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Screen All Adults for Obesity: U.S. Panel
Date:6/26/2012

The current guidelines only address obese adults. The task force has previously issued guidelines for obese children that are available on its website, according to Grossman.

The second set of guidelines issued by the task force was designed for people who have a normal or low risk of cardiovascular disease. Grossman said these were previously separate guidelines that addressed healthy eating and physical activity, but that the task force combined them into one recommendation on healthy lifestyle counseling.

But, the task force advised doctors that such counseling isn't appropriate for all patients. It said that doctors should consider patients' risk factors, as well as their readiness to make changes. Doctors should also consider how much social and community support an individual has, the guidelines say.

"For healthy people without a high risk of disease, moderate to intensive counseling nets a small return," Copperman said. "And, lifestyle changes can be a touchy subject. Doctors want patients to come back. They want to engage them, not alienate them."

More information

Learn more about programs for improving your health from the Guide to Community Preventive Services.

SOURCES: David Grossman, M.D., member, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and medical director of preventive care, Group Health Cooperative, Seattle; Nancy Copperman, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., director of public health initiatives, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Great Neck, N.Y.; June 26, 2012, Annals of Internal Medicine online


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