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

Luuk Schwiebbe, Henk Talma*, Edgar G van Mil, Willem P F Fetter, Remy A Hirasing, Carry M Renders

*Corresponding author for this work

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-5
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Obesity/diagnosis
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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