What is the prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in nursing students at Florida National University?

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What is the prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in nursing students at Florida National University?

What is the prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in nursing students at Florida National University?

Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in Nursing Students at Florida National University

Introduction to the Problem

Overweight and obesity are together the new pandemic of the 21st century, primarily responsible for the development of Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), which represent the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world, especially in developed countries such as the United States, representing a significant burden on the American health system. Among the risk factors associated with overweight, obesity, and NCDs, they are modifiable if the development of Healthy Lifestyles (HLS) is appropriately encouraged (WHO, 2019).

Regardless, it is difficult for a person to develop these habits; it is even more so when the healthcare staff receives change advice, which they do not apply. And it is that the prevalence of harmful habits such as smoking and sedentary lifestyle among nurses remain relatively high. For this reason, it seeks to identify from the first years of the training career the situation of the students in terms of the knowledge and application of HLS (WHO, 2019). To also be able to modify patterns that in the long term impact the prevalence of overweight, obesity, and NCD in patients.

Since the existence of HLS in nurses is related to a more excellent disposition for preventive counseling and acquisition of healthy habits by patients. That is why higher education institutions, as trainers of integral subjects, play an essential role in the establishment of knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes during study and training in these institutions, so it is necessary to know the characteristics of lifestyles to promote strategies aimed at contributing to the acquisition of behaviors and conducts that favor the development of a healthy lifestyle for students (Kurnat, 2020).

Clearly Identify the Problem

Obesity is a chronic disease with multiple causes expressed from the interaction of social, behavioral, psychological, metabolic, cellular, and molecular factors, defined as excess adipose tissue about weight. The problem is that in the United States, the latest information released at the Second National Obesity Meeting confirmed that 51% of the American adult population is overweight and obese, leaving the fact that each of every two Americans suffers and lives with these diseases (World Obesity and Weight Management Congress, 2021). According to the latest data published by the CDC (2020), overweight in the population between 18 and 64 years of age increased compared to the reported results, showing that 51.2% of the population suffers from weight gain and that this is higher pathology in women (55.2%) than in men (45.6%).

Smoking is considered a 21st-century pandemic, for which no effective health programs have been created to counteract it; in the United States, the prevalence of cigarette smoking in American adult population between 18 and 69 years of age is 12.8%, being higher in men than in women, for which it has been determined that many of the smokers suffer higher levels of depression and anxiety than their non-smoking peers, within the consequences of long-term consumption is lung cancer, coronary heart disease, other cancers, and chronic lung disease, being also a significant risk factor for atherosclerosis (CDC, 2020).

Alcohol is the most consumed psychoactive substance in the world and is easily and legally accessible for sale and access for the elderly; in the country, 35% of the population between 12 and 65 years of age are alcohol consumers, and the highest consumption is in young people from 18 to 24 years old, corresponding to 46%, within the problems related to alcohol consumption, there are effects on perception, motor execution, and muscular coordination, as well as on memory and mental functions such as comprehension and learning; its excessive consumption causes damage to organs such as liver, heart, and brain (CDC, 2020). Similarly, interpersonal relationships are affected, and there is a greater risk of family problems, fights, fights with friends, acts of violence, and traffic accidents.

Therefore, it is essential to consider that these high percentages of overweight and obesity are related to behaviors that are far from healthy habits, such as physical inactivity, inadequate diet, and the consumption of tobacco and alcohol, which together constitute the leading cause of chronic non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attacks and strokes), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes. These diseases in the United States impose a burden of morbidity and mortality of about 80%, seriously affecting the economic stability of these countries and citizens (CDC, 2020).

Significance of the problem to Nursing

The importance of evaluating the prevalence of overweight and obesity in nursing students at Florida National University arises from their roles as health promoters, since they are the first link in the prevention of the development of overweight and obesity, so that the Citizens expect health professionals to be the example and reflection of healthy habits, since patients trust their knowledge, hoping that they are the reflection of a good state of health (Mkiller, 2018). Thus, students must understand the comprehensive approach regarding their duties and obligations as health promoters. In addition, it is nursing, a career in which students should be encouraged to seek optimization of their habits and food and physical resources because, within the academic program, they have first-line knowledge about the consequences of obesity and on weight, as well as the possibility of developing sports practices and healthy eating routines, unlike other professions (Romero-Blanco et.la, 2021). So, this makes the autonomy of each nursing student essential for the development of these competencies.

Purpose of the research

According to those mentioned above, it is proposed to identify the prevalence of overweight and obesity in nursing students at Florida National University. Since it is necessary to identify these factors from the beginning but to know which ones prevail throughout medical training or if, on the contrary, they undergo some modification that favors the appearance of chronic non-communicable diseases. Thus, this study is a reliable source willing to explore the option of serving as a basis for future studies on obesity and the weight of nursing students. In this way, it is possible to affirm that future researchers have a basis for identifying the status of students at Florida National University.

Research Questions

What is the prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in nursing students at Florida National University?

Is the proportion of one in two overweight Americans applicable to Florida National University nursing students?

What are the eating habits, physical activity and presentation of sedentary lifestyle in the study population?

Master’s Essentials

Essential Two: Organizational and Systems Leadership

Considering that citizens expect to find in health professionals the reflection of good eating habits, physical activity, and mental health. This Essential focuses on promoting the leadership of health institutions and their members so that each health professional should be an example of their knowledge.


AACN. (2011). AACN—The essentials of master’s education in nursing. Essential Knowledge for CNL® and APRN Nurse Leaders, 4-5. https://doi.org/10.1891/9780826183712.ap01

CDC. (2020, February 27). Products – DATA Briefs – Number 360 – February 2020. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db360.htm

Kurnat, K. (2020). Nurses’ health promoting lifestyle behaviors in a community hospital. Retrieved September 25, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28532732/

Miller, T. (2018). Overweight and obesity in nurses, advanced practice nurses, and nurse educators. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18460166/

Romero-Blanco, C., Hernández-Martínez, A., Parra-Fernández, M., Onieva-Zafra, M., Prado-Laguna, M., & Rodríguez-Almagro, J. (2021, April 18). Food addiction and lifestyle habits among university Nursing students. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8073513/

WHO. (2019). Non communicable diseases. Retrieved September 25, 2021, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/noncommunicable-diseases

World Obesity and Weight Management Congress. (2021). Obesity conferences 2021: Obesity Events: WORLD Obesity Congress: OBESITY 2021. Retrieved from https://obesityworldconference.com/