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Community Pract. 2008 Jan;81(1):28-31.

Tackling toddler obesity through a pilot community-based family intervention.

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  • 1Lambeth PCT.


The lack of effective child obesity intervention and intervention prevention programmes is an increasing concern for public health professionals. Since eating and physical activity habits become established in the early years, these efforts should start as early as possible. A pilot programme, Fighting Fit Tots, was developed within a local Sure Start area. It consiste, of 11 weekly parent and toddler physical activity sessions, followed by a parent/carer healthy lifestyle workshop. Fighting Fit Tots was modelled on The MEND Programme, a successful community-based obesity intervention for school-aged children. Toddle recruitment criteria were based on the children's age, body mass index and parental obesity status. It was noticed that uptake and attendance were unsatisfac tory due to poor parental perception of child weight status, commitment issues, and limited staff capacity for outreach work. Therefore, the group was extended to all families with a toddler and this proved more successful. The pilot was a promising experience, an more community practitioners should be encourager to adopt and improve a public health approach to obesity prevention in the early years.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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