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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 96, Issue 6, pp 421–426 | Cite as

Promotion of Healthy Weights at Preschool Public Health Vaccination Clinics in Calgary

An Obesity Surveillance Program
  • Mary A. T. Flynn
  • Kristyn Hall
  • April Noack
  • Sandy Clovechok
  • Edwin Enns
  • Jeff Pivnick
  • Ann Naimish
  • Peggy Wouts
  • Maureen Best
  • Cathy Pryce
Public Health in Action

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a surveillance program of overweight and obesity in preschool children in Calgary, and to provide advice for families to promote healthy weights.

Participants and Setting: Children (mean age 4.9±0.6 years) attending pilot-site clinics in September 2002 and all clinics in Calgary between February 2003-December 2003 (n=7048).

Intervention: The growth assessment protocol and resources supported a three-pronged approach to promote healthy weights (healthy eating, active living and positive body image). Public health nurses were trained in standardized measurement techniques and information resources. Links with physicians were made to facilitate continuity of care. Children’s weight and height measurements were plotted on the Weight-for-Stature growth chart7 and used to identify children as obese (≥95th percentile), healthy weight (≥5th, <95th) or underweight (<5th). Subsequent analysis calculated the Body Mass Index (BMI)-for-Age16 to identify overweight children (≥85th, <95th percentile). The protocol was pilot tested and subsequently implemented in all Calgary public health clinics.

Outcomes: The majority (98%) of parents were either very happy or happy with information received during the visit. Public health nurse counselling confidence significantly improved after the pilot (p<0.001). Data indicated that 9% of children were obese, 15% were overweight and 3% were underweight.

Interpretation: This approach to identifying children’s weight status appeared satisfactory to stakeholders, maximized use of existing resources to establish a surveillance program for Calgary, and provided an opportunity to give parents health-promoting advice on healthy weights.

MeSH terms

Obesity primary prevention public health growth child 

Résumé

Objectif: Évaluer l’acceptabilité et la faisabilité d’un programme de surveillance de l’embonpoint et de l’obésité chez les enfants d’âge préscolaire à Calgary et offrir des conseils aux familles pour favoriser le maintien d’un poids-santé.

Participants et lieu: Les enfants (âge moyen: 4,9±0,6 ans) ayant fréquenté nos cliniques d’essai en septembre 2002 et toutes les cliniques de Calgary entre février 2003 et décembre 2003 (n=7 048).

Intervention: Notre protocole et nos outils d’évaluation de la croissance des enfants étaient axés sur une triple approche de promotion du poids-santé (saine alimentation, vie active et image corporelle positive). Des infirmières hygiénistes ont été formées à l’utilisation de techniques de mesure et de ressources documentaires normalisées. Des liens ont été établis avec des médecins pour assurer la continuité des soins. Les mesures du poids et de la taille des enfants ont été tracées sur la fiche de croissance (poids-taille)7 et ont servi à classer les enfants dans les catégories «obésité» (≥95e centile), «poids-santé» (≥5e, s<95e centiles) ou «poids insuffisant» (s<5e centile). Nous avons ensuite calculé l’indice de masse corporelle (IMC)16 pour cibler les enfants faisant de l’embonpoint (≥85e, s<95e centiles). Le protocole a d’abord été mis à l’essai, puis nous l’avons appliqué dans toutes les cliniques de santé publique de Calgary.

Résultats: La majorité (98 %) des parents sont heureux ou très heureux des renseignements qui leur ont été fournis lors de leurs visites. La confiance envers les conseils des infirmières hygiénistes s’est beaucoup améliorée après le projet-pilote (ps<0,001). Selon les données recueillies, 9 % des enfants étaient obèses, 15 % faisaient de l’embonpoint et 3 % avaient un poids insuffisant.

Interprétation: Cette façon de déterminer le statut pondéral des enfants semble avoir satisfait les intervenants, maximisé l’utilisation des ressources existantes pour la création d’un programme de surveillance à Calgary et permis d’offrir aux parents des conseils sur les poids-santé.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary A. T. Flynn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kristyn Hall
    • 1
  • April Noack
    • 3
  • Sandy Clovechok
    • 3
  • Edwin Enns
    • 4
  • Jeff Pivnick
    • 5
  • Ann Naimish
    • 1
  • Peggy Wouts
    • 6
  • Maureen Best
    • 3
  • Cathy Pryce
    • 7
  1. 1.Nutrition and Active Living, Healthy LivingCalgary Health RegionCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.University of CalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Child and Youth Community Health ServicesCalgary Health RegionCanada
  4. 4.Quality Improvement and Health InformationCalgary Health RegionCanada
  5. 5.Department of Family MedicineCalgary Health RegionCanada
  6. 6.Southern Alberta Eating Disorder Prevention ProgramCalgary Health RegionCanada
  7. 7.Healthy LivingCalgary Health RegionCanada

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