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Am J Prev Med. 1989 Mar-Apr;5(2):95-103.

Pediatricians' perceptions and practices regarding childhood obesity.

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Department of Health Promotion & Human performance, University of Toledo, Ohio.


A 42-item Likert format questionnaire examining pediatricians' perceptions and practices concerning childhood obesity was distributed to a national random sample of 500 physicians. The overall response rate was 68%. The majority of pediatricians believed physicians are obligated to counsel parents of obese children regarding the health risks of obesity (83%), that normal weight is important to the health of children (67%), and that physicians should be role models by maintaining their normal weight (59%). However, 70% of these pediatricians believed designing programs and counseling children about weight loss was difficult, 22% felt competent in prescribing weight loss programs for children, and only 11% agreed that counseling children and parents on weight loss is professionally gratifying. At least one-half of the respondents recommended the following weight loss programs/techniques to their patients: (1) decreasing caloric consumption (84%), (2) seeing a dietitian/nutritionist (78%), (3) joining Weight Watchers (66%), (4) aerobic exercise (60%), and (5) behavior modification programs (55%). These pediatricians received most of their weight control information from medical journals (70%) and past experience (68%). We also assessed belief and attitudes concerning the effect of childhood obesity, the role obesity plays in selected diseases, and the etiology of childhood obesity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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