Thesis subject

MSc thesis: A study into weight development of overweight/obese children, and into the effect of a specific approach of parents at the health care centre

Start:                              As soon as possible

Supervisors:                   Floortje Kanits, Monique L’Hoir

Location:                         Division of Human Nutrition and Health

One of two students:    Two students are welcome; Global Nutrition or Communication, Health and Life Sciences

Rapid weight gain (RWG) from birth to two years of age has been recognized as an important determinant of childhood obesity at pre-school and school-age. Continuously monitoring RWG is very important and this actually happens during the regular visits at child health care centres in the Netherlands. In the first year children are seen by the health nurse and/or physician at regular time intervals.

The aim of this study is to analyse a real live data base of approximately 130 children that were treated for overweight/obesity by the same public health physician since 2011. Her approach is remarkable and can be characterized by specific features, i.e., never calling parents about the weight of the child but inviting them personally for a check-up, great respect to the parents, endless patience, and long term follow-up, combined with referral to specific lifestyle programs.

The final aim is to describe the ineffectiveness of the current approach for children with overweight/obesity who visit the youth health care and to introduce a new, evidence based approach  young children with overweight/obesity. Furthermore, an analysis into the rapid weight gain versus normal weight gain in the population will be conducted.

Start: as soon as possible