Antwerp Hospitals Network opens obesity clinic for children aged 11 to 17

The Antwerp Hospitals Network (ZNA) has launched a new obesity centre aimed specifically at children between the ages of 11 and 17. Currently 1 in 20 youngsters are overweight and the number of children with weight issues is increasing year by year. 

Currently 5% of children are battling obesity and the Antwerp Hospitals Network (ZNA) has decided to act to address what is a growing issue among our region’s youngsters. ZNA has a programme to help young people lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

ZNA’s Dr Daniël Klink told VRT News that "Children often adopt poor eating habits, don’t get enough exercise or simply don’t know which food is good for them." The new obesity centre teaches them to make health choices.

"We don’t talk of diets, but rather about adopting a healthy lifestyle that they can keep up in the long term”, Dr Klink said.

The hospital has developed the S.L.I.M. (Sport, Lifestyle, Individual, Motivation) programme. The programme encourages youngsters not only to adapt their diet, but also to get more exercise in order to lose weight and to keep their weight at a healthy level. The programme involves physiotherapists, dieticians and pyschologists that (amongst other things) look into how the child developed poor dietary habits.

The S.L.I.M. programme lasts around 2 years. It’s starts with intensive coaching from the hospital and if all goes to plan should lead to a youngster adopting a healthy lifestyle that they will take with them into adulthood.


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