Newsletter 4

Social disparities in obesity treatment for children age 3-10 years: a systematic review

Overweight and obesity affect more than 25% of children in Europe. While childhood obesity has serious health implications, it also has social and economic consequences. While treatment interventions to address childhood obesity exist, few studies have successfully assessed some of the barriers to successful treatment, and little evidence exists on the best practice for treatment childhood obesity from children living in social or poor households. Our aimed to examine the evidence for differential effectiveness of interventions to treat paediatric obesity in relation to social disparities.

The review identified a number of potentially relevant factors that could impact treatment outcomes, including the level of the mother’s education, the commitment and involvement of a child’s family, the cultural sensitivity of specific interventions, and the stress experienced by certain families. Overall, the review identified that while social disparities seem to directly impact the outcome of treatment interventions, evidence on how to address these inequities seem to be lacking.