Management of Childhood Obesity and Overweight in Primary Care Visits: Gaps Between Recommended Care and Typical Practice
- Current Nutrition Reports
Authors: Huiying Guo, Melissa Pavek, Katie Loth
Publisher: Springer US
Purpose of Review
There are many barriers that impact a physician’s ability to adhere to guidelines for the management of childhood overweight and obesity in the context of routine primary care visits. We reviewed current evidence on recommendations, guidelines, and interventions to address well-known barriers to effective management of childhood overweight and obesity.
Intervention-based studies evaluating programs and treatment/screening options within primary care settings have shown positive outcomes for treatment of childhood overweight/obesity. However, the most effective programs are predominantly larger scale, time consuming, multidisciplinary efforts that are offered separately from the traditional primary care office visit.
Despite the existence of effective multidisciplinary interventions to treat childhood overweight and obesity, challenges in adopting these interventions within primary care visits continue to limit the impact primary care providers have on the prevention and treatment of pediatric obesity. Few programs and curriculums exist to help primary care providers effectively discuss lifestyle changes within the context of a regular clinical visit. Further research and education curriculum in physician training needs to be developed to address these gaps between recommended care and typical practice.