Sep 01-02, 2021    Tokyo, Japan

Global Summit on Personalized Medicine and Health Care

Anne-Frdrique Naviaux
11:25 AM-11:50 AM

Anne-Frdrique Naviaux


Title: Pediatric Obesity, Addiction and Family Dynamics: Concept of Co-Obesity


Pediatric Obesity, Addiction and Family Dynamics: Concept of Co-Obesity

Anne-Frédérique Naviaux 1,4 *, Pascal Janne 2,3 , Maximilien Gourdin 2,4,

1 College of Psychiatrists of Ireland and Health Service Executive (HSE) Summerhill Community Mental Health Service, Summerhill, Wexford, Y35 KC58, Ireland.

2 Université catholique de Louvain; CHU UCL Namur, Avenue Dr. G. Thérasse, B. 5530 Yvoir, Belgium.

3Faculty of Psychology, Université catholique de Louvain, Place Cardinal Mercier 10, 1348 Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

4Faculty of Medicine, Université catholique de Louvain, Avenue Emmanuel Mounier 50, B-1200  Woluwé-Saint-Lambert, Belgium.


Introduction: The obesity epidemic has been a crucial health concern over the past few decades. Multiple contributing factors have been identified at various levels: genetic, biological, environmental, social, economic etc. In many ways obesity presents some similarities with substance dependence and abuse. The term “co-dependency” originates from the realm of addiction. Co-dependency mechanisms can also appear between parents and children and enable obesity.

Aim: This research features the concept of co-obesity within the paediatric population. It develops new ideas and ways of thinking about food and food system, including an integrative biopsychosocial model of parent-child co-dependencies in obesity. This work has quite a significant impact as it retraces 30 years of literature on the subject but also because the obesity epidemic is constantly expanding.

Materials And Methods: Between January 2020 and May 2020, a literature search based on electronic bibliographic databases as well as other sources of information (grey literature) was conducted in order to investigate the most recent data on obesity, addiction and co-dependencies. Some clinical examples of these concepts applied to everyday life were chosen to illustrate how they are all linked together, especially in terms of familial co-obesity (between children and parents).

Results : Many studies link obesity and addiction, even though, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) does not list obesity as a psychiatric disorder. Both obesity and addiction share a common neural basis and use the same reward pathways which has been described and studied through many works. Dopamine certainly plays an important part in that system. Pediatric obesity is particularly worrying but might offer an opportunity for intervention, and once tackled, reduce the severity of adult obesity. Working with children, means working with families, and investigating intra-familial contributing dynamics. The concept of co-obesity emerged from the addiction model applied to pediatric obesity. Clinical examples illustrate an integrative biopsychosocial model of parent-child co-dependencies in obesity.

Conclusion: Co-obesity often emerges from great altruism, tolerance towards inappropriate and maladaptive behaviours and emotions that are difficult to manage. A new and promising model of intervention is developed, based on addiction techniques (withdrawal/abstinence) associated to behavioral strategies (distraction, alternative behaviors, distress tolerance, trigger avoidance and stress lessening).

Keywords: Pediatric Obesity, Addiction, Co-dependence and Co-dependency, Co-Obesity, Family Dynamics, Family Intervention.

Presenting Author Details:

Full Name: Anne-Frederique Naviaux

Contact Number: office: +353 53 9123 899, mobile: +353 85 228 9238, Fax:+353539155900

Address: Summerhill Community Mental Health Centre, Summerhill Heights, Slippery Green, Y35KC58 Wexford, Ireland

E-mail: [email protected]

Category: Oral Presentation


Anne-Frederique Naviaux is a consultant Psychiatrist and Child Psychiatrist, who finished her Master in Psychiatry in 2004 (Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium). She worked in France as a ‘praticien hospitalier’ in Child Psychiatry and for the World Health Organization, before joining the research department in Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland) in 2011. She has been a lecturer in France (IFSI) since 2004 but  has also joined the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland in 2012.

She currently works for the Health Service Executive in Ireland as Head of Service in Summerhill Adult Mental Health Centre (Wexford) and as Clinical Lead for Liaison Psychiatry in Wexford General Hospital (WGH). Since 2016, she has been developing in collaboration with the Paediatric Team in WGH and University Hospital Waterford, an out of hours emergency service for young people with Mental Health Issues. She has published many articles and is part of several editorial boards.