Title APA InMotion Article (August, 2018) - Degree of recognition National Media name/outlet APA InMotion Magazine Media type Duration/Length/Size 2 Pages Country/Territory Australia Date 21/08/18 Description Fact 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/Author APA Persons Nikki Milne, Margarita Tsiros