A scoping review of skills and tools oral health professionals need to engage children and parents in dietary changes to prevent childhood obesity and consumption of sugar‐sweetened beverages | Academic Article individual record

OBJECTIVES: Increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) has been linked to obesity. Obesity now affects one in six children in the United States. The purpose of this scoping review is to identify and review published studies that discuss skills and tools oral health professionals can use with children (under age 12) and their parents to encourage dietary changes to aid in preventing childhood obesity and reducing consumption of SSBs. METHODS: Key search terms were identified and used to examine selected databases via PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. A total of 637 records were identified. After duplicates were removed and records were screened for eligibility, 33 remained. Six met established inclusion/exclusion criteria and were included in the review. RESULTS: Only two full-text articles included dental-office-based weight interventions. Patient response to education on healthy habits and weight maintenance in the dental setting was favorable. Literature supports oral health professionals expanding their role in health care delivery by offering nutrition and physical activity recommendations to prevent and/or reduce chronic disease. Active listening and motivational interviewing were techniques identified to promote beneficial lifestyle changes. CONCLUSIONS: There is limited research on behavior modification tools and skills that have been effectively implemented in the dental setting to decrease risk of obesity. Oral health professionals are uniquely positioned to address consumption of SSBs and promote positive dietary habits for improved weight management. Future studies are needed to identify effective techniques that techniques that oral health professionals can integrate into preventive patient care.

author list (cited authors)
Mallonee, L. F., Boyd, L. D., & Stegeman, C.
publication date
Wiley Publisher
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Oral Health Care Professionals
  • Behavior Modification
  • Sugar-sweetened Beverages
  • Dentists
  • Children
  • Obesity
  • Adolescents
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