Meds for Obesity: AAP Guidelines

Selected recommendations:

  • In children 10 y and older, pediatricians and other PHCPs should evaluate for lipid abnormalities, abnormal glucose metabolism, and abnormal liver function in children and adolescents with obesity (BMI ≥95th percentile) and for lipid abnormalities in children and adolescents with overweight (BMI ≥85th percentile to <95th percentile). 
  • Pediatricians and other PHCPs should provide or refer children 6 y and older (Grade B) and may provide or refer children 2 through 5 y of age (Grade C) with overweight (BMI ≥85th percentile to <95th percentile) and obesity (BMI ≥95th percentile) to intensive health behavior and lifestyle treatment.
  • Pediatricians and other PHCPs should offer adolescents 12 y and older with obesity (BMI ≥95th percentile) wt loss pharmacotherapy, according to medication indications, risks, and benefits, as an adjunct to health behavior and lifestyle treatment. 
  • Pediatricians and other PHCPs should offer referral for adolescents 13 y and older with severe obesity (BMI ≥120% of the 95th percentile for age and sex) for evaluation for metabolic and bariatric surgery to local or regional comprehensive multidisciplinary pediatric metabolic and bariatric surgery centers. 

My take: As with the AGA, the AAP has now recommended the widespread adoption of pharmacologic therapy for use in patients with obesity. It appears that treatment would be required indefinitely, though, given the likelihood of weight gain when treatment is stopped (reviewed on a future post).

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The Onion’s Take on the New AAP Guidelines: