Updated knowledge of growth and weight development is important for all health-related work with children and adolescents, due to follow up of the child, but also to monitor trends in the child population.
Children’s growth and development depends on heredity and environment. Norwegian children have gradually grown taller over the last hundred years, which reflects amongst other things, better well-being, improved nutrition and fewer infections. During the last 20-30 years, weight in children and adults has also increased.
Leader of this group :
Prof. MD Pétur B. Júlíusson
The Bergen Growth Research Group (BERG)
BERG is an umbrella for projects focusing on growth and pubertal development. The studies have generated new growth references for Norwegian children and given valuable information about the problem of overweight and obesity in the childhood population. Three PhD-candidates are currently attached to the research group.
Studies by BERG
The Bergen Growth Study 1 (BGS1)
The Bergen growth study 1 is a research project that was started in 2003 and which, amongst other things, aims to identify and describe the growth and weight development of Norwegian children. Data has been collected from more than 8000 children aged 0-19 years who where measured at the Health clinics, kindergartens and schools in Bergen.
In the winter of 2007-2008 new growth curves were made for Norwegian children aged 0-19 years based on data from the BGS1 and data from the Medical Birth Registry. Norwegian school children are taller today than the previous growth references show. Weight for height has also increased.
Research group members of BERG
Pétur B. Júlíusson (PI)
Geir Egil Eide
Ingvild S Bruserud
The Bergen Paediatric Obesity Research Group (BarneBORG)
In 2012, The Paediatric Obesity Outpatient Clinic, Haukeland University Hospital opened. To date, lifestyle treatment has been given to more than 300 children and adolescents, including their families. Data on anthropometric measurements, body composition and information on cardio-metabolic risk factors, are collected into a quality register.
Four master degrees has been finalized using data from this register. A randomized study, Family-based behavioral treatment of childhood obesity (FABO), targeting children and adolescents with obesity and their families, in currently ongoing.
The Bergen Paediatric Obesity Research Groups (BarneBORG) embodies the projects attached to the Paediatric Obesity Outpatient Clinic.
A study by BarneBORG
The FABO study
This is a randomized controlled trial (RCT), in which families (n = 120) are recruited from the children and adolescents (ages 6–18 years) referred to the Obesity Outpatient Clinic (OOC), Haukeland University Hospital, Norway. Criteria for admission to the OOC are BMI above the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) cut-off ≥ 35, or IOTF ≥ 30 with obesity related co-morbidity. Families are randomized to receive family-based behavioral social facilitation treatment (FBSFT) immediately or following one year of treatment as usual (the default treatment at the out-patient clinic, a semi-structured lifestyle treatment).
All participants receive a multidisciplinary assessment. For TAU this assessment results in a plan and a contract for chancing specific lifestyle behaviors. Thereafter each family participates in monthly counselling sessions with their primary health care nurse to work on implementing these goals, including measuring their weight change, and also meet every third month for sessions at the OOC. In FBSFT, following assessment, families participate in 17 weekly sessions at the OOC, in which each family works on changing lifestyle behaviors using a structured cognitive-behavioral, socio-ecological approach targeting both parents and children with strategies for behavioral maintenance and sustainable weight change.om the Medical Birth Registry. Norwegian school children are taller today than the previous growth references show. Weight for height has also increased.
Outcome variables include body mass index (BMI; kg/m2), BMI standard deviation score (SDS) and percentage above the IOTF definition of overweight, waist-circumference, body composition (bioelectric impedance (BIA) and dual-X-ray-absorptiometry (DXA)), blood tests, blood pressure, activity/inactivity and sleep pattern (measured by accelerometer), as well as questionnaires measuring depression, general psychological symptomatology, self-esteem, disturbed eating and eating disorder symptoms. Finally, barriers to treatment and parenting styles are measured via questionnaires. For further details, see Skjåkødegård H et al BMC Public Health 2016.
Research group members of BarneBORG
Pétur B. Júlíusson (PI)