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Pediatrics. 2011 Sep;128 Suppl 2:S47-50. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-0480C.

Identification and treatment of obesity as a standard of care for all patients in children's hospitals.

Author information

  • 1Division of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. youngkaren@uams.edu


Obese children and adolescents have unique needs for specialized medical equipment while hospitalized and might require special diets and physical activity options as part of their medical treatment. It is important that patients with a diagnosis of obesity be identified on admission so that appropriate equipment and resources can be provided. We examined what components a healthy hospital environment should include and sought to determine if children's hospitals provide a healthy hospital environment that offers these components. In addition, we sought to determine if children's hospitals have policies in place to identify children with obesity so that appropriate resources and services can be offered to treat that diagnosis. We surveyed National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions member hospitals via a Web-based questionnaire and found that the majority of them do not have policies in place to identify patients with obesity. We did find that the majority of hospitals reported innovative programs or services to provide a healthy hospital environment for their patients, visitors, and staff but acknowledged limitations in providing some services. Specifically, children's hospitals can and should improve on their identification and management of obese pediatric patients.

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