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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Nicole Gibson


Childhood obesity has more than doubled and adolescent obesity has quadrupled over the last 30 years (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014a). Roughly 17%, or more than 12.5 million, children ages two to 19, are considered obese, leading to lifelong health concerns such as hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, psychiatric concerns, and others (Ogden, Carroll, Kit, & Flegal, 2014). Even more disturbing is the effect lifestyle behaviors have on youth in the United States. The progressive problem of childhood obesity is linked with decreased intake of fruits and vegetables, decreased physical activity, increased sedentary lifestyles and screen time, and increased consumption of unhealthy or non-nutritious foods and drinks (CDC, 2014a). The purpose of this project was to address childhood obesity by providing an integrated health curriculum within the school setting.
Methods: The program provided education, interactive activities and self-reporting reviews of lifestyle from participating seventh grade middle school students in rural Midwestern town. Students completed a pre-test survey, participated in the curriculum over a one month time frame, and completed a post-test survey. A t-test and statistical data were used to evaluate the outcomes of the project.
Outcomes: Though statistically significant findings were not achieved, positive clinical outcomes and trends did develop. Participating students showed increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, increased physical activity, decreased screen time, improved label reading and health literacy, and decreased consumption of sugary drinks.
Future recommendations: Further expansion of curriculum and duration may be warranted to validate findings. The project does support that by providing education to youth, improvements in healthy lifestyles can be achieved. Further projects are needed to decrease childhood obesity and bring awareness to the concern.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Obesity in children -- Prevention
Middle school students -- Health and hygiene
Health education
Health behavior in children


Includes bibliographical references (pages 79-87)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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