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June 20, 2017

Practical Considerations for the US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations on Obesity in Children and Adolescents

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. Published online June 20, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.1978

Comprehensive strategies to address childhood obesity are needed. Despite recent stabilization of prevalence among 2- to 11-year-old children, nearly one-third of US children and adolescents are overweight (body mass index [BMI] 85th-95th percentile for age and sex on US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts) or have obesity (BMI ≥95th percentile).1 Substantial disparities exist by race/ethnicity: more than 20% of Hispanic boys and girls and non-Hispanic black girls have obesity compared with 14% to 15% of non-Hispanic white girls and boys. The prevalence of extreme obesity (BMI ≥120% of the 95th percentile) is rising and is nearly 6% among all children and adolescents and 9% among black girls.

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