The Lack of School Nurses in Canada: A Barrier to Reducing Adolescent Obesity Childhood obesity is on the rise and a current issue for practicing nurses. Although nurses understand the serious health ramifications of obesity, when pressed for time this issue is often ignored (Lazarou & Kouta, 2010). In response to this trend, school nurses within the U.S. have formulated multiple obesity prevention strategies and implemented many obesity education programs (Shantz, 2011). In Canada, however, there are no school nurses; therefore, such programs cannot be initiated nor developed with the same consistency. Through examination of obesity statistics and current school nurse programs in the U.S., this paper questions why such a system has not been …show more content…
Lazarou & Kouta (2010) define obesity as “a chronic metabolic disease, considered to be one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease”, and state that hypertension, atherosclerosis and type two diabetes have also been shown to be more likely in people with obesity (p. 641). These adult health problems have now become commonplace amongst children and youth today (Tuckwood, 2012). With obesity being diagnosed at earlier ages, prevention becomes increasingly difficult; personal habits are harder to break, health risks are more serious, and the likelihood of living with obesity in adulthood is significantly higher. Fifty percent of children who are obese will become obese adults (Lazarou & Kouta, 2010). In order to grasp the relevancy of this health issue, an inquiry into Canadian data regarding adolescent obesity rates is in …show more content…
Established in 1968, NASN has over 15,000 members and four different publications, including the Journal of School Nursing (Shantz, 2011). Shantz (2011) claims that 75% of schools within the U.S. have full-time school nurses and they provide prevention strategies for obesity, make accurate referrals, and provide critical follow up to students. For example, in Florida in 2011, a countywide school nurse program was responsible for treating 45,000 injuries and advocating for 173,000 health screenings (Tuckwood,
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In the intriguing article, “The ‘Childhood Obesity Epidemic’” , Tina Moffat presented the health issue of childhood obesity. In recent years, obesity has become an important issue on the public agenda. Ever since I was young, the word obesity began to pervade and increased its popularity throughout high school and college, as people become more self-conscious about their body sizes and more influenced by the mainstream view on overweight or obese people.
Childhood obesity was defined as one of the epidemics of our modern society and it has changed to pandemic (WHO, 2000) due to increased number of cases around the world. The latest report from the World Health Organization confirmed 42 million infants and young children were overweight and obese (WHO, 2013). Australia experienced a high rate of obesity in the adult population and a fast growing increase in childhood obesity, counting 1 in 4 children becoming obese. This situation makes a big burden to the Public health system due to the expenditure of health promotions and interventions to increase healthy eating and physical activity in order to decrease levels of obesity (Australia Government, 2009). Development countries have been experiencing
Asthma, diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, depression, and even death are all effects of a deadly epidemic that is surging through the adolescents of America (Johnson). This epidemic is known as obesity. It has become the second leading cause of death in America, simply because it can lead to so many other health problems (Johnson). This devastating epidemic needs to be taken seriously. This can be done by examining the problem itself, the causes and effects of obesity, and figuring out some at-home and overall solutions.
Retrieved September 6, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Overweight and obesity: Data and statistics. Retrieved August 8, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Kit, B. K., & Flegal, K. M. (2012). Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among U.S. children and adolescents, 1999-2010. Journal of the American Medical Association, 307, 483–490.
In today’s society “one out of three children is considered overweight or obese” (Little 2011). Childhood obesity is linked to several severe health problems. Children who are overweight or obese are at risk of having cardiovascular disease and problems relating to that such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type-two diabetes during childhood. Physical problems aren’t the only problem relating to obesity; “Research confirms obese children are at a higher risk for social and psychological problems” because overweight kids tend to get bullied due to their weight (Little 2011). Children who have weight issues early on are also more likely to have weight issues as adults.
A study conducted by the CDC, in 2013, with a sample size group of 1,470 found that 17.8% of Arkansas adolescents were obese. The study also concluded that 15.9% of the 1,470 children were overweight. Overweight and obesity in adolescents can be attributed to many different factor (“Data, Trends, and Maps”). These
The obesity epidemic is only becoming more world wide spread as years continue to pass. Obesity has dramatically caused many negative effects on America and the way we live today. Obesity is simply defined as having excessive body fat usually resulting in serious medical problems. More specifically, though, obesity occurs when a person's Body Mass Index (BMI) — or, their weight in kilometers divided by the square of height in meters — exceeds 30 or greater. Studies have shown that about 13 million children and adolescents ages 2-19 are obese according to the article “Childhood Obesity: Can it Really Be Child Neglect?” by Abbie Goldbas.
The top three leading causes of death – stroke, cancer, and heart disease – are all caused by obesity (Oliver 2010). Not only is obesity the cause of premature loss of life, but it also costs America over 150 billion dollars a year in healthcare costs. In order to fix these seemingly overwhelming problems it is imperative that there is a
Altogether, obesity is a major health and social problem, which in most cases is initiated in childhood. To commence, obesity has contributed in many ways to the problems in our community. As a matter of fact, obesity has caused bullying in our community; likewise, it can possibly result in violence. Additionally, if this issue continues in the life of an adolescent, it can bring a great deal of diseases in the future. Moreover, increasing early death rates in a drastic fashion.
The high demand for medical care also increases the financial burden on the families and therefore the community as well. As one can see the community health is greatly effected by the high rates of obesity among its individuals. Children in particular have a massive effect because not only are they the future of that community, but they also influence the schools in that region. Healthy People 2020 regard obesity in America as a very serious problem especially among children. It is such a major issue because childhood obesity easily leads to obesity in adulthood that increases the risks for heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer (Nutrition).
The Government of Canada does its part by promoting healthy eating, physical activity and healthy weight but with less focus on the psychosocial factors of childhood obesity. The focus on childhood obesity prevention has to change; an alternative approach, Healthy Eating and Activity program was piloted in London Ontario and has improved the psychosocial factors that obese children face. This intervention programs approach deals with the psychosocial factors that obese children face and promote positive mental health by accepting children for who they are. In addition, schools have taken steps in the right direction to preventing childhood obesity by providing healthier lunch options but their focus on psychosocial factors have fallen short. Of the children affected by these factors only 17% of children seek help through limited services that may not match their needs.
Obesity in children is a significant public health concern. In addition, there is evidence that the incidence of children who are overweight is increasing despite efforts to the contrary. The consequences of child obesity are far reaching, implicating not only children on a physical scale but also socially and mentally. However,
Along with that dark train of thought, obese adolescents will also face many biological issues, mainly relating to their current, and future health. It is important to prevent and eliminate obesity within adolescents so that they can grow up to be healthy, contributing, members of society who are able to live