U.S. Preventive Services Task Force update on obesity screening recommendation

June 29, 2017

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is charged with making recommendations for clinical preventive services. The USPSTF recently reviewed the evidence related to obesity in children and adolescents and weight management interventions to update the 2010 screening guidelines. The statement, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), recommends that “clinicians screen for obesity in children and adolescents 6 years and older and offer or refer them to comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions to promote improvements in weight status.”

The recommendation is based on evidence reviews, concluding that obesity screening and behavioral interventions of 26 hours or more in children over 6 years old led to improvements in weight status. The Task Force found little to no evidence that there are harms associated with screening for obesity and participating in comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions. Body mass index (BMI) is identified as the appropriate screening tool.

NCCOR’s Engaging Health Care Providers and Systems workgroup works to engage health care providers and systems to bridge the gap between childhood obesity prevention research and interventions. The workgroup recently conducted listening sessions with pediatric weight management providers across the care spectrum including primary care, tertiary care, and community-based care. These sessions aimed to identify and disseminate best practices for the evaluation of family-centered childhood weight management programs. The workgroup is reviewing the findings and planning for next steps. The USPSTF recommendation provides a basis for researchers to work with health care providers to support programs aimed at reducing childhood obesity.

Read the recommendation statement: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2632511

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