Cultural and language adapted support to prevent obesity in children

Child Obesity Prevention

Together with our public sector clients, Health Navigator has developed a family oriented, community-based health coach intervention service providing support to families with children at high risk of developing obesity.

  • Prevents obesity in childhood by achieving lifestyle change in families, including improved diet and increased exercise.
  • Service provided in several languages and adapted to the participant’s cultural background and circumstances.
  • Achieves change through combination of telephone coaching, group education, community engagement and face-to-face sessions.
  • Close cooperation and exchange of knowledge with health care staff.
  • Prevention offers both direct and enduring benefits, as obesity follows the person throughout their life and has a major impact on future health.
  • Initial results from our cohort study show: 75% of women remain in the program after 3 years; weight loss in parents; improved food and exercise habits; and preliminary results show a reduced rate of obesity in children.

Current status

460

Families have had support of a coach to date

7

Maternity clinics are currently being used for recruitment

4

Languages have been supported in the intervention so far

There is a need for additional support for families with children at risk of obesity

The staff at maternity centres and child care centres in areas with a high proportion of overweight and obese children often meet families with a great need to change their lifestyle. These people often need more support than what standard health care can offer in the context of the child and maternal health basic care program. This is because support often needs to adapt to the family culture, habits and include multiple actors from various parts of society. The Health Navigator coaching program engages in personalised coaching, group education sessions, provides appropriate practical solutions for diet and exercise and improves community support.

shutterstock_105628505

shutterstock_164722412

The risk of developing obesity in children is significantly higher in vulnerable groups

11% of four-year-olds in Stockholm County are overweight or obese

 

  • In some areas, one in five children are overweight or obese
  • The risk of obesity is up to ten times higher for children in deprived areas compared to other areas
  • The risk of being overweight is six to ten times higher for children whose parents have low education
  • For children whose parents are overweight, the risk is ten to fifteen times higher
  • Four out of five five-year-olds with obesity have residual obesity in adulthood

Identify families in collaboration with maternity centres, where children are at risk of developing obesity

Provide knowledge and motivational support to families and external stakeholders to promote lifestyle change

Follow up effects and adjust working methods iteratively