All six recommendations to governments in the World Health Organization’s report on childhood obesity are relevant to physical therapy, and should prompt professionals to consider their role in prevention and treatment.
Sheree York, IOPTP President, said that all physical therapists have opportunities through clinical roles and advocacy to support the WHO recommendations. “It’s family members who determine the foods and activities of children, and physical therapists working with adults will be interacting with parents,” she said. “In approaching patient care for specific problems, participating in community wellness activities and advocating for community and government support, we all can contribute to healthier lifestyles for our communities.”
“As healthcare practitioners we each have a duty of care to encourage healthy nutrition in our paediatric patients,” said Grace O’Malley, IOPTP Treasurer and child obesity spokesperson.