Childhood obesity is a condition that is growing in epidemic proportions in the United States (U.S.). The prevalence of childhood obesity has doubled since the 1980’s. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2002), stated that approximately 55 % o f the U.S. population is overweight. According to Moran (1999), preventing childhood obesity significantly decreases morbidity related to type II diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, hyperuricemia, and other chronic conditions. The purpose o f this Evidence Based Practice (EBP) project was to develop a nurse practitioner knowledgebase regarding health promotion in childhood obesity. The research questions asked: (a) What is the level o f healthcare knowledge regarding the role o f the nurse practitioner in promoting health in childhood obesity? (b) According to the literature, to what extent do nurse practitioners intervene in childhood obesity? and (c) According to the literature, how can nurse practitioners contribute to cost-effective, high-quality care by promoting health in childhood obesity? A Boolean computer search o f nursing and medical literature for theory-based, data-based, and randomized controlled trials for citations utilizing CINAHL, MEDLINE, and the COCHRANE Library was conducted for this systematic review. Nola Pender’s Health Promotion Model (1996) served as the theoretical foundation for this clinical project and guided the systematic review through data collection of the healthcare literature. Literature reviewed totaled 15 manuscripts, which represented reviews of another 384 references. The literature agreed that prevention and early recognition is the most effective process to decrease childhood obesity. Recommendations from the literature emphasize the necessity for treatment that is patient-specific. Evidence-based practice modalities that will utilize current perspectives in the prevention and management of childhood obesity are essential for nurse practitioners in primary care. Implications for nursing theory, nursing research, advanced practice nursing, education, and health policy are provided.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Dr. Sandra Kirkland

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons