Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Danish break-through fighting obesity among children requires that the child stay at home

Obesity among children has become a huge problem. It is now estimated that overweight is no longer a minority. At least 20 percent is overweight and 70 percent of these overweight children will become overweight once they become adult.

Something has to be done and thanksfully it has.

What is the solution then? Creating a massive number of group homes?

No. Children don't prepare their own food. The parents do. Children often don't do what their parents say. They do as their parents act.

So the cure of the solution is that the family needs a treatment plan. Not the child.

An expert group at Holbaek Hospital research and invented a method which has proven to be very successful. Back in 2014 they had treated 1,900 children with a successrate of 80 percent.

The question people often ask is whether the child has to take ownership and the answer is yes. The child has also to take ownership of the problem but it is not a problem because the body image modern marketing portray has never been father away from the body image you see on Danish streets.

The danish treatment model is simple:

  1. The child and the family goes through a number of interviews at the hospital
  2. Based on the interviews, the family and the hospital agrees on 15-20 changes in the daily routines. That is it!

The family agree to clean up their kitchen. Rules are given for each meal.

  • The breakfast for all members of the family has to consist of Rye bread and the meat the family put on top of it must maximum has a fat percent of 6. It could be chicken, turkey or fish alternatively Oatmeal, oatmeal, rugfras or mini-grass. No serial are a allowed - it must not even be in the home at all.
  • The Lunch must consist of 3-4 pieces of Rye Bread with similar kind of meat as the Breakfast.
  • No snacks in during afternoon. The child can repeat the breakfast
  • All plates are prepared in advance in the kitchen and served for each family member so each plate include a certain percentage is vegetables. If a second service is needs the rule is that 20 minutes must past. Almost every human experience a delay in the signals from the stomach which tells them when they are satiated. That is the reason for the delay. Again the second service has to be prepared in advance. Needless to say that these rules apply to all in the family. It is not the child who are treated. It is the family.
  • Drinks which includes sugar like soda or juice must maximum be enjoyed once per week and we are talking half a liter in total per week.
  • Candy is once per week and there is a limit based on age

But change in diet is often not enough. The family needs to look at their daily transport routines. In Danish the roads are safe for children. The children often bike to school from an early age (8-9 years old) when the distance is under 7 kilometers.

All Danish homework is computerized but using computer and television for recreational use is set to be 2 hours per day maximum and only after 17:00.

Finally the child has to choose a sport to attend based on the choice of the child. Often a number of sports has to be tried out, but the important part is that it is interest of the child which is the motivation. Of course it would help if a parent or sibling is actively either participating or supporting.

Is that not much responsability to place on the parents? Wasn't is easier to outsource this to a group home or an in-patient program?

No. It is the responsability of the parents to partipate. It comes with the territory of being a parent to show an example. As a parent you have to change your life as much as possible to make your child both healthy and successful.

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