Docs not Helping Obesity Fight
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Many children may be missing out on an important screening for obesity.
Researchers from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center say less than 6 percent of physicians seem to be calculating a child's body mass index (BMI), even though it's recommended they do so at least once a year to screen for overweight and obese children.
Other research from Cincinnati Children's shows the importance of BMI. It reveals increased body mass is responsible for an increase in left ventricular mass -- a major risk factor for heart disease.
In this study, researchers looked at the charts of 397 patients between ages 5 and 11 who had office visits during 2004. Results show only 5.5 percent of the children had BMI documented in their charts and only 4.3 percent actually had it plotted. Residents were more likely to document and plot BMI than attending physicians.
Lead author Jennifer Hillman, M.D., from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, was quoted as saying, "It's easy and inexpensive to screen for obesity, and we should be doing it at every well child visit to screen for overweight and obesity."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added BMI growth curves to traditional growth charts in 2000. In 2003, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended calculating and plotting BMI. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine came out with a similar recommendation.
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SOURCE: Pediatric Academic Societies' Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, May 5-8, 2007