Childhood Obesity Is a Chronic Disease Demanding Specific Health Care – A Position Statement from the Childhood Obesity Task Force (COTF) of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO)
N. J. Farpour-Lambert; J. L. Baker; M. Hassapidou; J. C. Holm; P. Nowicka; G. O'Malley; R. Weiss"
Year of publication
Childhood obesity is one of the greatest health challenges of the 21st century. The EASO COTF is convinced that classifying obesity as a chronic disease in children and adolescents is a crucial step for increasing individual and societal awareness, and for improving early diagnosis and intervention. Such a classification will enhance the development of novel preventive and treatment approaches, health care policies and systems, and the education of healthcare workers. The management of obesity prior to the appearance of co-morbidities may prevent their escalation into significant medical and psychosocial problems, and reduce their economic and societal impact. Childhood is a unique window of opportunity to influence lifetime effects on health, quality of life, prevention of non-communicable chronic diseases and disabilities. The Convention on the Rights of the Child by UNICEF states that parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to health care services. The EASO COTF is aiming to address these issues via educational activities for health care workers, identification of research agendas, and the promotion of collaborations among clinicians, researchers, health institutions, organizations and states across Europe.