AAP Childhood Overweight and Obesity
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Partner with your pediatrician

Parents and their child's healthcare provider can form an important partnership in preventing overweight and obesity. It is a great idea for parents to regularly communicate with their child's pediatrician about appropriate nutrition and physical activity. In addition, pediatricians can help parents by assessing the child's risk and monitoring their child's BMI (visit About Obesity to learn more about BMI). Your doctor should notify you when your child is at risk for becoming overweight or is already overweight or obese. In collaboration with your pediatrician, you can identify the best ways for your child to adopt and/or maintain a healthy active lifestyle.

For more information about what to expect at your doctor's visits explore the assessment, prevention, and treatment sections below. Remember, if you have concerns about your child's weight ask your doctor to assess your child's BMI and to discuss ways to keep your family healthy and active. To find a pediatrician or pediatric sub specialist visit Find a Pediatrician .

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Assessment and Prevention:

Prevention is the best solution to the obesity problem so at your child's well visits your pediatrician will work with you to identify risk and assess current weight status.

What to expect at your well visits. Do not be surprised if your doctor asks you about your child's eating and exercise habits as well as your family history related to diseases associated with obesity. You should answer these questions as truthfully as possible to help your doctor accurately assess your child's risk. In addition, your pediatrician will evaluate your child's physical stature by obtaining weight and height. At age two, they will begin calculating your child's BMI (About Obesity).

For nutrition information specific to your child's well visits, review the Bright Futures fact sheets


Treatment:

If your child has been diagnosed as overweight or obese, your doctor will work with you on a treatment plan that is best for your child's condition and your family's needs. Some treatment plans involve written food or exercise prescriptions, goal sheets, journaling, and/or consultation with dieticians, exercise specialist, and/or behavioral specialists.
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