Pediatric nurse practitioners join the battle to reduce and prevent childhood overweight

June 8, 2006

An evidence-based clinical practice guideline aimed at identifying, reducing, and preventing childhood overweight was recently released by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. The goal of the NAPNAP initiative, "Identifying and Preventing Overweight in Children" is to slow, and even reverse, the rapid increase in overweight among children.

An evidence-based clinical practice guideline aimed at identifying, reducing, and preventing childhood overweight was recently released by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. The goal of the NAPNAP initiative, "Identifying and Preventing Overweight in Children" is to slow, and even reverse, the rapid increase in overweight among children.

The guideline is part of NAPNAP's Healthy Eating and Activity Together (HEAT) Initiative, created to improve children's health through interventions that build a family's ability to achieve an ideal balance between nutrition and physical activity to support optimal growth and wellness.

"Identifying and Preventing Overweight in Children" was developed by a group of NPs with special expertise in childhood overweight. The guide provides pediatric and family nurse practitioners in ambulatory care (as well as any other pediatric health-care provider) with information they need to combat a growing problem. Among the recommendations:

  • Recognize risk factors in your overweight patients
  • Routinely perform assessments to identify overweight
  • Plan and develop strategies in concert with children, adolescents, and parents to maintain healthy weight status through education and behavior changes that focus on optimal feeding, nutrition, and physical activities.

The guideline's recommendations for clinical practice are divided into four stages of a child's life: infancy, early childhood, school age, and adolescence. Copies of the guideline can be ordered at www.napnap.org.