Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Bachelor's Degree Programme on SCIENZE MOTORIE
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
Second semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

Knowledge and understanding
The student must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of 1) the bio-psycho-social and nutritional issues related to obesity and thinness and the role of exercise and proper nutrition in the prevention and treatment of these conditions; 2) the role of obesogenic environment on eating behaviors and lifestyle.
Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
The student must be able to define the categories of defect and excess weight, identify the suspicion signs of eating disorders and body image disorders or secondary obesity, evaluate the extent of physical impairment in relation to overweight, understand the meaning of balanced caloric intake for the healthy growth process. The student should be able to understand the behavioral strategies aimed at improving lifestyle and to design protocols of physical activity adapted to severe obesity; to recognize the signs of discomfort related to bullying or body image disorders.
Autonomy of judgment. The student should be able to autonomously deepen the topics covered, develop critical sense and integrate the knowledges deriving from the Pediatrics and Nutrition Biochemistry modules, in order to develop an integrated and multidisciplinary approach towards subjects with obesity and eating disorders.
Communication skills. The student should be able to discuss with an easy, but scientifically correct language, the knowledge acquired with particular regard to the promotion of healthy behaviors for the prevention of obesity and eating disorders.
Learning ability. The student must demonstrate that he/she has understood the objectives of the course through classroom discussion about the topics of the program, the analysis of the international literature, including national and international guidelines and self-evaluation on the proposed themes.
The student must possess general knowledge provided by the courses of Hygiene, Physiology, Methods and teaching of motor activities, Methods and teaching of sports activities.


To have general knowledge provided by the courses of Hygiene, Physiology, Methods and teaching of motor activities, Methods and teaching of sports activities.


General issues on the growth process. Height and weight growth, pubertal development. The adipose tissue: distribution and function. Age related changes of the body composition. Anthropometric measurements: BMI, skinfold thickness and circumferences. The percentiles. Definition of underweight, overweight, obesity in children and adults
Obesity: Epidemiology. Causes (genetic, environmental, endocrine, psycho-social). Physical consequences: hypertension, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus, respiratory disorders, orthopedic complications. Psycho-social correlates.
Thinness: Epidemiology. Causes: nutritional, endocrine, psycho-social factors. Disorders of eating behavior and body image. Consequences: anemia, amenorrhea, osteoporosis.
Weight control strategies Changing eating and motor behaviors, reducing sedentariness. Physical and psychological barrieres to physical activity. Adapted exercise to severe obesity in the child (type, intensity, frequency).
Prevention strategies for obesity and eating behavior disorders.
Highlights of feeding in pediatric age. The taste. Appetite and satiety regulation. The importance of lifestyle and physical efficiency for health. The role of the family, the school and the community.

The module is divided into 4 blocks

The growth process. Block 1, 12 hrs
Topic 1 Height and weight growth
Topic 2 Pubertal development
Topic 3 Adipose tissue, distribution and function. Age related changes in body composition.
Topic 4 Anthropometric measurements: BMI, skinfolds and circumferences. The percentiles.

Obesity Block 2, 12 hrs
Topic 1 Epidemiology in Italy and in the world.
Topic 2 Causes (genetic, endocrine, environmental, psycho-social)
Topic 3. Physical consequences: hypertension, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus
Topic 4. Respiratory disorders, orthopedic complications, psycho-social correlates.

Thinness Block 3, 9 hrs
Topic 1 Epidemiology. Causes: nutritional, endocrine, psycho-social factors.
Topic 2. Consequences: anemia, amenorrhea, osteoporosis.
Topic 3. Eating behavior and body image disorders.

Weight control strategies. Block 4, 15 hrs
Topic 1 Behavioral modification of eating pattern and physical activity, reduction of a sedentary lifestyle. Physical and psychological difficulties associated with physical activity.

Teaching Methods

Frontal lessons, interactive discussion of scientific works, simulation of practical examples


• The free eBook on Child and adolescent obesity available at ebook.ecog-obesity.eu
• Thivel D, Ring-Dimitriou S, Weghuber D, Frelut ML, O’Malley G. Muscle Strength and Fitness in Pediatric Obesity: a Systematic Review from the European Childhood Obesity Group. Obes Facts. 2016;9(1):52-63.
• O’Malley G., Ring-Dimitriou S., Nowicka P., Vania A., Frelut M.L., Farpour-Lambert N., Weghuber D., Thivel D. Physical activity and physical fitness in pediatric obesity: what are the first steps for clinicians Expert conclusion from the 2016 ECOG workshop. Int J Exerc Sci 2017;10(4): 487-96.

Learning assessment

Oral exam, aimed at ascertaining the acquisition of acquired knowledge and skills and the ability to make connections with the Biochemistry of Nutrition module on the main topics covered during the course.
With regard to the module of Pediatrics, the first part will focus on the definition of thinness and overweight and the causes or consequences of these two conditions, the second on the role of physical exercise / sport and physical efficiency, associated with proper nutrition, in the prevention or treatment of obesity in the different ages, the third on the main disorders of eating behavior and body image with particular reference to the sport setting, and the role of educator/coach in prevention.
To pass the test of the Pediatrics module it is necessary to acquire at least 18 points out of 30.
The final grade will be given by the average of the marks obtained in the two oral exams, weighted for the number of credits (6 CFU Pediatrics and 3 CFU Biochemistry of nutrition).If one of the two tests is insufficient, only that test must be repeated.

More information

The course Obesity and leanness consists of two modules: Pediatrics (6 CFU) and Biochemistry of Nutrition (3 CFU)

Lectures are in Italian. The
professor is fluent in English and is available to interact with
students in English, also during the examination.”