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Obesity screening should begin at age 6

January 18, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises doctors to screen American children aged 6 and older for obesity.

That's the new recommendation from a federal panel of health experts. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says it is better to get a head start on the growing problem of obesity. The panel also stresses that relationships with food are established at an early age.

Recent statistics indicate one out of every six American children is obese.

The new recommendations will be published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

The panel recommends that children under the age of 18 who are deemed to be obese be referred to weight-management programs which include counseling and physical activity.