Medical Task Force Recommends 'Behavioral Counseling' For Obese Kids

Nutritionist talking to teen obese patient

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The United States Preventive Services Task Force is suggesting that obese children as young as six should undergo "comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions."

In a paper published in the medical journal JAMA, the independent group of doctors and medical experts noted that nearly 20% of children and adolescents aged two to 19 years in the U.S. have a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile.

The task force found that early intervention had a moderate net benefit in reducing childhood obesity.

"The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that providing or referring children and adolescents 6 years or older with a high BMI to comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions has a moderate net benefit," the group said.

The group also studied the effectiveness of prescribing weight loss medication but found the evidence about its effectiveness to be "inadequate."

Dr. Brett Osborn, a neurologist and longevity expert who was not affiliated with the study, told Fox News that obesity is a "gateway disease " and said the task force's recommendation is a "call to action."

"This recommendation is not just a guideline; it's a call to action," Osborn said.

He added, "These interventions focus on supervised physical activity (supplanting mobile phone usage with structured exercise), healthy eating education, and behavior change techniques."

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