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Child Obes. 2012 Apr;8(2):155-61. doi: 10.1089/chi.2011.0062.

Childhood obesity: survey of physician assessment and treatment practices.

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  • 1University of Missouri-Kansas City, Department of Psychology, USA.



This study examined physician experience with the 2007 Expert Committee Recommendations (ECR) on the Assessment, Prevention and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity.


Pediatricians and family physicians (n = 194) practicing in the Midwest completed a survey designed to assess knowledge of, adherence to, and self-efficacy in implementing the 2007 Expert Committee recommendations.


The majority of physicians (71%) were aware of the ECR and adhered to approximately 60% of the recommendations. Adherence was significantly higher for physicians who were aware of the ECR. Differences in awareness of and adherence to the ECR were noted among physician groups by specialty and location. Self-efficacy for assessing and treating pediatric obesity was significantly positively correlated with adherence to the ECR (Pearson r = 0.46). When asked for strategies that would facilitate improved pediatric weight management, physicians most often reported desiring to learn effective methods to increase patient motivation.


Efforts to improve adherence to the Expert Committee recommendations should focus on improving physician awareness of and training in the use of the recommendations and on improved training and development of self-efficacy in pediatric weight assessment and patient counseling skills.

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