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Health Issues Prevalent Across BMI Classes for Obese Children

FRIDAY, April 5, 2019 -- For children with obesity, physical and mental health issues are highly prevalent, regardless of body mass index (BMI) class, according to a study published online April 2 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Stasia Hadjiyannakis, M.D., from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Canada, and colleagues classified children with obesity aged 5 to 17 years into World Health Organization BMI classes and applied the Edmonton Obesity Staging System for Pediatrics (EOSS-P). The correlation between BMI class and EOSS-P was examined for 847 children with complete data.

The researchers found that 64 percent of the children had severe obesity based on BMI class and 80 percent were EOSS-P stage 2/3. Stage 2/3 obesity-related health issues were common, including mental health concerns and metabolic, social milieu, and mechanical health issues (61, 41, 21, and 10 percent, respectively). The distribution of mental health issues was equal across BMI classes, metabolic health issues were slightly more frequent among higher BMI classes, and there was an increase in mechanical and social milieu issues with increasing BMI class. Seventy-six and 85 percent of children with class I and III obesity had overall EOSS-P stage 2/3, respectively.

"The application of a clinical staging system such as the EOSS-P in addition to BMI classification might better support clinical and administrative decisions regarding allocation of resources in pediatric obesity management, ensuring that those with the greatest health risk are adequately supported," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Posted: April 2019

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