Obesity in Children in Out-of-home Care: A Review of the Literature

Helen Skouteris, Marita McCabe, Matthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Adele Henwood, Sheree Limbrick, Robyn Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Children placed in out-of-home care are a particularly disadvantaged group in society, who have often been exposed to trauma and socioeconomic disadvantage. As a result, they experience poorer health outcomes than children in the general population, especially mental health outcomes. One health outcome that has yet to be researched thoroughly is overweight and obesity of children placed in out-of-home care. Hence, the overall goal of this paper was to review the extant literature over the last decade on weight-related issues for children in out-of-home care, with particular emphasis on overweight and obesity. The findings of the review revealed that there is a lack of rigorous Australian research in relation to prevalence rates of overweight and obesity in children in out-of-home care; there is a lack of strategies or interventions designed specifically to combat overweight and obesity in children in out-of-home care; and one of the major limitations of Australian research to date is the use of self-report measures to assess the weight status of children in out-of-home care. It was concluded that prevention and intervention strategies are needed that target children as they enter out-of-home care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-486
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Social Work
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Health
  • Obesity
  • Out-of-home Care
  • Overweight

Cite this