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AAP Clinical Report : Steps to Prevent Teen Obesity and Eating Disorders

8/22/2016
​ Adolescents whose parents focus on healthy eating and physical activity rather than weight are less likely to have an eating disorder or engage in unhealthy weight control behaviors, according to a new clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The report, “Preventing Obesity and Eating Disorders in Adolescents” will be published in the September 2016 Pediatrics (published online Aug. 22) to provide pediatricians with evidence-based tools to provide guidance to patients. Over the past 30 years, the rate of child obesity has more than doubled, and the rate of teen obesity has quadrupled. While the obesity rates have plateaued in recent years, the health care burdens and costs remain significant. Hispanic, American-Indian and African-American adolescents have the highest prevalence of obesity, according to research. Family involvement in treatment of teen obesity and eating disorders have been determined to be more effective than an adolescent-only focus. AAP recommendations include discouraging dieting, skipping of meals or the use of diet pills; promoting a positive body image; encouraging more frequent family meals; and suggesting that families avoid talking about weight.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.

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