The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) unveiled new guidelines last month to help pediatricians and other clinicians provide support in the treatment and prevention of childhood obesity. Known as the Pediatric Obesity Algorithm, the guidelines offer an updated and comprehensive clinical and educational resource based on scientific evidence and clinical experience.
Dr. Suzanne Cuda, associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and a co-author of the algorithm, said that “a well-researched algorithm that guides clinicians through the specifics of age-related health conditions can provide invaluable support for clinicians who treat infants, children, and adolescents with obesity.”
Dr. Wendy Scinta, who co-authored the algorithm, said the aim is ultimately to help families.
“By providing guidance to health care providers, we are hopeful that families with children affected by obesity will leave the doctor’s office with solid recommendations on how to treat obesity and reverse the potential chronic disease processes associated with excess weight,” she said.
New tools to combat a growing problem.
Childhood obesity is a serious problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pediatric obesity is a serious public health threat in the U.S. that affects 12.7 million, or 17 percent of infants, children, and adolescents ages 2 to 19. Data also shows childhood obesity more than doubles the risk of dying before age 55.
The Pediatric Obesity Algorithm offers a new tool to combat childhood obesity by arming clinicians on the frontlines of care with a multidisciplinary treatment approach that includes best practice techniques for nutrition, exercise, behavior modification, and medical management.
Dr. Scinta wins award for her work.
Dr. Scinta, who presented the algorithm at the OMA’s National Conference, was herself honored by that body for her work. She received the Dr. Vernon B. Astler Award, which is given to those “whose efforts have advanced the Obesity Medicine Association’s place and purpose to the media, government, and medical community.”