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Discussion 7.1 Critical Thinking about The Challenges Facing Obesity

1. Provide a follow up response to the classmate post below regarding the challenges facing
Obesity and management to care as a Nurse Practitioner.

“Obesity continues to increase annually in America despite widespread awareness of the prevalence and risk factors associated with obesity. Challenges that a nurse practitioner faces when caring for obese patients includes the need for frequent monitoring for comorbid conditions.  Conditions often associated with obesity include hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, obstructive sleep apnea, and increased pain due to excessive weight on the joints and musculoskeletal system (Perreault, 2020). What I have seen that is especially challenging to treat with our obese adult patients, are those who experience arthritis in their knees or back. These patients who experience pain with activity, are at a unique challenge, because they need the activity to help control their risk factors, lower their pain level and potentially lose weight.  Some of these patients would have enhanced lifestyle with knee replacements, but their weight will postpone a replacement, prolonging sedentary lifestyles (Martin & Harris, 2020). Pain creates a barrier to activity for the patient, and obesity symptoms worsen, increasing their risk of mortality. It is important to educate the patient early on in the relationship regarding weight control and techniques.

We use a couple different approaches in our office depending on the patient. We do have a dietitian on staff for counseling high risk patients. For patients that are already active, we encourage an increase in mindful eating with recommendations such as Weight Watchers or meeting with our dietitian. Patients that are sedentary and obese, we encourage an increase in activity initially, then if they can successfully start moving, then begin mindful eating. We educate patients that activity does not equate to going to the gym, but can be as simple as walking to their mailbox and back four times a day.  We have also seen positive results by referring to excessive weight as a BMI percentage. Using numbers, decreases the personal feelings regarding weight. For example we would say “Mrs. Jones, your BMI today was 32, and to lower the BMI to 30, that will be a 15 pound decrease. For some reason when patients sees weight strictly as a number and not an identity, they are more open to discussion and modification.”


Martin, . & Harris, . Total knee arthroplasty. UptoDate. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

Perreault, L. 2020. Obesity in adults: Prevalence, screening, and evaluation. UptoDate. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)


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