AZ Sint-Lucas, Belgium
Els Vercruysse is experienced with 3 Masters degrees in physical health education, revalidation and osteopathy and has professional experience with children and young adults for over 15 years. She is specialized in child psychomotor revalidation, respiratory therapy, personal fitness coaching and physical health education, both in the private a non-profit sector. She is the author of the child story Lucas will be better, in a big way ISBN 978-9044815092 and of the work manual Het komt dik in orde (dutch version). Her Ph.D. subject involves the posturology and balance of normal vs. obese children and the effect of osteopathic treatment.
The worldwide prevalence of childhood obesity has increased spectacularly over the past few years and is now the most common disease of childhood and adolescence. Here, a new multidisciplinary approach involving supervision by a team of pediatrician, osteopath, physiotherapist, dietician, psychologist and personal coach is described. In a dynamic process involving the parents as well, each child is motivated on an individual basis to gradually change its lifestyle in order to become more confident and to realize the benefits of a healthy food regime and physical exercises. In a patient and child-friendly way, the program combines physical exercise sessions with osteopathic treatments and thematic sessions and ensures a continuous involvement via home-works. Each child has a personalized notebook that includes relevant information, individual records and obtained goals, motivating him/her in this one-year program. In the last 4 years, medical, structural and functional disorders, psychological, family and sports-based records of 110 overweight or obese children have been collected. A summary of the data is presented.