Doctors should offer weight-loss drugs and surgical options to young teens suffering from obesity to help treat the condition alongside other methods, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said on Monday in its first guidelines on youth obesity
WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 09th January, 2023) Doctors should offer weight-loss drugs and surgical options to young teens suffering from obesity to help treat the condition alongside other methods, the American academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said on Monday in its first guidelines on youth obesity.
"Pediatricians and other pediatric healthcare providers should offer adolescents aged 12 years and older with obesity weight loss pharmacotherapy, according to medication indications, risks, and benefits, as an adjunct to health behavior and lifestyle treatment," AAP said in an executive summary of their recommendations.
The AAP said doctors should also offer referrals for evaluation for metabolic and bariatric surgery to adolescents aged 13 years and older with severe obesity. Multiple studies support the surgeries being safe and effective for adolescents, AAP noted.
Approximately 14.4 million children and adolescents in the United States are affected by obesity, making it one of the country's most prevalent pediatric chronic diseases.
AAP said that it developed the clinical practice guidelines for pediatric obesity following an increased understanding of chronic obesity, its impacts and treatments. The guidelines, which are based on a "comprehensive evidence review" of trials and studies, aim to inform health care providers about the standard of care for evaluating and treating children with obesity, it said.
AAP also said it recommends annual Body Mass Index measurements for all children two to 18 years of age to screen for obesity, as well as evaluation for comorbidities such as prediabetes.
The prevalence of obesity in the United States was 41.9% in 2017, up from 30.5% in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. The prevalence of severe obesity also increased from 4.7% to 9.2% in the same time period, the CDC added.
The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the US was $173 billion in 2019, with obese adults paying an average of $1,861 more in medical costs than those with a healthy weight, according to the CDC.