A US Panel : Suggests That Children Therapy at Age 6 Now


A US Panel

A US Panel : Suggests That Children Therapy at Age 6

A US panel suggests that children who are obese begin therapy at age 6.

Washington, DC The draft recommendation released on Wednesday by a panel of U.S. experts states that children who are obese should begin receiving intensive counseling to encourage healthy eating and exercise habits at the age of six.

A US Panel

A US Panel
A US Panel

In 2017, the government-sponsored U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that obesity screening begin at age 6.

Since then, studies have demonstrated the value of intensive behavioral interventions, which are characterized as at least 26 hours of counseling with one or more medical professionals, in helping kids and teenagers reach a healthy weight and enhance their quality of life, according to the panel.


There was no time frame mentioned in the recommendation.

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The new task force advice does not cover surgery or the use of drugs like Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy, which is authorized for children 12 years of age and up.

A US Panel

The task force stated that although it examined the data regarding drugs for weight loss, further study is necessary to completely comprehend the long-term health effects of these drugs.


According to task force member Dr. Katrina Donahue of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, the behavioral interventions would consist of “a package” that includes education about healthy eating, support for behavior modification, and physical activity.


The interventions will “look different in different cities,” Donahue said, because local resources differ.

A US Panel

Donahue stated that these interventions are effective “as long as the child receives a total of at least 26 hours of contact with professionals,” according to the panel’s analysis of data from 58 randomized controlled trials involving more than 10,000 children.


The evidence supporting the intensive interventions received a “grade B” from the task force, indicating a high degree of certainty that the interventions would at least moderately benefit the population.

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The average weight loss for the children in the trials was between 4 and 6.5 pounds, and the losses lasted for at least a year.


A child or adolescent who is obese up to the age of 19 is one whose body mass index, or weight to height ratio, is greater than that of 95% of children of the same age and gender.

A US Panel

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly 1 in 5 children and teenagers in the country fit this description.


In addition, lifestyle support is encouraged by guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which call for at least 26 hours of “face-to-face, family-based, multicomponent treatment over a three- to 12-month period.”

However, the academy has recommended that pediatricians refer obese children and adolescents (age 13 and older) for evaluation for metabolic and bariatric surgery, as well as weight-loss medications.


A spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Sarah Hampl of Children’s Mercy Kansas City and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, pointed out that a number of factors, including socioecological, environmental, and genetic influences, contribute to childhood obesity.

A US Panel

Treatment should involve identifying and addressing as many of these risk factors as possible. Dr. Hampl was not involved in the task force guideline.


“A minimum of 26 hours of intensive health behavior and lifestyle treatment has been shown to improve children’s weight-related and other health outcomes,” she stated.


Every obese child needs to have a thorough evaluation, which should be repeated over time. Children with obesity have a spectrum of diseases, and some require more sophisticated therapies in addition to intensive lifestyle and health behavior modification.”


Public comments on the task force’s draft recommendation can be made until January 16.

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