Home-based model helps obese children

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Home-based model helps obese children

A home-based programme to tackle obesity has the improved health and life quality of Taranaki children and teens.

Results of the University of Auckland Liggins Institute trial, published in the journal Obesity, included improvements in fitness and life quality, reductions in body mass, and a strong attendance in the programme, lead researcher Yvonne Anderson says in a University of Auckland press release.

The programme, Whānau Pakari, was designed to take healthcare out of hospitals and into people’s homes and communities.

“It was evident the best way to address weight issues in young people was to de-medicalise what is a very personal condition, and design a new kind of service that removes the stigma and judgement around obesity. It was important to us that the service involves the whole family/whānau,” Dr Anderson says

The researchers tracked 203 5-16 year-olds enrolled in the year-long programme.

“If we are going to make a difference to those most affected by obesity, services that families feel comfortable with, and that fit in with their lives, are key,” Dr Anderson says.

Participants received six-monthly home-based assessments and attended weekly group sessions covering a range of topics including cooking, virtual supermarket tours, physical activity, sports, lifestyle changes and self-esteem.

First published: October 2017

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