Periodic health examination, 1994 update: 1. Obesity in childhood. Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination. Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • OBJECTIVE: To update the 1979 Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination recommendation on screening for childhood obesity by reviewing any new evidence concerning health risks in childhood and adulthood, and effective preventive or therapeutic interventions. OPTIONS: Detection: routine measurement of height and weight, use of skinfold thickness measurements, calculation of body mass index (BMI). INTERVENTION: diet, exercise, behaviour modification and comprehensive family-based weight-reduction programs. Components of these interventions could be offered routinely or reserved for children and families who perceive obesity to be a present or potential problem. OUTCOMES: The task force reviewed the probability of obese children become obese adults as a risk factor for adult heart disease and overall related illness and death in adult life as well as obesity as a risk factor for physical and psychologic illness in childhood. EVIDENCE: A MEDLINE search for relevant articles published between January 1981 and February 1991 was undertaken. VALUES: The task force's evidence-based rules for recommendations were used. BENEFITS, HARMS AND COSTS: If weight reduction in childhood were shown to prevent physical or psychologic illness in childhood, or illness and death in adult life, screening and treatment should be recommended. Screening for obesity may cause anxiety on the part of the child and family; malnutrition in children as a result of parents becoming overly anxious about the health risks of obesity has been reported. Most weight reduction programs have limited long-term effectiveness and can be costly. RECOMMENDATIONS: There is insufficient evidence of short-term or long-term benefits from screening for or treatment of childhood obesity to recommend such screening or recommend against it. There is fair evidence to recommend against very-low-kilojoule diets for preadolescents. There is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against exercise programs or intensive family-based programs for most obese children. VALIDATION: These recommendations are similar to those of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Preventive Services Task Force. SPONSOR: These guidelines were developed and endorsed by the Canadian task force, which is funded by Health Canada.

authors

  • GOLDBLOOM, R
  • BATTISTA, RN
  • ANDERSON, G
  • BEAULIEU, MD
  • ELFORD, RW
  • Feightner, John Westfall
  • FELDMAN, W
  • LOGAN, AG
  • MORRISON, B
  • OFFORD, D
  • PATTERSON, C
  • SPITZER, WO
  • WANG, E
  • MICKELSON, P
  • DINGLE, J
  • BEAGAN, B

publication date

  • March 15, 1994

published in