UK to open specialist clinics to tackle childhood obesity – The New Indian Express

Through PTI

LONDON: Severely obese children and young people will receive intensive support in the coming months as part of a new pilot program of 15 new specialist clinics, the National Health Service (NHS) in England said on Tuesday.

The program targets around 1,000 children a year, aged 2 to 18, with health complications from severe obesity, to be supported to lose weight through the new services.

Children will also receive specialized treatment and tailor-made care packages developed with their families, which could include diet plans, mental health treatment and coaching.

“The pandemic has cast a harsh light on obesity ?? with many vulnerable young people struggling with weight gain during the pandemic,” said Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of the NHS in England.

“If left unchecked, obesity can have other very serious consequences, ranging from diabetes to cancer. This early intervention program aims to prevent children and young people from suffering a lifetime of ill health.” , she said.

The health chief said the new ‘historic’ pilot is part of the ‘NHS long-term plan’, which pledged to take more action to help children and young people with their physical health and mental health to help them lead longer, healthier and happier lives.

Obesity affects one in five children in the UK and can increase the likelihood of a child developing serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, liver disease and early heart disease.

Severely obese children can also develop difficulties such as breathing problems, sleep problems and mental health problems, which can have a huge impact on their quality of life.

Early action can prevent long-term health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and even cancer, which is better for patients, the NHS has said.

Along with specialty clinics, group sessions will be delivered with a full clinical team, including support from dietitians, psychologists, specialty nurses, social workers, educators, and a pediatrician to ensure that all the needs of the patient are met. health of each child are satisfied.

In addition to providing expert treatment, the services will identify the factors causing obesity in children, taking into account their mental and physical health.

The 15 new services are based on an existing service at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, which has been supporting children in the region since 2018.

The Care of Childhood Obesity (CoCO) Clinic has treated thousands of children in the South West since its launch and offers a multi-system approach to treatment that combines nutritional counseling, psychological and social support with new medical interventions.

Professor Julian Hamilton-Shield, Professor of Diabetes and Metabolic Endocrinology at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, said: ?? Many children and adolescents who are overweight suffer from serious complications that can make them very sick.

Using a team of experts from many disciplines including dietitians, social workers and mental health professionals, we can identify the exact causes of weight gain and create tailored treatment plans for every child to accelerate weight loss and treat complications. caused. ??

The NHS said available evidence shows younger generations become obese at an earlier age and stay obese for longer, putting themselves at increased risk for 13 different types of cancer, heart attacks, strokes and type 2 diabetes.

Children living in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods are more than twice as likely to be obese as those living in the least disadvantaged neighborhoods.

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