Diagnostic procedures and treatment of childhood obesity by pediatricians: 'The Dutch Approach'

L. Schwiebbe, H. Talma, E.G. van Mil, W.P.F. Fetter, R.A. Hirasing, C.M. Renders

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Child Public Health professionals in the Netherlands refer obese children to a pediatrician to check for underlying causes and comorbidity. What happens to these children in terms of diagnostics and treatment when they visit a pediatrician? To get an overview of the diagnostic procedures and treatment methods a questionnaire was developed and sent to all 583 pediatricians in the Netherlands. Data was obtained of 290 pediatricians from 85% of the general hospitals and all (8) academic hospitals. To define childhood obesity Dutch pediatricians most often use the adult Body Mass Index, only 34% use the sex and age specific IOTF-BMI-criteria. 11% of the (non-obese) overweight children visiting a pediatrician have already comorbidities. All pediatricians perform at least weight and height measurements. Waist circumference is measured by only 42%, ninety-five percent measure blood pressure. To treat obese children without comorbidity thirty different intervention programs were reported. A large variation in diagnostics and interventions of childhood obesity exist. Guidelines in pediatric obesity for diagnostics and treatment are urgently needed. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-115
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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