Clinical Guidelines Set Primary Goals for Preventing Pediatric Obesity

Recommendations developed for assessment, treatment, and prevention of pediatric obesity
Recommendations developed for assessment, treatment, and prevention of pediatric obesity

HealthDay News — In a clinical practice guideline published online January 31 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, recommendations are presented for the assessment, treatment, and prevention of pediatric obesity.

Dennis M. Styne, MD, from the University of California Davis in Sacramento, and colleagues reviewed the literature and used available evidence to formulate guidelines relating to pediatric obesity. 

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The authors note that endocrine etiologies are rarely seen for obesity, and are generally accompanied by attenuated growth patterns. Screening for comorbidities should be conducted for early identification. Only in the presence of specific historical or physical features is genetic screening for rare syndromes indicated. Screening for mental health issues and counseling as indicated is necessary due to the psychological burden of pediatric obesity. Promoting healthful diet, activity, and environment should be a primary goal for prevention of pediatric obesity. Weight-loss medications should be restricted to clinical trials; bariatric surgery is effective in the most seriously affected mature teenagers with failed lifestyle modification.

"Intensive, family-centered lifestyle modifications to encourage healthy diet and activity remain the central approach to preventing and treating obesity in children and teenagers," Styne said in a statement.

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