Clearer guidance needed on specialist childhood obesity services

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The government has been called on to provide clearer structures and frameworks in order to tackle the country’s growing obesity problem amongst children and young people.

With an estimated 2.9% of girls and 3.9% of boys suffering from severe obesity, leading to potential cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other health conditions, the SHINE (an established Tier 3 weight management programme) and Leeds Beckett led research, suggests there is currently a lack of direction and guidance for these children and young people in accessing specialist Tier 3 obesity services.
 
Tier 3 services refer to programmes delivered by specialist providers and targeted at children with more complex, severe obesity.
 
Childhood weight management researcher, James Nobles, said: “Despite the fact that children and young people with severe obesity present with complex needs, positive change is achievable through the provision of various interventions moulded to meet the individual needs of each participant.
 
“Following the launch of a clinical pathways guide on weight management services in 2014, it is clear that there remains a lack of Tier 3 service provision for childhood weight management services. 
 
"This research supports the notion of an integrated care pathway for children and young people with obesity and severe obesity, acknowledging that current intervention is not able to always meet the need of complex cases. An integrated care pathway would ensure different provisions are available to those families most in need” 
 
The paper outlines the benefits of a stepped care approach in a community setting as opposed to a clinically based setting, such a hospitals and speciality obesity units.
 
Every Child Update
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