Intended for healthcare professionals


Childhood obesity: US paediatricians are told to use drugs and surgery if necessary

BMJ 2023; 380 doi: (Published 23 January 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;380:p167
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

Childhood obesity is a serious problem affecting around one in five American children and should be treated intensively, according to the American Academy of Paediatrics.

The academy told its 67 000 members, as well as family doctors and other clinical professionals who care for children, that childhood obesity should be treated early and aggressively, including with drugs and bariatric surgery if appropriate.123 It said that prevention of obesity will be tackled in another statement.

The recommendation was met with considerable criticism.

Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York, told the Washington Post, “Turning to surgery and pills is quintessentially American.” Caplan, who said he struggles with weight himself, said that …

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