Obesity in Houston: Self-Care Deficit Theory of Nursing

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 3
Words: 589
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College


Houston, Texas has the highest number of adults with obesity than most regions in the United States. One in every five children in Houston is overweight. Among adults, about 30% are obese. Obesity is described as a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 30 (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). Obesity causes diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart complications such as stroke hypertension. Reduced levels of obesity would mean that the society lives without experiencing the risk of other diseases.

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Orem’s Self-care Deficit Theory of Nursing

Seed & Torkelson (2012) write that the self-care deficit theory was developed by Orem while making attempts to improve the quality of nursing in hospitals. The theory defines the relationships between concepts so that there is an effective way of tackling health problems. Further, the theory can be generalized so that it applies to several nursing cases. Nurses can benefit from the theory as a guide to improving services. However, the theory should be consistent with other laws and principles of nursing.

The assumption of the theory involves the fact that each person is distinct regarding their nursing needs. In particular, each should be responsible for their health, as well as the health of family members in need of care. The theory also makes an assumption that nursing involves practice through individual actions. The nursing process involves interaction between the nurse and the client (Seed & Torkelson, 2012).

Alleviation of obesity through the theory is based on prevention of factors leading to obesity. Nurses should work with individuals regarding nutrition. The nurse ensures that obese persons consume foods that do not lead to obesity such as fatty foods. The nurse also ensures that foods that cause obesity are eliminated from the diet of the client. The nurse may also prescribe treatment for obese persons based on health risks affecting the client. Bariatric surgery, lifestyle changes, and individual behavior strategies can be prescribed to each client.

Milio’s Framework for Prevention

According to Woodall, de Viggiani, Dixey, & South (2014), Milio’s structure is based on prevention of community health problems by focusing on approaches that assist the whole community. The theory makes an assumption that behaviors of populations, as well as individuals as part of the community, arise because of limited choices which lead to certain habits. Another assumption is that lack of knowledge has no role in high levels of community health problems.

Prevention of obesity based on Milio’s framework focuses on community habits that lead to obesity. Within the community, healthier meal choices should be availed in schools so that school going children are not affected. Within Houston, Texas, it is necessary to target corporations that profit from obesity. Corporations producing foods high in calories should be informed of the need to increase the nutritional content of food. Regarding health policy changes, the government should allocate enough community facilities such as gyms and cycling lanes so that exercise becomes part of daily life. In areas such as schools, lunch programs should be modified so that fruits and vegetable consumption becomes a priority.


Obesity as a public health problem in Houston can be tackled through Orem’s self-care deficit theory of nursing that focuses on an individual. For each obese person, Bariatric surgery, lifestyle changes, and different behavior strategies can be prescribed by the nurse. In the case of Milio’s framework for prevention, health policy changes that lead to the construction of community gyms as well as the construction of cycling lanes enables community members to exercise at home and cycle to work.

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Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, (2016). Harris County Health Statistics. National Health Worksite Program. Web.

Seed, M. S., & Torkelson, D. J. (2012). Beginning the recovery journey in acute psychiatric care: using concepts from Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 33(6), 394–398.

Woodall, J., de Viggiani, N., Dixey, R., & South, J. (2014). Moving prison health promotion along: towards an integrative framework for action to develop health promotion and tackle the social determinants of health. Criminal Justice Studies, 27(1), 114–132.