The NHS is set to open 15 new specialist clinics in England to provide intensive support for obese children and young people. Obesity affects one in five children in the UK and can increase the likelihood of a child developing serious health issues such as 2 diabetes, liver conditions, and early heart disease. Severely obese children can also develop difficulties such as breathing problems, sleep issues and mental health problems,
A thousand children a year, aged 2-18 and experiencing health complications related to severe obesity, will be helped to lose weight through the new services. Children will also receive specialist treatment and customised care packages developed with their family, including diet plans, mental health treatment and coaching. Group sessions will also be provided by a team of health care professionals to ensure all health needs of each child are met.
In addition to providing expert treatment, the services will identify the factors causing obesity in children, considering their mental and physical health. The new services are modelled on an existing service in Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, which has been supporting children in the region since 2018.