New guidelines regarding treatment for child obesity

Mar 18, 2023

After 15 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its standard guidelines for treating childhood obesity, a health issue that affects over 14 million children in America. If left untreated, obesity can cause significant physical and mental health changes. Previous practices for treating obesity, such as “watchful waiting” or delaying treatment, were aimed to let children outgrow or overcome obesity on their own, but they have proven to be ineffective and worsen the condition.

The AAP’s guidelines now recommend behavioral and lifestyle changes as prevention for child obesity, as well as medications and surgery if needed. The AAP’s guidelines stress the importance of addressing obesity sooner rather than later, and they recommend anti-obesity drugs for those as young as 12 to eliminate future health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Additionally, the AAP emphasizes that weight-loss surgery is a safe and effective option for children.

The AAP aims to change the assumption that obesity is caused by a lack of self-control and a lack of discipline. In fact, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center has proven that biological factors, such as genetics and hormones, contribute the most to causing obesity since they are responsible for how our bodies process, store and use energy from the food we eat.

Additionally, the AAP states that the surrounding environment plays a big role in one’s health. If someone does not have access to healthy foods or safe and open areas to exercise in, it is significantly more difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Part of the guideline’s solutions focuses on obesity prevention in the form of funneling funds into public health improvements, such as safe and walkable neighborhoods, easier access to healthy foods and initiatives encouraging schools to support healthy lifestyles for young children.

The guidelines are good because they give the kids a chance to have a healthy lifestyle.” – Sophomore Jaxon Coxburn (William He (he/him))
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Weiju Wang (he/him), Copy Editor

Sophomore Weiju Wang is a returnee to Nordic and the copy editor for the 2022-23 school year. This year, he wants to continue bringing diverse, interesting...

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Daniel Su (he/him), Reporter

Sophomore Daniel Su is starting his first year on staff and he is enthusiastic about working with the Nordic team in creating exciting and fun articles....

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William He (he/him), Photo Editor

Sophomore William He is thrilled to be the Photo Editor of Nordic News for the 2022-2023 school year. In his second year on staff, Will aims not only to...

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