Course syllabus for

Childhood Obesity - Causes, Risks and Management, 7.5 credits

Barnfetma - orsaker, risker och åtgärder, 7.5 hp
This course syllabus is valid from autumn 2015.
Please note that the course syllabus is available in the following versions:
Autumn2015 , Spring2018
Course code
Course name
Childhood Obesity - Causes, Risks and Management
7.5 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
Not applicable 
Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements 
Grading scale
Fail (U) or pass (G)
Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology
Decided by
Board of Higher Education
Decision date
Course syllabus valid from
Autumn 2015

Specific entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree or a professional degree worth at least 120 credits in healthcare. And proficiency in Swedish and English equivalent to Swedish B/Swedish 3 and English A/English 6.


On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • understand and explain how/why obesity can be developed in early age
  • account for central concepts (BMI SDS, isoBMI etc) that are used at evaluation of obesity and overweight in children and adolescents.
  • evaluate growth for children with obesity in different ages and be able to identify when immediate medical care is required as a consequence of specific pathology (tumours etc).
  • demonstrate an understanding of obesity development, underlying mechanisms and the mechanisms behind development of co-morbidities
  • account for the spectrum of co-morbidities that can affect children and adolescents with obesity
  • account for essential parts in obesity prevention within school and pre-school setting.
  • account for various types of obesity treatment and when these can be suitable to use
  • determining the level of health care for children and adolescents with obesity in different ages
  • account for side effects of obesity treatment.


The course should give a broad base of knowledge around child obesity. Where is included:

Epidemiology Within this section, we bring up child obesity epidemiology in Sweden and the world and the effects at community level of obesity in childhood.

Reasons for obesity When going through causes for childhood obesity various reasons, from genetics and epigenetics to psychosocial factors, are handled.

Co-morbidity Child obesity as well as obesity among adult is associated with co-morbidities that influence the quality of life and future life and health. The profile for co-morbidities in children also involves illness that is seen in adults. These include the so-called metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and its precursors, dyslipidemia, hypertension etc. The course addresses the risk assessment, investigation and treatment of these children and adolescents.

Prevention The prevention part will bring up prevention of childhood obesity in different levels. Both primary and secondary prevention are highlighted as well as arenas appropriate for different interventions. Among these, the possibilities of the child health, and medical care and their areas of responsibility will be covered.

Treatment Treatment modalities for both moderate and severe obesity that can be used in various aspects of health care, including behavioral modification, family therapy, physical activity, different types of dietary interventions, drugs and surgery. The treatment section also includes an assessment of the level of treatment and which investigation and treatment efforts that are reasonable in relation to the severity of the disease.

Psychological aspects and treatment Childhood obesity is a disease that can lead to psychological consequences and/or psychosocial strains for both the child and the family. Communication technique that can be useful to helping the families to handle the situation and to optimize the treatment and prevention will be handled during the course.

The course is mainly theoretical, but practical parts are included.

Teaching methods

The course is given partly at distance and by means of an internet platform where educational material is available. Teacher support will be available under all duration of the course for questions and discussion. Study questions and written assignments will be evaluated continuously, so that the student obtains feedback in his own learning.

The course also contains some compulsory meetings in real life including examination. In case of absence from these meetings, this is substituted by a written assignment.


Written assignments under the course and final written examination. A student who has failed in the regular examination is entitled to participate in five more examinations. If the student has failed six examinations/tests, no more examinations are offered. Each occasion the student participates in the same test counts as an examination. Submission of blank exam is counted as an examination session. Examination session, to which the student registered but not participated, is not counted as an examination session.

Transitional provisions

Examination will be provided during a time of two years after a possible discontinuation of the course. Examination can be carried out according to an earlier literature list during a period of one year after the date when a renewal of the literature list was made.

Other directives

Language of instruction is Swedish. Some literature and other course material are in English.

Literature and other teaching aids