Overweight and obesity are now the most common childhood disorders in Europe. These disorders can cause social, psychological and physiological health problems in childhood and are linked to obesity and poor health outcomes later in life. The present review will examine the importance of the preventive intervention setting; including family based programmes, primary care settings, community settings and primary schools. The review also identifies the most effective components of obesity prevention interventions designed for children, including healthy eating and physical activity (PA). Evidence suggests that out of all the intervention settings, obesity prevention programmes are the most successful when delivered in the primary school setting. Furthermore, there is strong evidence to show that combined dietary and PA interventions are the most effective components to include in such strategies but these programmes tend to be delivered over short time frames. Definite conclusions as to the effectiveness of such programmes at preventing overweight and/or obesity are therefore not available. Without long-term delivery of these interventions, overweight, obesity and unhealthy behaviours are at risk of continuing, which could have both immediate and long term health implications.
Citation: Merrotsy A, McCarthy AL, Flack J, Coppinger T. 2018. Obesity Prevention Programs in Children: The Most Effective Settings and Components. A Literature Review. J Obes Chronic Dis 2(2): 62-75.