Childhood neglect: Another perspective on childhood obesity

Authors

  • Inês Alexandra Azevedo Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Centro Hospitalar de Entre Douro e Vouga https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2838-0610
  • Benedita Bianchi Aguiar Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Centro Hospitalar de Entre Douro e Vouga https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5371-3819
  • Joana Silva Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Centro Hospitalar de Entre Douro e Vouga
  • Elizabeth Marques Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Centro Hospitalar de Entre Douro e Vouga
  • Maria José Silva Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Centro Hospitalar de Entre Douro e Vouga
  • Virgínia Monteiro Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Centro Hospitalar de Entre Douro e Vouga https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3735-7401
  • Lúcia Gomes Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Centro Hospitalar de Entre Douro e Vouga https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3392-0335
  • Miguel Costa Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Centro Hospitalar de Entre Douro e Vouga https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2329-8914

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25753/BirthGrowthMJ.v32.i4.26514

Keywords:

child abuse, child neglect, childhood obesity, body mass index

Abstract

Childhood obesity is a multifactorial condition. Extreme cases are often associated with the inability of caregivers to follow the recommended diet plan, despite prior warnings of the potential risks associated of non-compliance.
A seven-year-old girl with a body mass index (BMI) of 38.6 kg/m2 (z-score +7.3) and multiple comorbidities was seen in a Pediatric Nutrition outpatient consultation. After several attempts to educate her guardians about the potential risks of obesity, the girl was referred for a multidisciplinary evaluation and placed in a children’s home. With adequate nutrition and regular exercise, significant improvements were achieved in BMI (23.5 kg/m2; z-score +2.06). After three years, the girl was returned to her family home by court order, with subsequent worsening of her BMI (maximum 40.7 kg/m2; z-score +4.07), despite information provided by the medical team to social services and the court.
Given that caregivers play an essential role in the prevention of childhood obesity, persistent refusal to follow therapeutic recommendations coupled with indifference in the face of red flags meets the criteria for abuse.

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References

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Published

2024-01-23

How to Cite

1.
Azevedo IA, Aguiar BB, Silva J, Marques E, Silva MJ, Monteiro V, Gomes L, Costa M. Childhood neglect: Another perspective on childhood obesity. REVNEC [Internet]. 2024Jan.23 [cited 2024Apr.14];32(4):310-3. Available from: https://revistas.rcaap.pt/nascercrescer/article/view/26514

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