What recommendations should a health professional give to the parents of a child with increased weight?
As part of its response to the global epidemic of obesity, WHO has issued guidelines to support primary healthcare workers to identify and manage children who are overweight or obese.
Acquiring healthy eating behaviors that will endure is important for children and adolescents: lifelong healthy eating habits help prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as well as conditions that may occur due to malnutrition.
Nutrition management has been applied to numerous childhood obesity intervention studies.
Diverse forms of nutrition education and counseling, key messages, a Mediterranean-style hypocaloric diet, and nutritional food selection have been implemented as dietary interventions.
The modification of dietary risk in terms of nutrients, foods, dietary patterns, and dietary behaviors has been applied to changing problematic dietary factors.
Dietary interventions with a multidisciplinary approach have had positive outcomes in modifying obesity-related dietary risk factors for obese children and adolescents: a reduction in high-fat food and sugary beverages, increased intake of fruits and vegetables, reduction in snacks, and maintenance of a balanced diet.
However, unfavorable outcomes were reported after long-term follow-up in terms of weight fluctuation, increased energy intake, macronutrient intake, and unhealthy dietary behaviors.
Behavioral modification and motivational interviewing on the health and diet of children and adolescents, to improve their self-control and mindful eating for sustainable healthy weight and nutritional status, are required to provide nutritional education and management.
It is necessary to considerate behavioral and environmental risk factors in a diet and to provide tailored nutritional therapy according to the stages of change among children and adolescents.
For this reason, individual, familial, social, and political-level involvement are recommended for effective and sustainable nutritional management of childhood obesity.
In addition, practical key messages for health and diet may be helpful in establishing healthful habits and lifestyles in this public health crisis.
Given the difficulty of behavior-based weight loss and subsequent weight maintenance and the expense and potential harm of medication and surgery, obesity prevention should be a public health focus.
Efforts must begin early in life, because obesity in childhood is likely to persist into adulthood.
TREATMENT: The primary goal of obesity treatment is improvement of long-term physical health through permanent healthy lifestyle habits.
To achieve these goals, providers could present a staged approach with 4 treatment stages of increasing intensity. Patients can begin at the least-intensive stage and advance depending on responses to treatment, age, degree of obesity, health risks, and motivation:
Stages of Obesity Treatment
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