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JAMA Insights
Clinical Update
September 30, 2019

Treatment of Adolescent Obesity in 2020

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics and Pediatrics, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville
  • 2Department of Medicine and Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 3Department of Pediatrics and Center for Pediatric Obesity Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis
JAMA. Published online September 30, 2019. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.14725

Treating the approximately 9 million US adolescents with obesity1 is challenging because of the complex nature of this chronic disease. Adolescence is a critical period for managing obesity, owing to the dynamic physiological and psychological changes inherent to this period of growth and development. To identify and diagnose obesity, body mass index (BMI) for age and sex percentile should be assessed and tracked (Table)2 and assessments for obesity causes, contributors, and complications should include a comprehensive weight, medical, surgical, social, and family history; medication review; physical examination; and laboratory tests.3,4

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