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August 2003

Obesity Prevention in Pediatric Primary Care: Four Behaviors to Target

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(8):725-727. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.8.725

MANY OF THOSE delivering primary care remain paralyzed in their efforts to prevent childhood obesity. This may be because they realize that there are no interventions proven to prevent obesity that can be employed in primary care settings and because they wish to "do no harm." Furthermore, they acknowledge that most newborns will not become obese during childhood or young adulthood, even if no efforts are made by primary care providers to prevent obesity.1 At the same time, there is a growing sense of frustration about doing nothing because obesity is now twice as common as it was 20 years ago and new evidence constantly emerges about the physical and emotional consequences of obesity. Many feel further disheartened given the compelling premises that obesity is easier to prevent than to treat and that altering diet and activity patterns early in life is easier than doing so later in life.

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