Multi-pronged physio approach for children’s health

Bringing data together from 263 studies that looked at physiotherapy interventions for obese children, Australian researchers conclude that a multi-pronged approach that tackles physical activity, behaviour, medication, diet and education all at once appears to be the most effective in helping with weight reduction.

Published in PLOS ONE the systematic review included 263 intervention-based articles, with interventions including qualitative-focused physical activity, quantitative-focused physical activity and multi-component interventions.

The results indicate that the “general trend for physiotherapy involvement with children who are obese appears to favour: 1) multi-component interventions, implementing more than one component with environmental modification and parental involvement; 2) quantitative physical activity interventions, focusing on the quantity of bodily movement”.

According to the study’s authors, “physiotherapists have the potential to manage children with obesity as they are experts in movement and activity”.

Given this expertise and their role in the health if children, and the results of this study, the authors conclude that “when managing children with obesity, physiotherapists should consider multi-component approaches and increasing the quantity of physical activity, given consistent improvement in various obesity-related outcomes”.

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