Connecting prevention and care
We want to create a healthy environment for all children but children who are already overweight or obese require special attention. Effective care and support for an overweight child – and the family in which the child is growing up – often needs more than just focusing on a healthy lifestyle and making good choices. Often there are other issues affecting a family where a child is struggling with his or her weight. Therefore it is more effective to tackle the underlying causes of the problem and ensure that the professionals concerned with prevention, care and welfare also have an appropriate role and can act at the right moment on the basis of their own competence and expertise. This can only happen if these aspects have been properly incorporated and coordinated, and efforts therefore complement one another in the best possible way.
Three interventions to sustain lasting change towards living a healthier life
To change how children behave to reduce excess weight and obesity, you have to work with the family because the family is the cornerstone of behavioural change.
Advancing prevention by engaging the community in addressing social determinants
It is a complex issue that consists of more than just an individual’s personal motivation to eat healthy food or exercise. If we are to solve obesity both in the short and the long term, we also need to look at the issue in the context of the struggles of the community, such as addiction, food insecurity, poverty and access to recreation.
A broad approach for the care and support of overweight children
Prevention and care aren’t as disconnected from each other as they might seem to be. In fact we find that they are two sides of the same coin. Individual care and support for an overweight child - and the family in which the child is growing up - will only work if the environment supports a healthy lifestyle.