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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

First Advisor

Marge Hegge

Second Advisor

Lynnette Leeseberg Stamler


Problem: Correctly diagnosing overweight and obesity is a preliminary step in addressing the childhood obesity epidemic. However, medical providers are not consistently diagnosing weight problems in children, are not incorporating evidence-based practice (EBP) guidelines, and are perplexed with how to counsel and manage overweight and obese children. Purpose: This quality improvement project initiated clinic system changes that support expert national guidelines for childhood obesity prevention. Methods: A rural Midwest primary care system incorporated a childhood obesity prevention toolkit to deliver consistent health messages related to nutrition and physical activity. Components of the intervention were integrated into the documentation system and established for routine well child visits. Results: By the end of the pilot phase, documentation of body mass index (BMI) and BMI percentile improved from 27% to 98%. The majority of children were assessed for healthy lifestyle behaviors to reflect nutrition and physical activity habits and had a mutually established action plan documented (from 16% to 86%). There was also an improving trend in accurate diagnosis of overweight and obesity in the medical record (from 0 to 32%). Conclusions: Implementation of an evidence-based toolkit improved documentation of prevention measures that may positively impact the childhood obesity epidemic. KEYWORDS: Pediatric, obesity, prevention, clinical guidelines, primary care, medical providers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Obesity in children -- Middle West -- Prevention.
Overweight children -- Middle West.
Primary care (Medicine) -- Middle West.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University