Monitoring and screening

Recommendations from the EU Action Plan

Increase childhood screening and surveillance, in particular by identifying overweight and obese children; Define indicators for school nutrition; Establish annual monitoring of objectively measured physical fitness and physical activity of students as a part of sports curricula; Improve monitoring and reporting of initiatives.  

Ideas from JANPA

Aim to measure weight and height instead of self-reporting as it can lead to numerous overweight children being missed (France); Computer-assisted questionnaire completion is easier than the paper version (France); Assist data collection procedure with trained staff if the questionnaire is targeting children (France); Add waist circumference measurements and medical examination to BMI measurements to avoid misclassification (France); Provide annual feedback about the results to parents (Greece); Regularly assess the quality of school meals preferable by using laboratory measurements (Hungary, Poland).

How is obesity in children measured?

Assessing obesity in children is different and more complex than in adults, because children grow and develop at different paces at different ages. To assess a child’s weight category, his/her body mass index (BMI) is compared with different ‘BMI-for-age’ charts (i.e. using WHO, IOTF, CDC or national growth charts).

Programmes and policies from JANPA