New Guidance Says Treat Kids Early, Aggressively For Obesity

Obesity can lead to lifelong health problems
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 24:  Signs for Taco Bell, Grinder, McDonalds, Panda Express fast-food restaurant line the streets in the Figueroa Corridor area of South Los Angeles on July 24, 2008, Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles City Council committee has unanimously approved year-long moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a 32-square-mile area, mostly in South Los Angeles, pending approval by the full council and the signature of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to make it the law. South LA has the highest concentration of fast-food restaurants of the city, about 400, and only a few grocery stores. L.A. Councilwoman Jan Perry proposed the measure to try to reduce health problems associated with a diet high in fast-food, like obesity and diabetes, which plague many of the half-million people living there.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • Children who are obese should be evaluated and treated early and aggressively, new guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics advises.
  • The “watchful waiting” approach — waiting to see if children will outgrow or overcome obesity — makes the problem worse.
  • The new advice sets guidance for when kids and teens should be offered drugs and surgery as well as intensive diet, exercise, and other lifestyle interventions.

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