Pediatric Obesity in Primary Practice:
A Review of the Literature
Jessica Durbin, Mitzi Baguioro, and Donita Jones
Childhood obesity is an epidemic, resulting in physiological and psychological infirmities. Primary care providers (PCPs) can engage in preventing obesity by instilling positive healthy behaviors early in children's lives. Providing support and evidencebased interventions can enable children to avoid co-morbidities of obesity, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression. Relevant literature was retrieved from The Cochrane Library, CINAHL, PubMed, Medline, Sport Discus, and Health Source Nursing Academic Edition from January 2012 through February 2017 by using key words “child obesity,” “physical activity,” “diet,” and “body mass index.” Four studies are reviewed: 1) a randomized control trial on the effects of a 10-week FATmax exercise training of obese 8- to 10-year-old boys, 2) a cross-sectional study on the correlation of physical activities and sedentary behavior to body mass index (BMI) and obesity rates among 6,539 children 9 to 11 years of age, 3) a randomized study on the effects of a walking program on the BMI of children ages 6 to 11 years, and 4) a systematic review on the efficacy of school-based dietary behavior and physical activity in children and adolescents ages 6 to 18 years. Outcomes from all four studies revealed a reduction in obesity when adequate physical activity and balanced meals were incorporated during childhood. Integrating evidence-based findings into practice can foster health and wellness of children, and reduce unnecessary healthcare costs attributed to obesity.