Are Pediatricians Diagnosing Obese Children? Article

PMID: 28331453 Web of Science: 000396548600020

Cited authors

  • Thomas, Katharine; Urrego, Fernando


  • Background: Pediatric obesity is the most prevalent nutritional disorder in American children. The detrimental social, psychological, and physiological effects of obesity call for pediatricians to address this health concern. The literature demonstrates that clinicians are underreporting the diagnosis of obesity in the pediatric setting. The primary purpose of this study was to determine if pediatricians at one pediatrics clinic in the Ochsner Health System are documenting the presence of an overweight or obese body mass index (BMI) as a diagnosis in the medical record. A secondary purpose of this study was to determine the demographics of all pediatric patients in the Ochsner Health System to be used for program development.; Methods: A retrospective medical record review was conducted. Records from April 1, 2012 to April 1, 2016, were reviewed for the presence of the diagnosis of BMI classified as obese or overweight.; Results: We analyzed a total of 175,066 records in this study. Of these records, 1.32% documented a diagnosis of obesity, and 0.5% documented a BMI score indicating overweight. The percentages of patient visits that met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria to be classified as obese or overweight were 28.66% and 30.41%, respectively. The majority of our pediatric patients were male (51.76%), white (43.31%), and 5-12 years old (43.80%).; Conclusion: This study demonstrates that pediatricians at Ochsner Health Center for Children are not diagnosing patients who have unhealthy BMI scores as overweight or obese. Interventions are needed to increase the identification of children who may benefit from receiving resources that encourage a healthy lifestyle and optimal weight maintenance.

Publication date

  • 2017

Published in

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1524-5012

Start page

  • 80

End page

  • 82


  • 17


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