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AAP Issues Guidelines for Children With Overweight, Obesity

Weight loss pharmacotherapy recommended as adjunct to health behavior and lifestyle treatment in children 12 years and older with obesity

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Jan. 10, 2023 (HealthDay News) — In a clinical practice guideline issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics and published online Jan. 9 in Pediatrics, key action statements and consensus recommendations are presented for the evaluation and treatment of children with overweight and obesity.

Sarah E. Hampl, M.D., from the Children’s Mercy Kansas City Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, and colleagues developed clinical practice guidelines to inform pediatricians and other health care providers about the standard of care for evaluating and treating children with overweight and obesity.

The guidelines list 13 key action statements and additional consensus recommendations. These include evaluation of children with overweight and obesity for obesity-related comorbidities using a comprehensive patient history, mental, and behavioral health screening. Overweight and obesity and comorbidities should be treated concurrently. For children and adolescents, overweight and obesity should be treated using the principles of the medical home and the chronic care model, employing an approach that acknowledges obesity’s biologic, social, and structural drivers. Based on moderate evidence, motivational interviewing is recommended to engage patients and families in treating overweight and obesity. Children should be provided with or referred to intensive health behavior and lifestyle treatment, which is more effective with greater contact hours. Adolescents aged 12 years and older with obesity should be offered weight loss pharmacotherapy as an adjunct to health behavior and lifestyle treatment. Adolescents aged 13 years and older with severe obesity should be referred for evaluation for metabolic and bariatric surgery.

“Our kids need the medical support, understanding and resources we can provide within a treatment plan that involves the whole family,” Hampl said in a statement.

Clinical Practice Guideline

Executive Summary

Technical Report 1

Technical Report 2

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