Volume 113, Issue 10, Pages 1, 275-1, 394 (October 2013)
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that prevention and treatment of pediatric overweight and obesity require systems-level approaches that include the skills of registered dietitians, as well as consistent and integrated messages and environmental support across all sectors of society to achieve sustained dietary and physicalactivity behavior change. This position paper provides guidance and recommendations for levels of intervention targeting overweight and obesity prevention and treatment from preschool age through adolescence. Methods included a review of the literature from 2009 to April 2012, including the Academy’s 2009 evidence analysis school-based reviews. Multicomponent interventions show the greatest impact for primary prevention; thus, early childhood and school-based interventions should integrate behavioral and environmental approaches that focus on dietary intake and physical activity using a systems-level approach targeting the multilevel structure of the socioecological model as well as interactions and relationships between levels. Secondary prevention and tertiary prevention/treatment should emphasize sustained family-based, developmentally appropriate approaches that include nutrition education, dietary counseling, parenting skills, behavioral strategies, and physical-activity promotion. For obese youth with concomitant serious comorbidities, structured dietary approaches and pharmacologic agents should be considered, and weight-loss surgery can be considered for severely obese adolescents. Policy and environmental interventions are recommended as feasible and sustainable ways to support healthful lifestyles for children and families. The Academy supports commitment of resources for interventions, policies, and research that promote healthful eating and physical-activity behaviors to ensure that all youth have the opportunity to achieve and maintain a weight that is optimal for health.
Erratum: The Reviewer from the School Nutrition Services dietetic practice group was Charlotte Oakley, PhD, RD, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS.