Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Developmental Coordination Disorder and Risk of Obesity

The Canadian Medical Association Journal published research on a study of over 2000 children from 4th through 6th grades. The children were screened for coordination disorders. One hundred eleven children had a potential diagnosis of developmental coordination disorder (DCD). The 111 children exhibited a higher body mass index and waist circumference in 4th grade which persisted throughout the two years they were followed. In addition, the children with potential DCD were at greater risk of being overweight or obese.

As pediatric therapists, we can help to educate parents and teachers on the signs and risks of DCD. In additional to providing therapeutic treatment for children with DCD, therapists can suggest modifications, accommodations and suitable sports/ recreational/leisure activities to encourage physical activity in this population of children.

Reference: Cairney, John, Hay, John, Veldhuizen, Scott, Missiuna, Cheryl, Mahlberg, Nadilein, Faught, Brent E Trajectories of relative weight and waist circumference among children with and without developmental coordination disorder CMAJ 2010 0: cmaj.091454


Anonymous said...

An important finding for preventative care, but in which settings do you see the best opportunity for therapists to educate parents and teachers? In medical settings - are children with DCD being referred for therapy? In schools?

This study describes reasons for implementing motor labs like the one I posted about: Busy Bodies Learning Minds. I am hoping that Athena Odin, PT will be invited to speak about her program from locations as far away as NY. ;)

Your Therapy Source Inc said...

I can only comment based on my experience in NY state, but children with DCD are definitely being referred for PT in the schools. Even children with mild coordination disorders are referred for PT. Incorporating movement throughout the school day is an excellent way for therapists to encourage physical activity.

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