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Assessing the Weight of an Obese Child


There is a close relationship between body weight and nutritional behavior. As such, body measurements provide nursing professionals with information on the nutritional wellbeing of a child (Ball, Dains, Flynn, Solomon & Stewart, 2015; Lifshitz, 2009). When assessing the health of a pediatric patient, the practitioner should take into consideration the child’s family history, lifestyle, and culture. In this paper, the author will discuss various health issues associated with an overweight boy who is 5 years old. His parents are also obese.

Health Issues and Risks Relevant to the Case

The scenario illustrated in this case is unique given that the boy has no one to look up to. The reason is that his parents are also overweight. He is likely to grow under the impression that heavyweight is ideal (Lifshitz, 2009). Such a child is at risk of suffering from health problems, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes (Pavlovich-Danis & Etienne, 2012).

Additional Information Needed for the Health Assessment

Gathering additional data concerning the boy will help the professional nurse establish effective strategies to solve the client’s health issues (Gibbs & Chapman-Novakofski, 2012). The practitioner needs more information on the client’s medical history. They should also determine whether or not the boy was born with the problem. In addition, the professional nursing practitioner will assess how the child feels about his situation.

Questions to Ask

The parents will answer the questions posed by the professional nurse on behalf of their son. The practitioner should ask these questions sensitively and objectively (LeBlond, Brown & DeGowin, 2009). Below are some of these queries:

  1. Do you think your son is at risk of suffering from health complications considering his weight gain?
  2. Considering that you also have to deal with weight problems, would you consider the situation to be a result of lifestyle or hereditary factors?
  3. How can you describe your son’s feeding behavior?

Strategies to Encourage Parents and Caregivers to be Proactive

The nursing professional will encourage the parents to become their child’s role models. In addition, the practitioner will recommend a change in the family’s lifestyle (Ball et al., 2015). Given that the client is a minor, the parents will make decisions on behalf of the patient.


Nursing practitioners use body measurements to assess the nutritional status of pediatric patients. Parents are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that their children lead a healthy lifestyle. They also serve as a source of information required by professionals to evaluate the wellbeing of the child.

Response to Colleague’s Work

The NP evaluated a severely underweight patient who was 12 years old. The boy’s parents are also underweight. However, the professional may have come up with additional health risks affecting the health of the pediatrician. For example, they should have noted that besides malnutrition, the underweight problem may be genetic. It may also be a result of a deficiency of micronutrients (Gibbs & Chapman-Novakofski, 2012).

To obtain additional information on the child’s health, the NP came up with several questions. Ideally, the practitioner should direct the questions towards the parents and caregivers. However, in this case, the NP appears to address the child. The fifth question is insensitive. Parents could think that the practitioner insinuates the poor health of their child emanates from their perceived inability to support him. The question may make them reluctant to offer correct information (LeBlond et al., 2009). Below are alternative queries that the NP could have asked:

  1. How often does your child engage in physical activity?
  2. What kind of friends does your son have?

An alternative strategy that the nursing professional may use to gather additional information entails visiting the child’s home and school. The aim of this is for the NP to determine whether or not the patient’s health condition can be attributed to their environment. The professional can also use supplements to increase the child’s body mass.


Ball, J., Dains, J., Flynn, J., Solomon, B., & Stewart, R. (2015). Seidel’s guide to physical examination (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Gibbs, H., & Chapman-Novakofski, K. (2012). Exploring nutrition literacy: Attention to assessment and the skills clients need. Health, 4(3), 120-124.

LeBlond, R., Brown, D., & DeGowin, R. (2009). DeGowin’s diagnostic examination (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Medical.

Lifshitz, F. (2009). Nutrition and growth. Journal of Clinical Research in Pediatric Endocrinology, 1(4), 157-163.

Pavlovich-Danis, S., & Etienne, M. (2012). Body fat shapes patients’ health. Web.

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StudyKraken. "Assessing the Weight of an Obese Child." August 27, 2022.


StudyKraken. 2022. "Assessing the Weight of an Obese Child." August 27, 2022.


StudyKraken. (2022) 'Assessing the Weight of an Obese Child'. 27 August.

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