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By report writers editors: Alex Mathieson, and Theadora Koller .

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Extra resources for Addressing the socioeconomic determinants of healthy eating habits and physical activity levels among adolescents

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School health services were responsible for comprehensive (curative and preventative) health care until 1998, but reforms introduced that year defined their role as one exclusively focused on designing and delivering preventative health care measures for schoolchildren, young people and university students, with general practitioners assuming responsibility for children’s and young people’s illness services. The 1998 reforms also heralded an organizational shift from community health centres to county institutes of public health.

School health services embrace approximately 155 medical teams, with one school doctor and nurse working in each team. Each team takes care of about 5000 schoolchildren and university students. Medical doctors in school health services need to undertake mandatory training consisting of a three-year course in school medicine, which gives them a recognized specialist qualification equal to family medicine or occupational medicine, followed by obligatory postgraduate training lasting four months. In school year 2004/2005, 113 school health specialists, 24 residents in school medicine (in the process of achieving the specialist qualification) and 16 medical doctors with no specialization worked in school health services.

The global strategy on diet, physical activity and health. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2004. 3. Lobstein T, Baur L, Uauy R. Obesity in children and young people: crisis in public health. Report to World Health Organization by the International Obesity Task Force. 1:5–104. 4. Lobstein T, Baur LA. Policies to prevent childhood obesity in the European Union. Eur J Public Health, 2005, 15:6:576–579. 5. Reilly JJ. Descriptive epidemiology and health consequences of childhood obesity. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2005, 19:3:327–341.

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