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Obesity in Children and Adolescents, Screening, 2017

* Indicates an old grade definition


Recommendations: Screening for Obesity in Children and Adolescents

  • Obesity in Children and Adolescents: Screening -- Children and Adolescents 6 years and older
    Grade: B
    Specific Recommendations:

    The USPSTF recommends that clinicians screen for obesity in children and adolescents 6 years and older and offer or refer them to comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions to promote improvements in weight status.

    Frequency of Service:

    Screening - no evidence regarding appropriate screening intervals for obesity in children and adolescents. Height and weight, which are necessary for BMI calculation, are routinely measured during health maintenance visits.

    Behavioral Intervention - comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions with a total of 26 contact hours or more over a period of 2 to 12 months resulted in weight loss (Table 1).34 Behavioral interventions with a total of 52 contact hours or more demonstrated greater weight loss and some improvements in cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. These effective, higher-intensity (≥26 contact hours) behavioral interventions consisted of multiple components.34 (see clinical considerations for more information)

    Risk Factor Information:

    parental obesity, poor nutrition, low levels of physical activity, inadequate sleep, sedentary behaviors, and low family income; maternal diabetes, maternal smoking, gestational weight gain, and rapid infant growth. A decrease in physical activity in young children is a risk factor for obesity later in adolescence. Obesity rates continue to increase in some racial/ethnic minority populations. These racial/ethnic differences in obesity prevalence are likely a result of both genetic and nongenetic factors (e.g., socioeconomic status, intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and fast food, and having a television in the bedroom).3

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