herald

Friday 27 April 2018

30pc of obese children turn down help

Three out of every 10 children referred to a hospital clinic to tackle obesity problems are not availing of treatment.

A total of 30pc of children seen at Dublin's Temple Street Children's University Hospital's childhood obesity clinic so far this year, are not participating in its programmes.

This is despite a high demand for places in the programme which now has a waiting list of more than a year.

More than 100 children have either completed or are attending the childhood obesity programme so far this year, according to the Medical Independent.

There are 50 children receiving one-to-one treatment at the clinic while a further 60 children have completed their programmes.

And another 140 children deemed clinically obese are waiting to begin treatment.

In the previous five years, more than 300 children and their families have received active assistance from the hospital's obesity programme.

LAUNCH

In 2012, obesity treatment professionals saw 200 children in the clinic, but not all of those children accepted treatment.

"These children were all offered treatment and uptake is usually 70pc, so 140 children were treated in 2012," said a hospital spokesperson.

The spokesperson said that, due to funding constraints, there are only two child obesity clinics per month.

"We have had no funding to run the service as we would need to," said the spokesperson.

Hospital professionals have welcomed the recent launch of Safefood's campaign on childhood obesity.

Consultant paediatrician and clinical lead of the obesity programme, Dr Sinead Murphy, said it delivers financial savings through improved outcomes for children.

She told the Medical Independent it was "the only one of its kind in Ireland".

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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