Obesity treatment guidelines for kids updated for first time since 2007

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The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued updated guidelines for treating children and teens with obesity.

There are currently more than 14.4 million children and teens in the United States with the chronic disease.

Pediatricians from the Cleveland Clinic say the previous guidelines had not been updated since 2007.

Comprehensive obesity treatment now includes nutrition support, physical activity treatment and behavioral therapy. This is in addition to medications and metabolic and bariatric surgery – all of which have been proven to be safe and effective. The academy noted that only teens who are 13 and older with severe obesity should be evaluated for those types of surgeries.

A doctor with the Cleveland Clinic says there also seems to be more of a focus on the social support component of treating childhood obesity, as the environments children grow up in can effect this in a major way.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says the updated guidelines do not discuss obesity prevention, which will be addressed in another forthcoming policy statement.