activity opportunities, requiring nutritional education for all students, altering the environment to encourage healthy lifestyle behaviors, and creating a school wellness council have all shown to be effective in decreasing childhood obesity, although to varying degrees. This paper proposes an evidence-based guideline for the management of childhood obesity in schools, based on the available literature. However, some findings are inconsistent and some of the interventions are expensive to implement. Further research is suggested in an effort to further refine these guidelines.

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