Clinicians use software to battle child obesity

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Clinicians use software to battle child obesity

Computerised scales warn when enough is enough.

A team of clinicians at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children has won the Clinical Excellence Award from the BUPA Foundation for its innovative work in tackling child obesity. 

One of the tools used by the hospital is the Mandometer, essentially a computer attached to a set of scales carrying a plate which the obese child fills with food.

The computer charts how much food the child eats from the plate and signals when they are eating more than they should.

"Obesity is a major threat to our children and we owe it to them to do everything we can to protect their health," said Dr Julian Hamilton-Shield, who leads the Care of Childhood Obesity Clinic at the Bristol Royal.

"We have had great success at our clinic but there is so much more to be done if we are to prevent these obese children from becoming obese adults."

Since the clinic was set up in 2000, 83 percent of the children attending have reduced their body mass index, a measure of body fat relative to height and weight.

The clinic uses a combination of medical, dietary and exercise regimes to work with the children and their families, placing the emphasis on fundamental changes to lifestyle and behaviour.

The BUPA Foundation award is worth £10,000 ($25,000), half of which goes to the team personally, the other half of which is invested in further research.
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