School Nurses’ Role in Promoting Health Literacy toward Childhood Obesity Prevention


  • Benchaporn Sukprasert -


School nurse role, Health literacy, Obesity, School age


Overweight or obesity among school-aged children is a public health problem in the world and Thailand in nowadays. It directly affects the incidence of chronic physical illness and mental health of students. Solving problems require proactive remedial action by encouraging school-aged children to have healthy behaviors, reduce the risk factors of being overweight or obese by enhancing the ability to take care of self, known as health literacy.  School nurses have a significant role in engaging the students to have health literacy in order to access and understand nutrition and physical activity information, make informed decisions, change healthy dietary and physical activity behaviors, and able to pass on and disseminate knowledge to others. This article aims to review the literature on the concept of health literacy and role of school nurses in promoting health literacy in nutrition and physical activity to prevent overweight or obese school-aged children. It will be used as a practical guideline for the development of the health literacy school under the strategy of health promoting school for Thai children with the good knowledge and having a process of change within oneself. Subsequently, they able to modify their health behaviors for good health to reduce the risk of illness and grow up into adults and older people with good quality of life.


Download data is not yet available.


World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2022 Apr 20] Available from:

World Obesity Federation. Atlas of childhood obesity. In World obesity federation (Vol. 1, Issue October) [internet]. 2019 [cited 2022 Apr 20]. Available from:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Childhood obesity causes and consequences [internet]. 2016 [cited 2022 Apr 20]. Available from:

National Institutes of Health. Overweight and obesity [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2022 Apr 20] Available from:

World Health Organization. Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health [Internet]. 2004 [cited 2022 Apr 20] Available from:

World Health Organization. School policy framework: Implementation of the WHO global strategy on diet, physical activity and health [Internet]. 2008 [cited 2022 Apr 20] Available from:

Bureau of Nutrition. Report analysis results according to indicator 1.11 Percentage of children aged 6-14 years old, nutrition status in the first 5 months of 2021 [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2022 Apr 20] Available from:

Michou M, Panagiotakos DB, Costarelli V. Low health literacy and excess body weight: A systematic review. Central European journal of public health 2018; 26(3): 234-241.

Shih SF, Liu CH, Liao LL, Osborne RH. Health literacy and the determinants of obesity: a population-based survey of sixth grade school children in Taiwan. BMC Public Health 2016;16: 280.

Derks IPM, Sijbrands EJG, Wake M, Qureshi F, van der Ende J, Hillegers MHJ, et al. Eating behavior and body composition across childhood: a prospective cohort study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2018; 15(1): 96.

An R. Diet quality and physical activity in relation to childhood obesity. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2017; 29(2):/j/ijamh.2017.29.issue-2/ijamh-2015-0045/ijamh-2015-0045.xml.

Bureau of Health Promotion. Survey of health literacy and desired health behaviors in school-aged children, 2019 [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2022 Apr 20] Available from:

Ministry of Public Health, Department of Health. Health literate school: HLS Guidelines [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2022 Apr 20] Available from:

Health Education Division. Health education program to enhance health literacy according to the National Health Act [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2022 May 5] Available from:

Health Education Division. Enhancing and assessing health literacy and health behaviors school age group and working age group [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2022 May 5] Available from:

Nutbeam D. Health Literacy as a public health goal: a challenge for contemporary health education and communication strategies into the 21st century. Health Promot Int. 2000;15(3):259-267

Cheng H, George C, Dunham M, Whitehead L, Denney-Wilson E. Nurse-led interventions in the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity infants, children and adolescents: A scoping review. Int J Nurs Sud. 2021; 121:104008.

Kowalski AE, Hartung SQ. Are body mass index screening programs in schools enough? Body Mass Index notification, follow-up, and school nurse role. NASN School Nurse 2019; 34(4): 223-227.

Schroeder K, Travers J, Smaldone A. Are school nurses an overlooked resource in reducing childhood obesity? A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Sch Health 2016; 86(5): 309-321.

Whitehead L, Kabdebo I, Dunham M, Quinn R, Hummelshoj J, George C et al. The effectiveness of nurse-led interventions to prevent childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity: A systematic review of randomized trials. J Adv Nurs 2021; 77: 4612-4631.

Dotterweich A, Eveland-Sayers B, Chroust A, Boynewicz K. Relationships Between BMI and Self-Perception of Adequacy in and Enjoyment of Physical Activity in Youth Following a Physical Literacy Intervention. The Sport Journal [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2022 May 7]. Available from:

Pansakun N. Guidelines for Health Promotion in Schools: The Foundation for Human Development Journal of Education, Prince of Songkla University, Pattani Campus 2021; 32(1): 1-16.

Chrissini MK, Panagiotakos DB. Health literacy as a determinant of childhood and adult obesity: a systematic review. Int J Adolesc Med Health 2021; 33(3): 9-39.

Auld ME, Allen MP, Hampton C, et al. Health Literacy and Health Education in Schools: Collaboration for Action. NAM Perspect 2020; 10.31478/202007b.

Chavez RC, Nam EW. School-based obesity prevention interventions in Latin America: A systematic review. Rev Saude Publica 2020; 54: 110.




How to Cite

Sukprasert B. School Nurses’ Role in Promoting Health Literacy toward Childhood Obesity Prevention. J Nurs Healthc [Internet]. 2022 Jun. 29 [cited 2022 Sep. 27];40(2):25-34. Available from: