This site is intended for health professionals only

Importance of realistic goals for overweight children

Clinicians should work with overweight children's families to emphasise the importance of realistic goals and healthy eating. 

Guidance released by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) aims to help health professionals who provide weight management services to young people. 

Recommendations include developing a tailored programme which explores the family's attitude towards food and the importance of maintaining changes over the long term. 

The guidance states all family members should be encouraged to eat healthily and be physically active, even if only the child is overweight. 

“The draft guidance makes a number of recommendations to ensure that the providers of programmes… follow good, evidence-based practice,” said 

Professor Mike Kelly, director of the centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE. 

He added: “This draft guidance isn't about quick fixes, it is about making changes to behaviours within a family, which they can sustain in the longer term, to help children and young people to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.” 

The recommendations are part of draft guidance for a consultation around the services available to help children and young people maintain a health weight. 

A full copy of the guidance is available on the NICE website