Seven steps to fight childhood obesity
A panel of experts which included doctors and psychologists came up with a new model to fight childhood and adolescent obesity. The model consists of 7 steps, each step with increasing intensity.
The so-called Seven Steps to Success are
- Medical Management. This step should be a joint effort between parents and pediatricians. The parents should have their child checked regularly for potential health problems caused by excess weight.
- Education. This refers to educating parents and children alike on proper nutrition and physical exercise.
- Environmental Changes. This entails making changes in the family environment, such as getting rid of all junk food, altering eating habits and schedules, limiting TV and computer time, and engagement in more outdoor, physical activities.
- Support Groups. Support groups can great help kids, especially teens in coping with weight problems.
- Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) I: Clinics or Short-Term Immersion. CBT is a scientifically based approach that helps people in motivation, goal-setting, and focusing skills. CBT can also be applied to weight problems and short-term immersion may be available in local hospitals, and clinics.
- CBT II: Long-term Immersion. More intensive immersion programs are available in specially set up therapeutic boarding schools and clinics.
- Bariatric Surgery +. This rather drastic measure is recommended to those who are seriously overweight and for whom the first six steps didn’t work.
One has to be aware that the model is based on one important assumption – that obesity among children is mainly linked to the family environment. The participation and commitment of the family members are therefore necessary for the model to work.
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