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November 16, 2020

Weight-Focused Public Health Interventions—No Benefit, Some Harm

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Adolescent Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University, College Station
  • 4Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(3):238-239. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.4777
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    1 Comment for this article
    Screening is not public health
    Edward Schor, MD | Stanford University, School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
    The editorial by Richmond, et. al. treats the creation of BMI reports cards as a public health intervention. It is more accurately described as a screening test result. A long accepted principle of screening is that it should be linked to an action, usually a referral, for intervention. It should come as no surprise that screening in the absence of follow-up is not an effective intervention, and the potential for harm from isolated screening has been noted previously.