Nurses Can Halt Weight Gain in Obese Kids

childhood obesity

A recent research program employing nurses to monitor the lifestyle of obese and overweight kids has been successful in preventing the kids from putting on more weight. The nurses kept an eye on the kids and monitored their intake of sodas and fast food, as well as TV watching hours. The program was especially effective for girls, and children from middle class households, whose family income was below $50,000.

Program Was Partly Successful
However, the program did not have an impact on boys, and children from higher earning households. The study was authored by Dr. Elsie Taveras at Harvard Medical School. The program was effective in reducing the obese kids’ TV time and their consumption of fast food and sodas. The program will continue for one more year to check its impact on weight loss.

Link between TV Watching and Obesity
Previous studies have found a connection between watching TV and obesity in children. Dr. Taveras also opines that the two may be linked. Childhood obesity is becoming a scourge in the U.S. This study reveals that more than 20% of U.S. kids between two to five years are overweight, and another 10% are obese. The study was recently published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

How the Study Worked
The researchers assigned obese and overweight kids aged between two to six years, to two types of monitoring. One was normal care supervised by primary care doctors, and the other, a new program to help the kids lose weight. A nurse frequently checked in on them and advised them ideas about how to reduce TV watching, and consumption of sodas and fast food. The nurses also motivated and encouraged the children as well as their parents to carry out healthy lifestyle changes.

No Weight Loss
After a year in the program, there was no weight loss in either group of children. But, girls put on much less weight compared to boys. Health experts says such efforts though expensive and frequently unsuccessful, are still worth trying. This is because childhood obesity is a major health problem that needs to be tackled head on to reduce its impact on society.

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