Randers Regional Hospital and four health centres in northeast Jutland have successfully reused a model used in Holbæk involving life-enhancing efforts directed at overweight children and young people. Doctor Jens-Christian Holm, who specialises in childhood diseases, developed the model. The treatment is comprehensive and includes courses for training municipal staff. In a short space of time, 70% of 1,700 young people are no longer overweight.

The number of overweight children in Denmark has tripled over the past three decades. Children can also suffer from depression and social problems at school. Lack of exercise, poor diet and sleeping habits, as well as sitting in front of the game console or computer for extended periods have impaired the quality of life of many children for a long time.

Treatment begins by speaking with the family to involve the whole household in the child’s efforts. The young person’s family and the health centre typically agree to work on 15-20 highly specific goals. For example, the child agrees to instantly stop eating fatty lunch meats and sugary breakfast products, replacing them with turkey, lean cheese and cod roe. The programme, which allots five hours per child per year, helps reduce excess weight, elevated blood pressure, fatty liver and cholesterol in three out of four children. The children experience better quality of life and even their parents lose weight. One-hundred children initially participated in the treatment at Randers Regional Hospital and the municipalities of Favrskov, Norddjurs and Syddjurs. Dr Holm estimates that the programme saves at least 10,000 Danish kroner annually per child.

If you would like to reuse this solution, find more information on holbaek.dk