Overweight management

Recommendations from the EU Action Plan

Adopt and apply evidence based guidelines on overweight and obesity screening and management for children including families; Ensure opportunistic screening and early intervention at general practitioners (GPs), pediatricians, other health professionals or school nurses; Promote healthy eating and physical activity regardless of body size and appearance; Avoid stigmatization

Ideas from JANPA

To set up realistic targets for the families, assess the lifestyle as well as readiness to change of the child and parents in parallel (Estonia); Use social media for feedback and peer support (Estonia, France); Notify overweight and obese students both orally and in writing together with their parents and GPs (France); Combine school-based screening with school-based care (France); Initiate cooperation with insurance companies to cover the costs of preventive measures (Slovakia).

How can weight stigma be reduced in schools?

Children who are overweight are often targets of stigma and may be especially vulnerable to the consequences. Negative attitudes towards obese youth develop in children as young as three years old. Peers are common performers of weight-related bullying and teasing and derogatory names, and school is a frequent venue where stigma occurs. Some strategies to reduce weight stigma within school setting are:

  • increase education and awareness among teachers and other school staff of the serious adverse consequences of weight stigma,
  • implement a zero-tolerance bullying policy which includes weight-based bullying,
  • educate children about the complex causes of obesity and ensure that students have an understanding that causes come mainly from external factors and that individuals cannot, with the pressure of the environment, ensure a healthy behavior.

Programmes and policies from JANPA