Childhood Tier 3 Weight Management

Childhood Tier 3 Weight Management

30th January 2020

SCOTT and SCOTTlite Programmes

Worrying about  your own weight can be difficult. But, worrying about your child's weight can be especially upsetting and confusing. Knowing that there are services and programmes that aim to support you and your child can be helpful for many parents.

Figures from the English 'National child measurement programme 2018/19' show that the number of children and young people whose weight is categorised in the severe obesity range (the upper level of unhealthy weight category for children) is not decreasing, children living in deprivation are around 4 times more likely to be in this category and there are more boys than girls. And although I totally agree that we need to do more to prevent this level of unhealthy weight, we also need to be able to offer the children/young people and their families in this situation a solution.

For many years I have worked with two programmes called SCOTT and SCOTTlite. They are one of the few structured tier 3, family-based, weight management programmes aimed at supporting children, young people aged up to 16 years and their families in the UK.

These programmes have been used in a number of areas in Scotland with success. Click A Family Approach to Managing Childhood Obesity.pdf to see an abridged version of a presentation given at the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow during April 2019 to see outcomes for this programme. 

The SCOTT programmes are aimed at children/young people and their families with higher levels of unhealthy weight and most complex needs, for this reason they are delivered as a 1:1 programme. The programmes are most suited to being delivered by trained dietitians, but other suitably experienced health professionals could deliver them.

AppleTree Healthy Lifestyle Consultancy is pleased to be able to offer training and support to health organisations to deliver SCOTT and SCOTTlite.

The Programmes

SCOTT is a 10-session programme delivered over 5/6 months for children and young people aged 8 up to 16 years. While SCOTTlite has 6 sessions delivered over 3/4 months and is aimed at children under 8 years and those with additional special needs.  The SCOTT programmes are -

  • Family based
  • Delivered 1:1 (one trained professional to one family)
  • Structured with a set programme including number and length of sessions
  • Have a core philosophy of individualised change goals and target setting
  • Based on behavioural change theories of social cognitive change theory and the transtheoretical model of change
  • Use behavioural tools to facilitate sustainable changes
  • Target diet, physical activity and screen time
  • Use a traffic light healthy eating plan
  • Offer long term follow-up at 3 monthly intervals
  • To ensure a multidisciplinary approach local models supporting physical activity, clinical psychology and paediatric endocrinology need to be in place.

Tackling weight issues is not easy, and no one programme is right for everyone. However, SCOTT and SCOTTlite are family based, child/young person-centred programmes that help build confidence in making positive and sustainable changes to lifestyle.

If you want to know more about the programmes and our training then make sure to contact us.

Dr Laura Stewart RD

January 2020