Obesity, obesity, in children and adolescents

Opportunities for prevention and therapy of obesity, obesity, in children: that proves the new Childhood Obesity Guideline. © kwanchai.c / shutterstock.com

The new guideline on childhood obesity shows great opportunities in preventing and treating obesity in children and adolescents.

Basically, early intervention in childhood obesity brings good chances of success for the child’s future health. A new guideline on childhood obesity has scientifically reviewed recommendations for the treatment of obesity. These included common concepts and programs.

New guideline for the treatment of childhood obesity

The content of the guideline shows a paradigm shift, because the scientific studies show that the blame for obesity, obesity, is not primarily with the children or their families. Rather, it is due to adipogenic living conditions in our latitudes. Our influence on it is wanting to end.

Prevention of obesity primarily requires preventive measures (e.g. reduction in the supply of sugar), which must be initiated by society and politics.

Exercise, nutritional and behavioral therapy

However, the instruction and training of those affected with the aim of changing their personal lifestyle in a multimodal obesity therapy (combination of exercise, nutrition and behavioral therapy) also promise success. In particular, the special training for children of primary school age and especially their families shows measurable positive effects. Nonetheless, the introduction to the almost 80-page guideline on “Therapy and prevention of obesity in childhood and adolescence” now soberly states that the “achieved therapy effects are rather small” and “often do not meet the expectations of those affected”.

Outpatient before inpatient with obesity therapy

PD Dr. Susanna Wiegand, former spokeswoman for the Working Group for Childhood Obesity (AGA) and Vice President of the German Obesity Society since October, explains one of the hurdles when it comes to child-friendly therapy: “We know that children and adolescents in particular can benefit well and sustainably from outpatient services. Therefore, the recommendation `outpatient before inpatient´ applies to obesity therapy. At the same time, there are not enough places for these concepts, according to which the child is looked after in the middle of family, school and friends. ”

The reason: Outpatient offers are still only hesitantly supported by health insurance companies. As a result, many providers have already withdrawn from this segment, reports Prof. Wiegand.

"We need training opportunities nationwide for young children and their families. The guideline emphasizes that everyone should be given access to a training program. This also applies to the rural area, in which the prevalence of obesity is higher than in the city. Such programs should be set up and implemented in close cooperation with the health insurance companies, ”explains Prof. Dr. Martin Wabitsch. Together with Dr. Anja Moß, AWMF guideline assistant, was in charge of the interdisciplinary guideline creation and was involved in the expert committee for the DGKJ.

Prof. Wabitsch points out: “However, the success rate for adolescents with extreme obesity is significantly lower than for younger children. We need new therapy concepts for this special group of young patients! ”.

Lifestyle and health

DGKJ President Prof. Dr. Ingeborg Krägeloh-Mann sees the new guideline as a strong argument for the importance of caring for children suffering from obesity: “The extensive Cochrane analysis and the consensus process, in which all relevant specialist societies were involved, now provide decision-makers with sound science-based recommendations , In addition, especially with the very young patient group affected here, decisions can have a lasting impact on life health – making it all the more important that one acts here according to evidence and expertise. "

The newly published guideline on childhood obesity also makes it clear. Obesity is this Result of the lifestyle of our society. For children to grow up healthy, far-reaching changes are required. This in turn requires strong political support.

Evidence-based (S3) guideline of the Working Group on Childhood and Adolescent Obesity (AGA, AWMF No. 050-002): "Therapy and Prevention of Obesity in Childhood and Adolescence".

The German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ) is co-editor of the paper, which is jointly composed of 40 experts from 16 medical and scientific associations, professional associations and others organizations was worked out.

Working Group on Childhood Obesity (AGA), German Obesity Society


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