"Many parents have a great sense of shame" | TIME ONLINE

Hamburg children and adolescents are
more often overweight and depressed than her peers in the rest of
Germany. In addition, children of parents with low education are more often ill
than others. These are the key findings of a large DAK study. How can that be? The study leaves the causes open, so we asked Susanne Epplée for an assessment. She is child and
youth doctor
in social pediatric
Center in
Billstedt, a social hotspot in the east of Hamburg.

TIME ONLINE: Mrs. Epplée, Hamburg children are
more often overweight and depressed than in the rest of Germany.
Do you experience that too?

Susanne Epplée: In our institute, we have an above-average number of obesity cases
Overweight. This often concerns us. We bring the kids into programs and multi-day
Courses to help them make the wrong lifestyle choices. The nutritional behavior
to change, can only happen with the involvement of parents. Otherwise
that does not work.

TIME ONLINE: Do you have an explanation why it
this accumulation gives?

Epplée: There are some developmentally delayed ones in Billstedt
Children who also often suffer from physical inactivity, where socialization
exclusively on the playground takes place, because at home no place for
Appointments or motion games is. And I experience again and again,
that some after the doctor's appointment as a reward then again to McDonald's
allowed. When both parents work shifts and the child works full time
is educated, then go the least in the evening to the sports club. fatigue
and lack of motivation from exhaustion slows down the activities. The
therapeutic exercise offers that we offer to the children in the center
should be able to give them fun in the movement. But they do cover
Far from the needs of our patients.

Susanne Epplée is a specialist in pediatric and adolescent medicine and has been head of the Institute for Neuro and Social Paediatrics Hamburg-Ost in Billstedt since 2013.
© Institute of Social Pediatrics

TIME ONLINE: In your institute, children and
Teens from zero to 18 years are examined and treated if they are medically
are noticeable. What diseases is it about?

Epplée: About a quarter of our patients
gets the diagnosis ADHD, so has an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Around 15 percent of children suffer from obesity. We also put in a lot
many cases of developmental disorders, especially disorders of coordination,
fine motor skills and speech ability. In addition, we diagnose
often disabilities.

TIME ONLINE: What are the causes?

Epplée: One cause is the population structure
from Billstedt. Here live the largest families, more than 75 percent of the population
Under-18s have a migrant background, 40 percent of those under
15-year-olds live in families with minimum income, and the number of
High school students are well below the Hamburg average.

TIME ONLINE: What does that have with the health of
To do children and teenagers?

Epplée: Among the parents of children with
Migration background is almost no academics and if they are
their respective degrees are not recognized in Germany. Many parents
have only a low income, are often on the social
Instructed backup systems. So usually come together several things, the
have a negative impact on children and adolescents.

TIME ONLINE: What do you mean?

Epplée: Many families live because of their
financial situation with several children in a two-room apartment. In
Some families have a disabled child who needs intensive care.
Then the siblings are neglected, they can not learn
not accompanied to the playground or sports, but spend the day before the
Cellphone or tv. The parents are exhausted, depression occurs, it
comes to arguments and separations. Mothers stay with their children
alone, without help and the prospect of maintenance. The kids are prone to
Infections, sleeping poorly, showing behavioral problems in school,
have bad grades, are increasing, self esteem is falling, they are starting to die
School truancy, get school referrals and so on.

In what way
This mix of adverse circumstances favors the diseases that you
called earlier?

Epplée: ADHD will be around
except by genetic factors due to a low social status
favored. Obesity occurs in children in low-income families
often because they are not used to fresh food, but preferred
Industrial foods, convenience foods and fast foods. Some of ours
Children harass their parents massively to get sweets or snacks.
Often parents give in to the screaming child to pay no attention to themselves
to draw. Some parents are very afraid that their child has been taken away
could be.