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December 07, 2021 Tuesday 12:20:32 PM IST

Can Childhood Obesity be Tracked Digitally?

There are many children around us who are struggling with obesity. What is the primary cause of obesity? Is it the oversized portion of food that is forcibly fed to them at a younger age? Or is it because of any other health problems?  Childhood obesity is a growing health concern in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has termed childhood obesity as one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century.

The reason behind the rise in obesity can be due to the intake of ultra-processed food which could damage the child’s developing body. Any food that is marketed in plastic packets and has ingredients you don’t have in your kitchen is ultra-processed food that is very low in nutritional content. Obesity could also affect the mental health of children. They find it difficult to study, sleep and concentrate because of malnourishment.

To tackle the issue of Obesity, University of Queensland researchers are collaborating with an extensive range of health professionals to re-design and improve strategies to prevent childhood obesity. To achieve this goal they designed a program called Precision Support for Preventing Childhood Obesity (PRECISE) program. They are also developing an online tool kit that can prevent obesity in the young. Almost 20 health professionals including GPs, child health nurses, and dietitians have been recruited from across Queensland to design the digital solutions to focus on prevention in routine practice. The online kit offers a variety of clinical tools, resources, and training to help health workers identify, prevent, and talk about childhood obesity with confidence and impact.