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By 2015 it is estimated that more than 700 million people globally will be obese with children adolescents and adults increasingly at risk of developing life-threatening diseases such as stroke cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes Darweish 2012 Regardless of what the main cause is behind a childs larger weight it is nonetheless important for nurses to intervene correctly and assist in managing this growing epidemic Although it has been studied whether raceethnicity age gender and poverty are predisposing factors to obesity it has been demonstrated that advancing age is the single largest predictor For this reason research has explored and evaluated the different approaches to managing this epidemic making emphasis on prevention and early intervention Obese children develop serious medical and psychosocial complications and are at an increased risk of adult morbidity and mortality Nurses can help parents and children by providing nutritional advice strategies to decrease caloric intake and ways to increase physical activity Rabbitt Coyne 2012 Childhood obesity is best defined as an excess of body fat There has been a variety of ways to make a clear distinction of the amount of excess fat that can further classify a child in the obsess category An overweight child would fall above or at the 85th percentile and an obese child above or at the 95th percentile for body mass index BMI Obesity traditionally has been more commonly associated as an adult disorder but over the last 10 years has been a growing trend in younger children Obesity can lead to a variety of long-term physical and psychological disorders that can be associated with low self-esteem and bullying Rabbitt Coyne 2012 While the physical alterations may be concerning to observe it is equally important to keep in mind the psychosocial considerations a young child may experience Poor diet and exercise habits in children can predispose one to develop a number of life-threatening disorders such as cardiovascular disease type 2 diabetes
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