Obesity in Youth: Implications for the Advanced Practice Nurse in Primary Care

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PurposeTo discuss the advanced practice nurse's diagnosis and management of obesity in youth in primary care.Data SourcesReview of current scientific literature, practice guidelines, and a case study.ConclusionsObesity in youth is difficult to manage. Recent research suggests a genetic and environmental etiology associated with impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hypertriglyceridemia. Nutrition education, increasing physical activity, decreasing sedentary behaviors, and behavioral modification have been used with varying success. Management is directed at healthy lifestyle behavior change for youth and their families.Implications for PracticeIf obesity, impaired glucose tolerance, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertriglyceridemia are left untreated, youth may develop type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease later in life and suffer early morbidity and mortality.

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