MITERA Children’s Hospital: Model Interventional Program for Childhood Obesity with Active Participation of Parents and Children

MITERA Children’s Hospital, a member of HYGEIA Group, has launched a model interventional program to address the problem of childhood obesity, and promote physical and mental health.

The program entitled “Living, Exercising and Eating Right” is unique for Greek standards and has been set up by the MITERA Children’s Hospital Pediatric Endocrinology Department. It caters for parents and children, and mainly aims to treat and to prevent the multifactorial phenomenon of obesity.

A dedicated team of scientists (nutritionists specializing in children’s nutrition and psychologists), educators, PE teachers, chefs and athletes exercise, play, talk and pass their time creatively with children and their parents, aiming to cultivate in them a positive stance towards healthy nutrition, physical exercise and mental wellbeing. The family plays a major role in this program, as the parents are the ones who will assist in monitoring the program at home. Raising their awareness and educating them on the program contributes greatly to combating obesity together.

The innovative program runs for two months and includes experiential workshops – such as a model nutritional experimentation workshop, a sports workshop, a cooking workshop, and a music and movement workshop – a personalized family diet plan, ergometric assessment, posture assessment, and techniques for relaxation and emotion management. At the end of the program, the family receives educational material and a personalized fitness and nutrition plan for each child and parent.

As noted by the program coordinators, Ms Maria Charoni-Karantza, Pediatrician/Endocrinologist and Director of the MITERA Children’s Hospital Endocrinology Clinic, and Ms Anna Papageorgiou, Clinical Dietician/Nutritionist and Head of the MITERA Children’s Hospital Weight Control Clinic, “The childhood overweight and obesity rate for the 7-12 age group in Greece reaches 40%. This program aims to fill the large gap in the area of childhood obesity and treatment. It is an innovative program for Greek standards, as it is the only one that combines exercise, nutrition, encouragement and stress management for overweight/obese children and their parents/guardians. For this reason, we are following the latest guidelines issued by the World Health Organization on weight management for overweight/obese children, as well as all the latest scientific findings on practices and counseling.”