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Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity

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Occupational Therapy’s Role in Mental Health Promotion, Prevention, & Intervention With Children & Youth: Childhood Obesity http://www.aota.org/Practitioners-Section/Children-and-Youth/Browse/MH.aspx
Occupational Therapy’s Role in Mental Health Promotion, Prevention, & Intervention With Children & Youth: Childhood Obesity http://www.aota.org/Practitioners-Section/Children-and-Youth/Browse/MH.aspx

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Occupational Therapy’s Role in Mental Health Promotion, Prevention, & Intervention With Children & Youth
Childhood Obesity 
OccupatiOnal therapy practitiOners
use meaningul activities to help childrenand youth participate in what they need and want to do in order to promote physical andmental health and well-being. Occupational therapy practitioners ocus on participation in theollowing areas: education, play and leisure, social participation, activities o daily living (ADLs;e.g., eating, dressing, hygiene), instrumental ADLs (e.g., preparing meals, shopping), sleep andrest, and work. These are the usual occupations o childhood. Task analysis is used to identiy actors (sensory, motor, social-emotional, and cognitive) that may limit successul participationacross a variety o settings. Activities and accommodations are used in intervention to promotesuccessul perormance in school, home, and community settings.
abOut childhOOd Obesity
Childhood obesity is dened as is a condition in which excessive body at negatively aects achild’s overall health or well-being across all environments, including home, school, and thecommunity. Obesity is urther dened as an individual with a body mass index at or above the95th percentile or children o the same age and gender. The most common causes are geneticactors or amily history o obesity; decreased participation in physical activities; unhealthy eat-ing patterns or behaviors; and, in rare cases, medical conditions.
Wo’   o og owg o o?
1. Children who live in impoverished areas with limited access to:
Sae Parks 
Nutritional oods such as resh produce 
Local recreational centers 
Ater-school clubs such as gardening 
Aordable ees or team sports and equipment 
Inormation or youth and amily regarding nutrition
2. Children with developmental disabilities
are 40% more likely to develop obesity due to
secondary conditions
(pain, social isolation, de-conditioning) and/or
 predisposing factors
 (genetic syndromes such as Prader-Willie, medications that increase weight gain). They alsomay have limited access to: 
Accessible playgrounds and parks 
Trained sta to adapt programs or inclusion 
Equipment and assistive devices that allow or participation
how o o   ?
Children who are overweight or obese are at risk or developing the ollowing health condi-tions: asthma, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, andatty liver disease. They may also be at risk o: 
Decreased joint fexibility and orthopedic problems leading to limitations in physical play. 
Sleep apnea and inability to develop proper sleep patterns, which may limit energy levelsand attention at school.
how o o  o  oo ?
Children who are overweight are at risk o 
 weight bias
(or weight stigma), which reers to nega-tive judgements o an obese person based on social attitudes or stereotypes (e.g., lazy, poor sel-control). Weight bias rom adults and peers may result in negative remarks about appearance,verbal teasing, name calling, social exclusion, and physical bullying, leading to:
Poor sel-esteem and body image 
Feelings o loneliness and isolation 
Diculty in making riends 
Children who are overweight or obesemay be challenged in the ollowingareas o occupation:
so po
Difculty in making and keepingriends due to weight bias
At risk or bullying and/or socialisolation
At risk or mental health disorderssuch as anxiety and depression
May struggle with limited sel-es-teem and poor body image
Difculty in choosing and preparinghealthy meals
At risk or decreased endurance andcapacity on playground and in physi-cal education
Potential decrease in academicperormance due to social stresses
At risk or experiencing physical and/orsocial barriers at workplace, such asater-school jobs or internships
Possible imbalance between seden-tary and physical activities
Too much screen time (computers,television) leading to isolation andweight gain
Excessive rest and sleep due todepression and/or low energy levels
Poor sleep patterns at night couldlead to decreased energy and aca-demic perormance
This information was prepared by AOTA’sSchool Mental Health Work Group (2012).
This information sheet is part of a School Mental Health Toolkit athttp://www.aota.org/Practitioners-Section/Children-and-Youth/Browse/School/Toolkit.aspx

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