Disorders of Nutritional Status
Too much fat accumulated in the human body than that perceived health is obesity. Most of the causes of obesity include genetic, cultural factors, biological, and behavior of the children. Too much fat is majorly the main cause of obesity. As children eat more food exceeding the daily bodily requirements for the activities of a day, excess of the calories is accumulated and stored in fat cells for use when needed. Once children keep eating more calories than they need, they develop excess fat cells, which eventually lead to obesity if not controlled. Infants and children respond to the signals of hunger and satisfaction, hence consume enough calories as per the body requirement (Yamashita et al., 2010b). However, due to the new types of foods in the market with much sugar and high fat content, which are consumed by the young children, it is a rise in the percentage of obese young children. Furthermore, the children engage in activities that consume very minimal energy. For example, most of the children prefer activities like watching television, gaming, texting, and playing games on the computer.
In the school set up a school nurse has a variety of methods to use in order to determine the children to be included in the weight loss program. The techniques employed are those that got approved by the medical practitioners’ team. One of the methods mostly used is the Body Mass Index (BMI). This method is commonly used to measure obesity. The measurements are obtained by dividing the weight into kilograms by height in square meters (Yamashita et al., 2010a). Normal BMI for adults is up to 25 with between 25 and 29 being overweight and above thirty being obese.
Skin Fold Thickness is another method used to measure obesity. In this case, the subcutaneous fat located beneath the skin is grasped and measured using the calipers to determine the percentage of boy fatness and relative fitness.
Waist circumference and waist to hip ratio is a simple measure for body fatness, though the level of inaccuracy is high due to the instances of measurement error. The cut points in the measurement are as follows: increased risk of health problem is when it is equal to or more than 94cm and greatly increased risk health problems being more than or equal to 102 cm.
Bio-impedance measures mean the impedance to flow of small electric currents through the human body. Lean mass comprises 73% water and fat has no water content. This method usually is used to calculate the lean tissue mass that acts as a conductor and fat mass acting as an insulator through changes in voltage.
To sustain the body’s functions, energy is very key. Some daily living activities that need much energy include respiration, circulation, and physical work including the synthesis of proteins. The main suppliers of the much needed energy include fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Each of the above mentioned sources of energy has their distinct characteristic and importance. As a school nurse develops the weight loss program, he/she should consider their significance and functions (Rock et al., 2010). Carbohydrates that are also the sugars or the starch provide mainly the energy to the body cells. The brain is carbohydrate dependent organ. Therefore, the carbohydrates are very essential so as to keep the brain cells healthy and functional. Fat is the main source of the body’s fuel assisting in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and other components of food as the carotenoids.
Poly saturated fatty acid, linoleic acid makeup the list of the essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are the acids that are not produced naturally by human bodies. A deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids leads scaly rough skin and dermatitis primarily. The poly satuurated fatty acids are also significant in the formation of the membrane lipids, moreover, the eyes retina and the nerve tissue. The fats carry out the regulation of the metabolism of omega-3, therefore, controlling the balance of omega-3 and n-3 fatty acid derived eicosanoids (Lands, 2012).
The proteins form the structural component of all the body cells. The proteins together with the amino acids work as membrane carriers, hormones and enzymes. Nine amino acids are considered indispensable, therefore, essential and provided in the diet.
After a school nurse has identified who needs the weight loss program, the nurse have to get the relatives and friends involved in the program. The involvement of parents is primary because the weight loss programs are based on the lifestyle of children. The goals are set together with the child and the parents with guidance by the school nurse.First the change of the child’s lifestyle involves eating of a balanced diet. A balanced diet is achieved by the child eating the required quality of food to sustain the daily activities of living. The parent is the custodian of the child and he/she gets introduced into the program. He/she is advised on the food types to give the child, so as to control obesity, and at the same time keep the minimum required amount of nutrients.
The nurse will find out the required number of calories for the child’s activities and recommend the best potions, to the parents. Foods from all the groups should be sort for and given to the children in every meal at the right amounts cumulatively. For snacks, vegetables and fruit are the best. The fruit and vegetables have high amounts of vitamins and have small amounts of calories and fat. Junk food should be kept from the reach of children. Sweetened beverages have high quantities of calories that are converted to fats if not exhausted.