Taxonomy Childhood Obesity and Coaching

During the course of the CHWP, it was pointed out by several partners that the work related to chronic disease management practices was principally directed at individuals in early to late adulthood. Children and youth were “missing” from the age-class spectrum. Given that the health of adults is often shaped in early childhood and that obesity is a growing health issue, CHWP was advised to round out the project by addressing protocols specific to the needs of children and adolescents.

Social media integrated into coaching

With this backdrop, funding was approved for the Centennial Children Health Coaching Team to examine the specific coaching needs of children and adolescents to help maintain health with the aid of social media and other new tools.

Centennial agreed to lead the project. Leveraging an existing body of work on childhood obesity, the team worked with experts to identify new positive and negative influences on childhood obesity. The team developed a model that simplifies the way that obesity influence pathways can be represented to and understood by a layperson. Using that simplification, and drawing on clinical expertise of the project’s subject matter expert, Dr. Glenn Berall, MD, the team identified items which have proven to be coachable on an individual basis, and created a deliverable which identifies and prioritizes coaching pathways for specific outcomes.

Best practices for interactive media development

Building on work already done by Centennial College’s Kid Media Centre, and categorizing both format and target audience for a set of obesity coaching assets, the team has created a deliverable which summarizes best practices for interactive media, which can inform the deployment of applications targeted to specific obesity outcomes for children/adolescents and those who support them. The team has also identified gaps in needed coaching materials, based on target audience.

Various funding models, both public and private, were investigated to understand the characteristics of a business model which would compensate stakeholders for their role in a revamped, hybrid personal and electronic delivery method for coaching Children, Adolescents and their parents/guardians. Ultimately, effective health coaching, properly designed for children, adolescents and their parents/guardians, using mobile computing and social media tools, is expected to improve outcomes and reduce future costs for the healthcare system by reducing the likelihood of adult onset of coachable/preventable diseases.

Healthy living habits develop early

Centennial’s work on the children health-coaching model demonstrates how society can benefit greatly from health coaching at an earlier age. The development of healthy living habits and imparting health information at an earlier age will lead to an overall healthier life and a less strained healthcare system.

It is anticipated that the work begun by Centennial and the learning from it will find its way into York’s Health Coach training, curriculum development and the creation of niche business opportunities – critical information and best practices that will move the Faculty towards its goal of keeping more people healthier, longer!

Centennial Child & Adolescent Health Coaching Project team:
Fred Winegust
Debbie Gordon
Dr. Glenn Berall,
Alicia Schawillie,
Mara Abolins
Purnima Tyagi