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August 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. 2017;177(8):1077-1079. 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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