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Br J Nurs. 2012 Jun 28-Jul 11;21(12):731-5.

Childhood obesity: nurses' role in addressing the epidemic.

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King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, UK.


Obesity is a significant long-term health problem that is common among children and adolescents in Western countries. Being overweight or obese (extremely overweight) can contribute to type 2 diabetes in childhood and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Primary prevention of obesity prevents the development of serious secondary complications in adulthood. Nurses can help parents and children by providing nutritional advice and, through weight management programmes, offer strategies for decreasing caloric intake and increasing physical activity. Nurses' actions should always take a whole-family approach because it is challenging for obese children to alter their dietary or physical habits if not supported by their families. Nurses should work with all members of the multidisciplinary team in addressing childhood obesity as it is a major health issue with long-term mobidities.

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