Navigation Links
Docs Aren't Coaching Overweight Kids on How to Slim Down: Study
Date:6/8/2012

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- While U.S. doctors often urge obese teens to eat better and exercise more, overweight kids headed for obesity seldom get the same medical advice, a new study shows.

That's important, experts say, because preventing obesity is much easier than dealing with it once it's there.

In the study, fewer than half of all adolescents were advised to eat a healthful diet by their doctor, and only about a third were also told to get more exercise.

This type of advice was more commonly doled out to obese boys and girls than their normal-weight counterparts, but overweight adolescents -- those at highest risk of becoming obese -- were counseled much less often.

The bottom line is that "there is still significant room for improvement in terms of the diagnosis, prevention and management of weight issues in children," said one expert, Dr. Yolandra Hancock, a primary care pediatrician at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She was not involved with the study.

If doctors aren't helping overweight kids slim down, it's up to parents to step in, she said.

"If your provider has not brought up weight or body-mass index (BMI), ask how much your child weighs, what their [BMI] is and how it compares to other same-aged kids," she said. "Once this conversation is initiated, the provider will take the lead."

BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight. A BMI of 30 is typically considered the threshold for obesity.

The study, led by Dr. Lan Liang of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Rockville, Md., appears online in advance of print publication in the July issue of Pediatrics.

The researchers looked at data from 2001 to 2007 for nearly 14,000 young people 11 to 17 years old who had been to the doctor's office at least once in the previous year.

They found that doctors talked with 47 percent of girls and 44 percent of boys about healthy eating, and told 36 percent they should exercise more.

Obese adolescents were twice as likely as normal-weight kids to receive this advice, but overweight teens -- those threatened by obesity -- were counseled far less than obese boys and girls, the researchers found.

"This is troubling because experts believe that obesity is easier to prevent than to treat, which implies that physician counseling for the overweight but not yet obese may have the greatest potential to prevent obesity later in life," the researchers concluded.

The rates of childhood obesity in the United States have more than tripled in the past 30 years, and one in three American kids and teens is now overweight or obese. As a result, diseases and conditions normally seen only in adults -- high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes -- increasingly are diagnosed among children.

Those most likely to receive advice on healthy eating and physical activity lived in wealthier households in the Northeast and had a regular source of medical care and parents with some college education.

Blacks and Hispanics were advised on proper diet more often than whites, and Hispanic teens got activity recommendations more often than whites and blacks. The authors said this might reflect awareness that obesity is a higher risk among minorities.

The new findings predate the release of 2007 guidelines aimed at preventing and treating childhood obesity. The rates of counseling improved toward the end of the study, which may have been a result of publicity for the coming guidelines, the study authors reported.

Dr. Scott Kahan, director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness in Washington, D.C., said few studies of this type have looked at young people. "We have similar data in adults, but this is one of the first studies in adolescents," he said.

Getting people to change their behavior is no simple task, Kahan said.

"It is a science and art in itself to help empower patients, whether adults or adolescents, to change health behaviors," he said. "Telling them to eat less and exercise more is not helpful."

Concerned parents should ask their pediatricians about their child's weight status, and ask for a referral to a specialist if their child is obese, he said.

More information

For more information on raising healthy, fit kids, check out Let's Move.

SOURCES: Yolandra Hancock, M.D., primary care pediatrician, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; Scott Kahan, M.D., director, National Center for Weight and Wellness, Washington, D.C.; July 2012, Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Parents of Kids With Cancer No More Likely to Break Up
2. Gay Adults Rejected by Parents Have Worse Health, Study Finds
3. Nearly 1 in 4 grandparents store prescription medicines where children can easily find them
4. A physicians guide for anti-vaccine parents
5. Parents poor math skills may lead to medication errors
6. Friends Parents Can Sway Teens Odds for Drinking, Smoking
7. Study: Kids Who Sleep in Parents Bed Less Likely to Be Overweight
8. Many Parents of Kids With Autism Dont Put Faith in Pediatricians
9. Pediatric epilepsy impacts sleep for the child and parents
10. Parents are happier than non-parents, new research suggests
11. Parents Often Lose Sleep Over Childs Epilepsy, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Docs Aren't Coaching Overweight Kids on How to Slim Down: Study
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified ... be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major ... only offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 ... their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom ... of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result ... more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association ... it will receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance ... 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Plano, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... taking part in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients ... for an award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... Pharma News Issue 52" report to their offering. ... in influenza treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune ... growing patient base that will serve to drive considerable growth ... vaccine would serve to cap sales considerably, but development is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June ... receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any ... scholarship winners, announced today online at www.diabetesscholars.org ... type 1 diabetes stand in the way of academic ... supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and continues ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today that ... Supplier Horizon Award . One of ... was recognized for its support of Premier members through ... clinical excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... this recognition of our outstanding customer service from Premier," ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: