USPSTF Recommends Obesity Screening in Children and Teens

authordebStarred Page By authordeb, 3rd Nov 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Children's Health

According to the US Preventive Task Force physicians should screen children and teens for obesity and encourage behavioral interventions to improve weight status.

Importance of Recommendations

Nearly 1 in 3 children and adolescents in the US are currently overweight or obese. Despite the fact the overall rate of children and adolescent obesity has maintained the same rate in the last decade after increasing for three decades. However, obesity rates continue to climb in certain populations such as Hispanic boys and African American girls. Also on the increase is a child who meet the criteria for severe obesity (over the 95th percentile) or overweight (class III obesity 85th to less than 95th percentile).
Childhood and adolescent obesity can lead to health problems into adulthood including sleep apnea, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

“Parents don’t always recognize when their children are overweight,” said Alex R. Kemper, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics at Duke University Medical School in Durham, North Carolina, and fellow task-force members.

The Grade B recommendations have not changed from the 2010 final recommendations.

Screening Tests

The recommended screening test for obesity is the BMI measurement as by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which are based on US specific population based normal for children age two years and older.

The task force did not find sufficient evidence for screening on children under the age of six.

Behavioral Interventions

The USPSTF reviewed 45 trials of behavioral interventions for obesity. These trials used several interventions targeting lifestyle change (counseling on diet, increasing physical activity/decreasing sedentary behavior, and addressing behavior change) to limit weight gain and decrease weight. Three smaller trials assessed different behavioral approaches (weight loss maintenance, regulation of cues for overeating, and interpersonal therapy.

“Behavioral interventions can help children improve their health, manage their weight, and prevent future obesity-related health problems,” said Task Force co-chair David C. Grossman, MD, MPH. “However, we should also remember that all children and adults regardless of weight status, can realize the health benefits from improved nutrition, healthy eating behaviors, and regular physical activity.”

Net Benefit

The task force concluded with moderate certainty that there is a moderate net benefit for obesity in children and adolescents age 6 years and older.

The task force also found adequate evidence that comprehensive behavioral interventions intensive behavioral interventions in children and adolescents age 6 years and older who have obesity can result in weight improvements in weight status up to 12 months.

Draft Recommendations of Others

The update recommendations conform similar to obesity screening recommendations from other health organizations such as the American Medical Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The Statement

The Task Force’s draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review have been posted for public comment on the Task Force website at .

About the Task Force

The Task Force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screening, counseling services, and preventive medicine.


USPSTF Bulletin U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Seeks Comments on Draft Recommendation Statement on Screening for Obesity in Children and Adolescents
Washington D. C. November 1, 2016

Draft Recommendation Statement: Obesity in Children and Adolescents: Screening

Defining Childhood Obesity/Overweight & Obesity/CDC


Behaviorlal Interventions, Children, Obesity, Recommendations, Screening, Teens, Uspstf

Meet the author

author avatar authordeb
Author of the Love and Laughter series
Alternative Medicine Practitioner
Freelance Health Write
Works with Media companies for interviews and articles such as Howie Mandel for Afib,

Share this page

moderator Peter B. Giblett moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


Add a comment
Can't login?