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Kids 6 and Older Should Be Screened for Obesity, Task Force Reaffirms

TUESDAY, Nov. 1, 2016 -- Doctors should screen children older than 6 for obesity, and offer them behavioral therapy to help them lose weight if necessary, new guidelines reassert.

The draft recommendation, from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, is essentially the same as a 2010 final recommendation, but specifies teens for further clarification.

Children and teens who are found to be obese should be referred for "comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions," the task force said.

Such interventions "last at least 26 hours and may include sessions that target both the parent and child; offer information on healthy eating and safe exercise; discuss the use of stimulus control such as limiting access to tempting foods and limiting screen time; and include supervised physical activity," the panel explained.

The draft recommendation is open for public comment through Nov. 28.

The task force is an independent, volunteer panel of medical experts that makes recommendations about preventive health services such as screenings, counseling and medications.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips for keeping children at a healthy weight.

Posted: November 2016


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