PREVENTING AND TREATING CHILDHOOD OBESITY
Embargoed until 19.00 hours Thursday 28 November 2002
The latest issue of Effective Health Care focuses on the effectiveness of interventions used to prevent and treat childhood obesity.
There is a worldwide concern about the increasing rise of obesity in childhood . In the UK the prevalence of obesity amongst children has increased substantially over the last 20 years. Not only is obesity linked the cause of a number of associated health problems (including hypertension and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems), it can also have a significant impact on the psychological well-being of many children.
Halting the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity in children is a key public health priority, However Effective Health Care has found that there is a lack of good quality evidence on the effectiveness of interventions on which to base national strategies or to inform clinical practice.
There are now a number of government initiatives specifically highlighting the key role that schools can play in improving the health of children. There is some evidence that multi-faceted school based programmes that promote physical activity, the modification of dietary intake and the targeting of sedentary behaviours may help reduce obesity in school children, particularly girls.
Multi-faceted family-based programmes that involve parents, increase physical activity, provide dietary education and target reductions in sedentary behaviour may help children lose weight.
There is some evidence that family-based behaviour modification programmes where parents take primary responsibility and act as agents of change, may help children lose weight.
Future research must be of good methodological quality, involve large numbers of participants in appropriate settings and needs to be of longer duration and intensity. The cost effectiveness of obesity related prevention and treatment needs to be addressed.Further information can be obtained from Paul Wilson on 01904 433634.
Notes for Editors
- This issue of Effective Health Care is based on systematic reviews carried out by the Cochrane Heart Group, with additional review work carried out by staff at the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York.
- Effective Health Care is an independent report produced by the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York. The bulletin aims to provide NHS decision makers with information on the effectiveness of interventions and the delivery and organisation of health care.
- PLEASE MENTION EFFECTIVE HEALTH CARE AS THE SOURCE OF THIS STORY
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