Recommendations for treatment of child and adolescent overweight and obesity.

Bonnie A. Spear, Sarah E. Barlow, Chris Ervin, David S. Ludwig, Brian E. Saelens, Karen E. Schetzina, Elsie M. Taveras

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

672 Scopus citations


In this article, we review evidence about the treatment of obesity that may have applications in primary care, community, and tertiary care settings. We examine current information about eating behaviors, physical activity behaviors, and sedentary behaviors that may affect weight in children and adolescents. We also review studies of multidisciplinary behavior-based obesity treatment programs and information about more aggressive forms of treatment. The writing group has drawn from the available evidence to propose a comprehensive 4-step or staged-care approach for weight management that includes the following stages: (1) Prevention Plus; (2) structured weight management; (3) comprehensive multidisciplinary intervention; and (4) tertiary care intervention. We suggest that providers encourage healthy behaviors while using techniques to motivate patients and families, and interventions should be tailored to the individual child and family. Although more intense treatment stages will generally occur outside the typical office setting, offices can implement less intense intervention strategies. We not ony address specific patient behavior goals but also encourage practices to modify office systems to streamline office-based care and to prepare to coordinate with professionals and programs outside the office for more intensive interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S254-288
Volume120 Suppl 4
StatePublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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