Therapies have little effect on overweight children
Overweight in children and adolescents can be reduced in the short term with measures to reduce weight, such as nutritional therapies, weight loss and exercise programs, but in the long term the therapeutic approaches do not show the desired success. This is the result of a current long-term study by the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA).
While most therapies for obesity initially have a promising effect, long-term success is extremely limited. "Sustainable weight stabilization and improvements in health behavior" are, according to the Federal Center for Health Education, apparently "difficult to implement with the existing therapies." After one to two years, the initial success for most adolescents has been put into perspective again. Against this background, the growing proportion of overweight children is particularly critical. Because whoever is overweight, threatens to stay.
Low long-term success of therapies in overweight children The long-term study published by the BZgA yesterday revealed significant deficits in the therapeutic measures for overweight children. As part of the investigation, the BZgA experts collected the data from 1,916 overweight children and adolescents between the ages of eight and 16 years who were either treated as outpatients for about a year or inpatients for about six weeks. 48 institutions from all over Germany, in which therapeutic measures against obesity are offered, were part of the study. According to the evaluated data, the weight loss measures achieved a clear success in around 56 percent of children and adolescents during the therapy period. But "one or two years after the end of the programs, weight loss was only seen in about 14 percent of adolescents," reports the BZgA. Accompanying therapy goals such as more exercise in everyday life, a healthier diet, less time in front of the television or PC and an improvement in the general quality of life had "only been achieved in the long term in ten to 18 percent of children and adolescents".
Unstable health care situation with the therapy offers In addition to the limited success of the weight loss measures, the study also made it clear that "the health care situation in the area of obesity reduction is very unstable," according to the BZgA. The BZgA experts observed a particularly high staff turnover in both small consulting practices and in large clinics and spa facilities. Occasionally, facilities were also closed during the investigation period. Here, more consistency in the interests of the patient would be desirable.
Improvement of prevention measures necessary According to the BZgA director, Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Pott, "the deficits in the care of overweight children and adolescents in Germany show that it has so far not been possible to create effective and constant programs and counseling services for these young patients." Therefore, it is "all the more important to take measures to promote health and prevent to strengthen, so that obesity does not even arise in childhood. ”For example, in order to sensitize parents directly to healthy nutrition and healthy physical activity on the part of the children, the BZgA director would have to establish and permanently anchor appropriate preventive measures, particularly at the local level . The current study results make it clear that there is still a need for optimization of all offers, with better integration between inpatient and outpatient offers in order to achieve sustainability, according to the BZgA. In addition to measures to reduce obesity, programs to promote health that impart skills in dealing with nutrition, exercise and stress are increasingly required. The results of the long-term study and their conclusions were presented on Thursday (October 4th) at a symposium at the congress of the German Obesity Society in Stuttgart. (fp)
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