Childhood obesity: screening and interventions

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


Childhood obesity has been a growing concern in the United States for the last three decades. With the COVID19 pandemic, a substantial increase in weight gain has been noted in the pediatric population, leading to a more alarming obesity trend. The American Association of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, have established a standard of care for measuring obesity in children using BMI percentiles for age and sex specific growth charts. However, at a pediatric clinic in Northwest Montana providers were not using BMI percentiles to assess for pediatric overweight/obesity. Therefore, the aim of this project was to standardize practice that included screening for childhood obesity using age and sex specific growth charts, document BMIs in provider charting, add overweight or obese to a child's problem list and refer overweight/obese children to a behavioral therapist or nutritionist. During a six-week data collection a total of 90 well child visits were documented, 92% of the children were screened for overweight/obesity using BMI, documented in the medical record, and added to the problem lists. The referral rate to a behavioral therapist or nutritionist was 41%. The conclusion of this project showed improvement with screening using BMI and documenting in the electronic medical record. However there were limitations for referring children to a behavioral therapist or nutritionist that included, finances, time, bias, and lack of conversations.




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