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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Issues in recognizing and treating childhood overweight: Physicians report

Elizabeth L. McGarvey, EdD1, Mena Forrester, MS, RD2, Cindy Shufflebarger, MPH, RD2, H.J. Carretta, ABD MPH3, and Adrienne Keller, PhD1. (1) Division of Prevention Research, Dept. of Psychiatric Medicine, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 800623, Charlotesville, VA 22908, 434-924-5522, rel8s@virginia.edu, (2) CARMA, Suite 207, 21 Professional Building, 2025 E. Main Street, Richmond, VA 23223, 434-644-2149, mforrester@carmakids.org, (3) Health Administration Department, Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia Campus, 1008 E Clay Street, Grant House, Richmond, VA 23219

Childhood obesity is an escalating problem in the U. S. (NHANES III, Trainee et al., 1995). A stratified, random sample of pediatricians and family practitioners in Virginia (30% of the total) were surveyed to investigate attitudes towards childhood obesity. Questionnaires were completed and returned by 515 physicians (return rate=39%). Most respondents were male (60%), from 27 to 80 years old (mean=47); 80% were white. Most report being in primary care (86%) and in practice from one year to 55 years (mean=18 years). Most (48%) estimate that at least 30 percent of U.S. preschool age children are currently overweight. Over half (59%) believe that “overweight” is a condition that requires treatment among preschool children. Eighty-seven percent believe that overweight among school age children requires treatment. Respondents believe the following situations are barriers to effective treatment of overweight in children: lack of patient motivation (85%), lack of parental involvement in treatment (89%), and lack of support services (e.g., nutrition counseling) (63%). Fewer physicians believe that lack of clinician time (53%), lack of reimbursement or ability to pay (48%), lack of clinician knowledge (39%), and lack of treatment skills (39%) are barriers. Relatively few (9%) physicians believe that possible concerns about precipitating eating disorders serves as a barrier to effective treatment. Over half (53%) of the physicians believe that recommended interventions or treatments that are ineffective may serve as a barrier. Other findings specify perceived needs for continuing medical education and influencing policy makes toward increased medical, social and family support services for overweight prevention

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn

    Keywords: Obesity, Children and Adolescents

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    Obesity As An Epidemic Challenge

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA