The prevalence of childhood obesity has at least doubled the last 30 years. Childhood obesity is associated with an increased likelihood to develop adult obesity, which translates into increased risk for chronic diseases, including diabetes mellitus type 2, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. A complex interaction between the environment and risk factors at a personal level causes childhood obesity. Because of this situation, there is not one e$ective prevention or treatment strategy to tackle childhood obesity. It has been suggested that primary care could be a suitable setting to manage childhood obesity since access is easy and children are frequently seen. However, little is known on overweight and obese children in primary care.
We wanted to reveal if overweight children di$ered from non-overweight children in their presentation in general practice, study whether parents recognize overweight in their children, explore attitudes and barriers GPs experience towards childhood obesity management, and expose daily practice and opportunities for treatment. For this purpose a cohort study including children with and without overweight attending general practices in the South-West of the Netherlands was set-up, literature was reviewed, a survey was sent to GPs all over the Netherlands and data from an Australian trial were analysed. In this thesis the results of these studies are described.