PICOT Statement

Subject: Nutrition
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1246
Topics: Childhood Obesity, Fast Food, Food, Obesity


This analysis focuses on the problem of obesity in children. It seeks to highlight the link between the strategies of parenting and their impact on the obesity of children. Obesity in children has become a major concern. In the United States the prevalence of overweight children has tripled since the 1970s. It is approximated that one in five school going children between the ages of 6-19 is overweight (Ogden et al., 2016). Obesity can be described as the condition of having excess body fat. The condition of being overweight can be described as the situation where the body weight an individual given their particular height is deemed as being in excess with consideration to fat, muscle, bones and water, and/ or a combination of all of these aspects. The most commonly approach used for measuring overweight and obesity is the body mass index (BMI). It is most preferred in the measurement of obesity in both young adults and children between the ages (2-20) owing to the fact that it takes into account that they are still growing and at different rates subject to their ages and their sex. Children registering a BMI percentile of 85% and above and less than 95% are regarded as overweight. On the other hand children registering 95% and above have obesity.

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This epidemic of child obesity cannot be exclusively linked to high income counties, thereby becoming one of the most prevalent health problems of the 21st century. The most favored intervention method for the epidemic is the establishment of healthy lifestyle practices. Experts in the field have recommended that specific eating habits and physical activity regimes to be incorporated into peoples lifestyles through their counseling work. These coupled with clinical interventions have been investigated by researchers in the management of child obesity through managing the epidemic by way of making it a communal responsibility through families, schools and after school programs. Studies show that when properly implemented the prevention programs of obesity had positive impacts on children between the ages of 6-12 years old children (Young et al., 2014).

Setting of the Problem

Obesity has far reaching and long term effects of children’s social, physical and emotional health. For instance, obese children face a higher risk of developing other chronic health conditions and diseases that affect their physical health. These include conditions such as asthma, problem of bones and joints, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes as well as other risk factors pertaining to heart diseases. Children with obesity are also victims of bullying that could lead to social isolation, low self-esteem and depression. Long term effects of child obesity also exposes them to the risk of suffering from obesity as adults, hence exposing them to risks such as heart diseases, type  diabetes and metabolic syndrome among other conditions such as some types of cancer.

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Urgency or the Problem

The epidemic of child obesity is a very important subject given that children are the future of the country. Because of this, there is a sense of urgency in efforts to curb the escalating prevalence of child obesity, without which the country would be staring at an inevitable future filled with chronic diseases that would have otherwise been prevented. This can be proved by the research conducted on issues of child obesity in the last three years such as the Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Projects (CORD) whose funding period ended on the29th of September 2015 (Blanck & Collins, 2015), and Skinner & Skelton (2014) research to assess the prevalence of obesity as well as obesity over time from the 14-years of surveys of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Discussion of Literature

The data base of Ferris State University was utilized in the search for articles of the research on the subject of obesity in children. The search for articles that were consistent with the criteria applied was done using the CINAHL database, with the key search terms being obesity, obese, parents, overweight, guardian, child, children and youth. Narrowing of the searched articles was done using advanced search tools to only peer reviewed research in nursing. 330 articles were found, but upon narrowing the search to 2010, a total of 140 articles were found. Of these, only 33 were chosen that had researched on the impact of parents in determining the weight of children.

Morawska & West (2012) seeks to give an insight on whether effective strategies of parenting are used in leading up to child obesity. The article is nursing research owing to its authors being registered nurses, besides the topic addressing an essential topic in nursing education. The University of Queensland and the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines gave ethical clearance for the study. The article stated its problem clearly as child overweight and obesity becoming as significant issue, with approximately a third of children being classified as overweight or obese. This study was chosen because it gives evidence to demonstrate that parents play an instrumental role in determining the dietary and patterns of activity of their children.

