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Category: Obesity

Childhood Obesity Epidemic Worsens

Childhood obesity in America is on the rise, and at rates higher than previous studies suggested, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. The findings emerged after researchers analyzed federal data from the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the “gold standard” in childhood and fitness research which every two years collects data about adult and children obesity across the country.

In 1999, according to the survey, about 29 percent—more than a quarter—of children ages 2 to 19 were overweight. By 2016, that figure rose to 35 percent, according to the latest analysis, and about one in five children are obese.

Asheley Cockrell Skinner, an associate professor at Duke University and lead study author who has worked with these data for more than a decade, said she has seen in her research that “once a kid has developed obesity, it’s a lot harder to change it. It’s much easier to prevent obesity than it is to reverse it.”

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Weight Loss Counseling? Not So Much.

Adults who are overweight or obese report receiving little weight loss counseling, especially involving medications and surgery; however, many report trying to lose weight within the last 12 months, according to a speaker at ObesityWeek.

“We know that less than 50% of patients with obesity have reported receiving weight loss counseling within a provider visit and most providers, primary care providers, provide no counseling at all,” Sean J. Iwamoto, MD, a postdoctoral fellow in the division of endocrinology, metabolism & diabetes at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus, said during his presentation. “At baseline it seems that primary care providers seem to overvalue exercise, meaning they find its more comfortable to discuss exercise with their patients, as well as they feel it’s the most effective way to lose weight, and they undervalue other things like weight loss medications. We also know that obesity medications are effective but prescription rates are low.”

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