New campaign to screen young children for obesity

January 19, 2010 2:13:08 PM PST
Should children be screened for obesity so they can be treated? A government panel says its research now shows treating obese children can help them lose weight. But it says that's only if it involves rigorous diet activity and behavior counseling. That's why the US Preventive Services Task Force says school-aged youngsters should be screened for obesity and sent to intensive behavior treatment if they need to lose weight.

The new advice published in the journal Pediatrics could transform how doctors deal with overweight children.

Authors say cost is one issue when it comes to treatment programs. But, this new research would mean that insurers will no longer be able to argue that they won't provide coverage, because treatment programs don't work.