Role Of Nurse In Obesity Control And Prevention Through Five Major Strategies For Health Promotion

Building healthy policy

In health promotion, people enable to take over and improve health. Obesity is a complex disease and it can impact physical mental and social well being of the person. Hence, health promotion is important aspect of obesity control and prevention. In this essay, role of nurse in five strategies identified in Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (WHO, Health and Welfare Canada & CPHA, 1986) will be discussed.

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Obesity crisis can be effectively controlled by increasing public support for strong public policies. It can be helpful in the healthy choices easy. Government need to play significant part in making policies for obesity control and prevention and nurse need to implement this policy. Public health policies can be helpful in eliminating hurdles for prevention of obesity by improving diets of the people and reducing risk of obesity. Health policies need to focus on the toxic food environments. Healthy policy can be helpful in improving involvement of all the stakeholders including nurses in addressing crises of obesity prevalence (Loureiro and Freudenberg, 2012). Through public policy, political, economic and practical problems related to obesity control can be effectively controlled. Health policy can be helpful in providing obesity control interventions for all the classes of people irrespective of socioeconomic, geographical and educational consideration. Nurse should make sure that healthy policy is being implemented uniformly. Addressing health issue like obesity is not responsibility of individual; however multiple stakeholders need to be involved in it (Thomas and Reilly, 2015). Obesity is a complex disease and its control can be achieved by providing intervention in different aspects like physical, nutritional, social and psychological. Hence, professionals from different discipline like health, social, nutrition and psychology need to be involved in control of obesity. Involvement of multiple stakeholders can be effectively achieved by implementing effective and well-designed health policy. Nurse should improve accessibility of all these stakeholders to the people. Few of the examples of health policies for obesity include launching campaign for involving physical activity in daily life, providing healthy food at schools and launching public awareness programme for risk factors of obesity and preventive measures to control these risk factors (Cleland et al., 2013). Nurse need to take active participation in all these activities.

Socio-ecological approach for obesity health promotion can be effectively achieved by improving relationship between people and their environment. Supportive environment can be created by implementing policies and regulations for consumption of safe food to control obesity. In school canteen and offices healthy food need to be provided. There should be ban on the high energy foods and carbonated drinks at thee places. Financial incentive need to be provided for sponsoring the events like healthy food campaign (Raine, et al. 2012). Nurse need to identify all these aspects and should make efforts to implement it. Nurse need to provide education to the people in the disadvantaged society about the benefits of healthy food consumption, optimum physical activity and consumption of alcohol and tobacco which are the risk factors of obesity. There should be improvements in the access of equitable supportive healthy environment without considering conflicting interests in the society. Nurse need to improve access of health care services for people in the disadvantaged society (Allender et a., 2012). All the members of the society need to be involved in the prevention and control of obesity. These members include healthcare professionals including, family members, community members, nutrition expert and physical trainer. Nurse need to create health supportive environments at the healthcare centres and workplaces. At healthcare centres, supportive environment can be created by making waiting rooms friendlier, improving access to water and making seating places comfortable. At workplace, supportive environment can be created by implementing stress management programmes, assisting employees for quitting smoking and providing healthy snack options in the vending machines. Environment to change behaviour towards healthy life need to be created (Blanck and Kim, 2012).  

Create supportive environment

Public health nutrition community-based activities can be helpful to strengthen community action. Community based activities include implementation of good nutrition policies, providing healthy eating classes for people prone to obesity and providing healthy eating advice through different media like television. Most effective community-based activity in particular geographic area can be implemented by evaluating its usefulness in that particular area because different community-based programmes can be with varied effectiveness in different areas (Bazos, et al., 2013). Issues related to public health in particular area need to collected from the nurses and intervention need to be provided based on the needs and requirements of the people in that particular area. Self-help and social support need to be enabled by nurse based on the pre-existing and material resources which can be helpful in strengthening public participation in obesity control and prevention. Nurse need to promote people for involvement of people in health promotion activities because it can be helpful keeping them active (Ziegahn et al., 2013). It is useful in reducing risk of obesity. Living conditions of the people can be improved to improve well-being of the people. Strengthening of the community can be helpful in the improving decision making of the people. It can be helpful for the people to appeal for their needs and requirements. Nurse need to provide education to community members for healthy diet and physical exercise. Policy development for control and prevention of obesity can be helpful in controlling obesity. Different stakeholders of the community need to be involved in obesity control. These stakeholders include healthcare professionals including, social activist, nutritionist, physical trainer and psychologist (Flynn, 2015).

Personal skills for the health promotion can be improved by providing information, education for health, and enhancing life skills. Personal skills can be improved by understanding link between risk behaviours and obesity. It helps individual to promote protective behaviour and provide opportunity to navigate obesity related information and analyse it. Nurse can play significant role in enabling people to make healthy diet choice, to read nutritional information on the food packets and to understand adverse effects of tobacco and alcohol consumption. Personal skill development can be helpful for individual to implement this for life-long and this sustained implementation is necessary in obesity because obesity is a chronic disease. Personal skills can be helpful in having purpose of life for healthy life which can give emotional and mental stability. This stress-free life is necessary for obesity prevention because stress is one of the important risk factors for obesity (Rieger et al., et al., 2017). Nurse can play role in improving accessibility of people to personal skills development programme through availing skill development programmes from educational organisations and institutions. Personal skill development is useful facilitating health promotion at school, home, work and community settings. Personal skills can be developed through educational, professional, commercial and voluntary bodies, and within the institutions themselves. It indicates multi-sectoral approach is required for personal skill development. Personal skill can be helpful people in participating in community activities for health promotion. Cognitive skill development can be helpful in changing behaviour for improvement in access to healthcare activities. This behavioural change can be helpful in motivating people for keeping optimum health and well-being. Nurse can play important role in changing behaviour of people. Skill development can also be helpful in translating good intensions of the people into productive actions (Flynn, 2015).

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Strengthen community action

Health promotion need to be addressed at micro and macro level. Reorienting health services can be achieved by promoting health research, providing professional education and training and providing social and holistic intervention. Following are the examples of reorientation of health services: increased number of training facilities, increased number nutritional food centres improved access to training facilities and nutritional food centres. Nurse can play role in changing attitude of organisation of health services. Hence, this organisation refocuses its actions based on needs and requirements of the people. It can be helpful in providing not only medical and clinical practices but also in providing services comprising of multi-sectoral and multi-cultural services which can provide people with holistic care for management of obesity (Nicholls et al., 2017). Motivator and barriers can impact implementation of health promotion programme like encouraging physical activity. All the activities need to be directed towards motivation of health promotion. In motivation programme, awareness of physical activity need to be improved, desire to keep in shape need to augmented, encouragement need to be given to others and able to overcome barriers for health promotion. Reorienting health services brings change in focus from the clinical and curative services to health promotion and prevention. In case of obesity, health promotion and prevention hold more importance. Individuals and communitie’s healthier life can be improved by opening channels between the health sector and other related sectors like social, political, economic and physical environmental. Reorienting health services recognises impact of all health determinants on obesity (Wolfenden et al., 2016).


Health promotion strategies like building healthy public policy, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, developing personal skills and reorient health services play significant role in prevention and control of obesity. Primary aim of The Ottawa charter is to reduce inequities in health among people of different socioeconomic classes of people. Requisite for health promotion are social and personal resources and physical capacities. All these requisites are covered in these five strategies and nurse plays important role in promotion of obesity prevention.


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