Care for Obesity: Expert knowledge in childhood obesity

Ambition

Our ambition is the best possible support and care for all children with obesity and those children at high risk of developing obesity. The goal is to enhance their physical health, quality of life and social participation through sustainable improvement of their lifestyle behaviours. We do this by conducting scientific research and by knowledge valorisation, both always in collaboration with policy and practice. We strive to achieve demand-driven, user-friendly, appropriate and funded support and care for children (0-19 years) at all levels of overweight and obesity and for their parents/carers. 

Background

In the Netherlands we have about 450.000 children with overweight, of whom approximately 75.000 have obesity or severe obesity. These numbers have risen sharply over the past decades, particularly among children from lower socioeconomic groups, and this increases health inequalities. 

Overweight, and notably obesity, can lead to serious physical and psychosocial problems. This is why children with overweight or obesity should be provided appropriate support and care. Major progress has been made in the Netherlands over the past years in this respect. 

But we are not there yet, which is why we at VU Amsterdam are working on increasing the knowledge on the support and care for children with obesity and children at high risk of developing obesity. Since 2013 we have been doing this in the Care for Obesity project. We aim for an intensive collaboration between research, policy and practice including involvement of children and parents. This enables us to contribute to a better match between the offered support and care, and the needs of the children and families concerned and their care professionals. 

Research

Our research is focused on the following four themes: 

We are working on a solid knowledge base on support and care for children with obesity and children at high risk of developing obesity. This knowledge base includes relevant scientific research and products of practical use for the professional field. We are strongly focussed on generating both scientific and societal impact.

Over the past years, we have conducted research and carried out other actions relating to themes relevant to the support and care for children with overweight and obesity children, such as the integrated care approach, health-related quality of life and talking about weight. This resulted among other things in: scientific articles, education for professionals, fact sheets, a web tool, an animated film, a national model and collaboration between research, policy and practice. 

Our work in the coming years will include research as part of the integrated care approach for children with obesity and children at high risk of developing obesity, the development of education for professionals and the revision of the national multidisciplinary evidence based guideline and health care standard for obesity. 

*In an integrated care approach, several organisations and professionals work together in a network to provide high-quality and integrated support and care to a particular target group. 

Publications

All articles published by Care for Obesity can be found on the publications page. This includes both scientific articles and publications for the professional field (knowledge valorization). The publication overview is largely based on the work of Care for Obesity from 2016. It also contains the highlights from the 2007-2015 period of Care for Obesity and the ’Partnership Overweight Netherlands'.

Contact

Care for Obesity is a project of VU Amsterdam (The Netherlands) that has focussed on improving the integrated care approach for childhood overweight and obesity since 2013 with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. Read more on our employees or contact us by visiting the contact page.