Obesity and the Professional Nurse’s Role

Obesity refers to increased body weight and is associated with malfunctions in health-related quality of life. The condition is a clinical problem which is chronic in nature. It is multi-factorial, having complex genetic, physiological, psychological, metabolic, behavioral and environmental (social and cultural) causes and consequences. The condition is posing a health challenge at a high and alarming rate in developed as well as developing countries. It has been thought that global obesity has resulted from behavioral and environmental changes which have emanated from urbanization, modernization, and economic development (Fitch et al, 2013). For one to be termed as obese, there are several tests that are carried out. Some of the most accurate tests include DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) and weighing a person under water. However, the commonly used method of estimating body fats involves the use of Weight for Height tables which have an assortment of acceptable weights for an individual of a particular height. The major disadvantage of this test is that it does not differentiate excess fats from muscles. Never the less, the BMI (Body Mass Index) has been the standard test for detecting overweight and obesity in the medical set ups (McKinney et al, 2013).

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