Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 38, Issue 6, June 2009

Barriers to the management of obesity in children A cross sectional survey of GPs

Helen Dettori Helen Elliott Janette Horn Gary Leong
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General practitioners have been identified as having a key role in promoting healthy weight. In 2006, the South East Alliance of General Practice – Brisbane (Ltd) was approached by the Mater Children’s Hospital to participate in the KOALA (Kinder Overweight Activity Lifestyle Actions) at Mater Healthy Lifestyle study. Between June 2007 and January 2008, only 14 eligible children were identified and referred to the KOALA study by participating GPs – a much lower referral rate than the study required. The aim of this study was to investigate barriers among GPs to the assessment of overweight and obesity in children aged 6–10 years.
Although most GPs agreed they had a role in management and felt confident to assess overweight and obesity in children, only a minority were putting this into practice, suggesting there are other barriers. Practice systems that facilitate implementation of National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines may need to be put in place.
Of the 33 (67%) respondents, 93% agreed child overweight and obesity was a medical problem, that GPs had a role in management, and that the KOALA study had made them more aware of identifying overweight children. Only 57% however, reported changing their practice.

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Printed from Australian Family Physician - https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2009/june/management-of-obesity-in-children
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