Fact four: One quarter of children and adolescents in Australia are overweight or obese.

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Description

APA InMotion Article (August, 2018)

 

Fact four: One quarter of children and adolescents in Australia are overweight or obese.

 

Authors:  Nikki Milne (Bond University) and Margarita Tsiros (University of South Australia).

 

Approximately 25% of Australian children are overweight or obese (AIHW, 2018) and 80% of Australian children and adolescents do not meet physical activity recommendations of at least 60-minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily (AIHW, 2017).

 

Physiotherapists have unique knowledge and skills to contribute to the therapeutic assessment and management of children who are overweight or obese.  However, there is an identified need for physiotherapists to upskill on definitions of overweight and obesity in children and to correctly assess children’s’ weight status using BMI percentile charts (Milne et al, 2015).  Weight status cannot be accurately judged by looking at a child (Robinson, 2017), so assessments of growth (height, weight and BMI) should ideally form part of a standard paediatric physiotherapy assessment (Tsiros, 2017). 

 

As experts in movement and therapeutic exercise prescription; physiotherapists have a vital role in promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviours (APA 2018).  When working with children who are overweight or obese, physiotherapists should also be assessing motor proficiency (Milne et al, 2015) and musculoskeletal related pain (Tsiros et al, 2014) to determine if these are contributing to a child’s physical inactivity and or weight status. Intervention should be family-centred and focused on goals regarding improved lifestyle behaviours and enhanced motor proficiency rather than weight, so as not to contribute to weight-related stigma (NHMRC, 2013).

 

 

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. My Healthy Communities: Overweight and obesity rates across Australia 2014-2015. 7th June 2018. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-statistics/behaviours-risk-factors/overweight-obesity/overview (Accessed 13.06.2018).

 

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Impact of physical inactivity as risk factor for chronic conditions: Australian Burden of Disease. Nov 2017.  https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-statistics/behaviours-risk-factors/physical-activity/reports (Accessed 13.06.2018).

 

  1. Milne N, Low Choy N, Leong GM, Hughes R and Hing W. (2015). Child obesity service provision: a cross-sectional survey of physiotherapy practice trends and professional needs. Australian Journal of Primary Health. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY14101.

 

  1. Robinson E. (2017). Overweight but unseen: a review of the underestimation of weight status and a visual normalization theory. Obesity Reviews. Oct 18(10): 1200 – 1209. Published online 2017 Jul 21. doi:  10.1111/obr.12570.

 

  1. Tsiros M. The bigger Picture: Childhood Overweight and Obesity.  (2017). Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) cpd4physios. https://cpd4physios.com.au/course/index.php?categoryid=100 (Accessed 13.06.2018).

 

  1. Australian Physiotherapy Association. Australia’s biggest killer. https://www.physiotherapy.asn.au/APAWCM/Advocacy/Campaigns/Australia_s_Biggest_Killer.aspx (Accessed 13.06.2018).

 

  1. Milne N, Leong GM, Hing W. (2016). The relationship between children’s motor proficiency and health-related fitness. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. doi:10.1111/jpc.13236

 

  1. Tsiros M, Buckley J, Howe P, Walkley J, Hills A, Coates A. (2014). Musculoskeletal pain in obese compared with healthy-weight children. The clinical journal of pain: July 14. Vol 30 (7) 583-588.

 

  1. National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Clinical practice guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in adults, adolescents and children in Australia. Department of Health and Ageing, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.

Subject

Child Obesity and Physiotherapy

Period21 Aug 2018

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleAPA InMotion Article (August, 2018) -
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletAPA InMotion Magazine
    Media typePrint
    Duration/Length/Size2 Pages
    CountryAustralia
    Date21/08/18
    DescriptionFact four: One quarter of children and adolescents in Australia are overweight or obese.

    Approximately 25% of Australian children are overweight or obese (AIHW, 2018) and 80% of Australian children and adolescents do not meet physical activity recommendations of at least 60-minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily (AIHW, 2017).

    Physiotherapists have unique knowledge and skills to contribute to the therapeutic assessment and management of children who are overweight or obese. However, there is an identified need for physiotherapists to upskill on definitions of overweight and obesity in children and to correctly assess children’s’ weight status using BMI percentile charts (Milne et al, 2015). Weight status cannot be accurately judged by looking at a child (Robinson, 2017), so assessments of growth (height, weight and BMI) should ideally form part of a standard paediatric physiotherapy assessment (Tsiros, 2017).

    As experts in movement and therapeutic exercise prescription; physiotherapists have a vital role in promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviours (APA 2018). When working with children who are overweight or obese, physiotherapists should also be assessing motor proficiency (Milne et al, 2015) and musculoskeletal related pain (Tsiros et al, 2014) to determine if these are contributing to a child’s physical inactivity and or weight status. Intervention should be family-centred and focused on goals regarding improved lifestyle behaviours and enhanced motor proficiency rather than weight, so as not to contribute to weight-related stigma (NHMRC, 2013).
    Producer/AuthorAPA
    PersonsNikki Milne, Margarita Tsiros