Graduation Date


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Primary Major


Program Director

Andrea Boyle, PhD, FNAP

Thesis Advisor

Patricia Harris, PhD, RN



The prevalence of childhood and adolescent obesity in the United States has steadily risen over the years and has become a public health concern. Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex. Obese children and adolescents are at risk for poor health and poor quality of life. Furthermore, there are numerous comorbidities associated with childhood and adolescent obesity. While some of the associated diseases are acute, others can become chronic and result in lifelong conditions.


The purpose of the present thesis is to explore and summarize the currently available literature regarding diseases that relate to childhood and adolescent obesity, factors that can affect obesity, and possibly effective prevention methods.

Summary of Findings

Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to have various comorbidities. Some of these comorbidities include increased risk for hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, and other cardiometabolic risk factors. Due to obesity and related comorbidities, children and adolescents have poorer physical and mental health. Some of the mental health deficits seen in obese children include depression, learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorder. Research has shown that food environments and sleep duration can be factors in obesity in children.


The gathered information will then be utilized to formulate a proposal on how nurses across school settings can play a direct role in the prevention of exacerbation of obesity and comorbidities associated with childhood and adolescent obesity.