The EU-project

TARGETS:

a) Childhood Obesity:

In the EU 16.5 million children suffer from overweight. Of them 4 million children are obese. Over the past 30 years the problem of childhood obesity has only gotten worse in the EU and globally. :

Being obese as a child has serious negative effects on your health, emotional well-being, social status, educational level and lifetime income. Obese children suffer from bullying, stigmatization and loneliness and have increased risk of suicidal behaviour. :

WHO calls Childhood Obesity one of the most serious threats to public health in the 21st Century. To support this we observe that: :

  • 70% of obese children remain obese as adults
  • Obese children have life quality as children with cancer
  • Obesity cost the EU-countries 81 Billion EURO in direct health cost every year
  • 80 % of all Diabetes-2 is caused by Obesity
  • Treatment of Diabetes-2 cost the EU-countries another 300 Billion EURO every year
  • 99% of all Obesity is caused by unhealthy lifestyle.

Current clinical child obesity treatment programs require substantial resources, are able to serve limited numbers of children, are not available in all communities, and have generally demonstrated only modest efficacy. As the prevalence of childhood overweight has grown, feasible, effective, and cost-efficient programs are needed to help overweight children control their weight.

b) Classical Team Sports, and challanges as a Childhood Obesity Intervention

Although children involved in team sports tend to be more physically fit than their uninvolved peers and have greater involvement in physical activity across time, team sports have not yet been broadly used as an approach to involve overweight children in regular physical activity or to reduce weight gain.

An organized after-school team sports program combined with elements from a childhood obesity intervention may address this issue. Playing sports; being part of a team; receiving mentoring, modeling, and friendship from young adult coaches; and having opportunities to demonstrate skills in front of friends and family may all be fun for children and thus highly motivating.

If team sports could prove to be an efficacious intervention for increasing physical activity and reducing weight gain in overweight children, it would represent an alternative or a supplement to standard weight control treatments that could be rapidly diffused and tested for effectiveness in other settings.

Some studies have already suggested that sports participation could have beneficial impact on weight: Results from Scandinavia indicate that participation in organized sports reduced BMI by 2.1%. Likewise it reduced the likelihood of being overweight by 8.2 percentage points and obese by 3.1 percentage points., Scand J Public Health. 2011 Nov;39(7):687-95, Quinto Romani.

A concurring conclusion has been made from US studies, where a conclusion was "Team sport participation had the strongest and most consistent inverse association with weight status," (Drake, Keith M. et al. “Influence of Sports, Physical Education, and Active Commuting to School on Adolescent Weight Status.” Pediatrics 130.2 (2012): e296–e304. PMC. Web. 2 Apr. 2018.)

THE ACTIVITY:

The activity is divided in two days per week as here underlinded:

1-hour midweek meeting with the children in which the physical activity protocol takes place;

1 meeting on Saturday / Sunday morning, of 1 hour and a half, with children and parents; the protocol of physical activity and measurement of weight, BMI and fat mass takes place. In the second part of the year, nutritional advice is also given to the family aimed at obtaining a correct lifestyle.