The second literature reviewed looked into whether portion control was utilized by parents when feeding their children (Small et al. 2013). It also examined the impact that education and parents being trained on portion control on the escalating problem of child obesity. This work is a nursing research due to the fact that most of its authors are nurses and the topics addresses nursing with regard to education. It is a systematic review of nine research articles, whose purpose was the assessment of the findings with regard to the sizes of food portions for young children, and obtaining evidence on the impact of adults being educated on the estimation of portion sizes.


Besides parental influence in preventing and controlling child obesity, experts have also established that a school –based approach can be effective in the prevention of child obesity (Wang et al., 2015). This approach works on the basis of school nutrition and environments of physical activity that connects to school going children beyond the normal school day through the involvement of parents and caregivers and the whole community. Such adjustments in the contemporary school environment can be instrumental in supporting students’ health and overall well-being regardless of their weight.

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The most desirable outcomes are those that have a long term impact to the prevention and control of obesity. Furthermore, prevention and control programs that are school based are deemed to be the most feasible and effective since due to the fact that students spend most of their time in school. Such programs can also target a larger group for the implementation of health improvement programs. Findings from various studies also suggested that the impact of such programs can be preserved for a number of years after the intervention (Plachta-Danielzik, Landsberg, Lange, Seiberl & Müller, 2011)


The desired timeframe for the feasible school based interventions to child obesity is about 30 months. This can be backed up by Tarro et al. (2014) studies on the implementation programs in the promotion of healthy lifestyles that was inclusive of physical activity over a period of 28 months that had a significant impact in the reduction of the prevalence of obesity in children.

PICOT Statement

How school going children aged 6-19 years (P) with risk to the epidemic of child obesity and overweight (I) can be effectively intervened by parental dietary control in comparison (C) to school-based programs (O) in a timeframe of 30 months (T)

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  1. Blanck, H., & Collins, J. (2015). The Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Project: Linking Public Health Initiatives and Primary Care Interventions Community-Wide to Prevent and Reduce Childhood Obesity. Childhood Obesity11(1).
  2. Morawska, A., & West, F. (2012). Do parents of obese children use ineffective parenting strategies? Journal of Child Health Care17(4), 375-386.
  3. Ogden, C., Carroll, M., Lawman, H., Fryar, C., Kruszon-Moran, D., Kit, B., & Flegal, K. (2016). Trends in Obesity Prevalence Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 1988-1994 Through 2013-2014. JAMA315(21), 2292.
  4. Plachta-Danielzik, S., Landsberg, B., Lange, D., Seiberl, J., & Müller, M. (2011). Eight-Year Follow-Up of School-Based Intervention on Childhood Overweight – the Kiel Obesity Prevention Study. Obesity Facts4(1), 35-43.
  5. Skinner, A., & Skelton, J. (2014). Prevalence and Trends in Obesity and Severe Obesity Among Children in the United States, 1999-2012. JAMA Pediatrics168(6), 561.
  6. Small, L., Lane, H., Vaughan, L., Melnyk, B., & McBurnett, D. (2013). A Systematic Review of the Evidence: The Effects of Portion Size Manipulation with Children and Portion Education/Traning Interventions on Dietary Intake with Adults. Sigma Theta Tau International, 69-81.
  7. Tarro, L., Llauradó, E., Albaladejo, R., Moriña, D., Arija, V., Solà, R., & Giralt, M. (2014). A primary-school-based study to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity – the EdAl (Educació en Alimentació) study: a randomized controlled trial. Trials15(1), 58.
  8. Wang, Y., Cai, L., Wu, Y., Wilson, R., Weston, C., & Fawole, O. et al. (2015). What childhood obesity prevention programmes work? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews16(7), 547-565.
  9. Young, T., Wiysonge, C., Schoonees, A., Shung King, M., Uauy, R., & Kain, J. (2014). Cochrane Column * Interventions for preventing obesity in children * Commentary: Childhood obesity: A growing dilemma for public health interventions and research alike * Commentary: Interventions for preventing obesity in children (Review). International Journal Of Epidemiology43(3), 675-678.
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