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Clinical evaluation of the obese child and adolescent

William J Klish, MD
Section Editors
Kathleen J Motil, MD, PhD
Mitchell E Geffner, MD
Deputy Editor
Alison G Hoppin, MD


Obesity has become one of the most important public health problems in the United States (figure 1) [1]. As the prevalence of obesity increases, so does the prevalence of the comorbidities associated with obesity [2]. For this reason, it is imperative that health care providers identify overweight and obese children so that counseling and treatment can be provided.

Recommendations, guidelines, and consensus statements for the evaluation and treatment of obese children and adolescents have been published by the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) [3], an Expert Committee convened by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) [4,5], the American Heart Association [6], the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) [7] an international Obesity Consensus Working Group [8], and the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) [9], and an expert panel on cardiovascular health from the United States National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) [10]. These and other guidelines are also available through the Society Guidelines link below. (See "Society guideline links: Obesity in children".)

The clinical evaluation of the overweight child and adolescent will be presented here. Other aspects of clinical management of obesity in children are discussed in separate topic reviews:

(See "Management of childhood obesity in the primary care setting".)

(See "Definition; epidemiology; and etiology of obesity in children and adolescents".)


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