Assessment of an overweight child


Child Health Case: Assessment of an overweight child

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Evidence-based research shows that overweight is a major health issue affecting children and adults, making it a major public health concern. The prevalence of obesity among back children is higher than whites and is a consequence of health throughout childhood and adulthood. In this case scenario, an obese five-year-old with obese parents spends his after-school time with his grandmother. Both his parents are forced to work hard more than usual, to meet their daily needs. Therefore they do not have enough time to engage in health promotion strategies for themselves and their son hence the obesity issues in the whole family. According to Ruiter et al. (2020), than meeting the health costs to deal with obesity, they prefer to work hard to provide for the family livelihood; hence neglecting their health needs to fulfill other basic needs like food, clothes, and shelter.

Health issues and risks that are relevant to the obese child

Children who have obesity have a high chance of becoming adults with obesity, which means they are at higher risk of developing associated commodities such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and breathing problems. This health issues result in medical and economic costs to the family and society (Jarvis et al., 2017). A child with obesity has a high risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which are risk factors for heart disease. Obesity results in hardening of the arteries, which results in Atherosclerosis, a common cause of the cardiovascular disease (Romain et al., 2018). Another health risk associated with childhood obesity is the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), type 2 diabetes is highly prevalent among overweight children, with an estimation that one in three children with overweight will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

Also, a child with obesity has a high risk of developing berthing problems such as sleep apnea which develops when a child stops breathing for a short time during sleep which can be life-threatening and can cause heart failure (Romain et al., 2018). Additionally, an obese child has a risk of developing asthma. Research indicates that a large number of overweight children have developed asthma. This is because of obstruction of efficient airflow, which results in problems breathing. Another health risk is gallstone which has a high prevalence among obese children. Finally, according to Romain et al. (2018), an obese child has a high risk of joint pain because of the extra weight, which stresses the knees and hips, causing pain, injuries, and back pain.

Additional information is needed in order to assess the child’s weight-related health further.

The case scenario has provided age, sex, and family history of the child, but additional information is required, which includes

  • Past medical and surgical history and medication the child is taking (Ball et al., 2017).
  • Food, medical and, environmental allergies, if any
  • Whether the child has received a complete immunization and vaccination (Ball et al., 2017).

Risks and further information you would need to gain a full understanding of the childs health.

The major risk factor of childhood obesity has parents who are obese, whereby a child whose both parents are overweight has a high risk of up to 80% of being overweight due to genetic and environmental contributors (De Onis et al., 2019). The risk factors associated with childhood obesity are;

  • Lifestyle behaviors such as dietary whereby a child eats many calories and does not take any active measures to burn up the gained calories result in fat and heavy accumulation leading to obesity. Additionally, not insisting on adding fruits and vegetables to daily child diet results in overweight and obesity.
  • A low level of activity whereby a child does not participate in games or activities helps burn body fat, reducing body weight.
  • Parental perceptions whereby a child tends to eat, behave and do what the parents do. Therefore parents contribute to growing child obesity if they are obese and do not take any measures to achieve better health.
  • The child’s environment, which includes comfort, quality air, affects a child’s behavior, such as not including recreational elements in the environment, leading to lack of exercise and increasing obesity.
  • Cultural and background factors. The social-economic ability of black families affects their health because they prioritize working to meet their daily needs hindering their ability to pay attention to their health, resulting in the development of the silent obesity disease. Health care professionals should provide culturally appropriate strategies to individuals, families, and the community to encourage obesity in children.

How to gather this information in a sensitive fashion

When gathering information, it is important to be culturally sensitive, adhere to issues relating to consent and confidentiality and use appropriate data collection techniques to be able to gather relevant quality and useful information without offending the patient or parents in this case of a child (Ball et al., 2017). Gathering information from any patient uses data collection techniques such as interviews, surveys, or focused groups. In this case, using a simple interview to gather information from the patient who is a child is the best option. The question should be direct and use a simple term which a child can understand. Another method is using observation which is appropriate for the young client under the age of six because it involves watching and inspecting the patient and making relevant conclusions.

Questions to ask the parents and caregivers to gather more information

Parents and caregivers can provide relevant information that children cannot be able to give. Therefore using sensitive questions which do not offend them or their child and make them wary of sharing information is appropriate to encourage sharing and clarifying. The following questions should be asked to collect the required information;

  • Does your child have any other underlying health issue or taking any medication?
  • What is your dietary feeding plan for your child?
  • Does your child participate in any game, and what is your childs level of exercise?
  • Do you have any questions related to the health of your child?

Strategies to encourage the parents or caregivers to be proactive about their childs health and weight


The healthcare organization, together with government and non-governmental organizations, should develop programs that should target the black children and their families who are vulnerable to obese families to eliminate health disparities and to promote healthy behaviors and activities, which helps in improving quality of life (Jarvis et al., 2017). The following proactive strategies enhance children health and weight;

  • Providing health meals as directed by a nutritionist

Parents are responsible for modeling good eating attitudes and habits for their children by decrease the intake of sugary and fat-saturated foods and increasing fruits, vegetables, and water intake in the diet (Ruiter et al., 2020). Families should include guidance from healthcare professionals like nutritionists to help maintain a healthy weight.

  • Encouraging physical activities is very helpful for children to enhance health and adequate weight. Young children below five years are recommended to be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth, development, and overall health (De Onis et al., 2019). Strategies t for parents to enhance high levels of activities include encouraging swimming, cycling, jumping and, get involved in these fun activities to motivate the children.



Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2017).Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination-E-Book: An Interprofessional Approach. Elsevier Health Sciences.

De Onis, M., Borghi, E., Arimond, M., Webb, P., Croft, T., Saha, K., … & Flores-Ayala, R. (2019). Prevalence thresholds for wasting, overweight, and stunting in children under five years.Public health nutrition,22(1), 175-179. DOI:

Jarvis, J. W., Harrington, D. W., & Manson, H. (2017). Exploring parent-reported barriers to supporting their childs health behaviors: A cross-sectional study.International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity,14(1), 1-10. DOI

Romain, A. J., Marleau, J., & Baillot, A. (2018). Impact of obesity and mood disorders on physical comorbidities, psychological well-being, health behaviors, and use of health services.Journal of affective disorders,225, 381-388.

Ruiter, E. L., Saat, J. J., Molleman, G. R., Fransen, G. A., van Der Velden, K., van Jaarsveld, C. H., … & Assendelft, W. J. (2020). Parents underestimation of their childs weight status. Moderating factors and change over time: A cross-sectional study.PloS one,15(1), e0227761.

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