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Ilene Fennoy, MD, MPH


Childhood Obesity, Part 1: Weight Evaluation and Comorbidity Screening

December 01, 2008

Measurement of body mass index (BMI) is an effective way to screen for obesity and is an important part of the routine health evaluation of all children. A fasting blood sugar test is recommended for obese children 10 years and older who have a BMI above the 85th percentile for their age and sex and 2 high-risk criteria for diabetes (eg, positive family history or signs of insulin resistance). Patients with a BMI at the 85th percentile or higher also require screening for other comorbidities. Such screening includes measurement of waist circumference, blood pressure, lipid levels (specifically, levels of high- and lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as total cholesterol), and liver transaminase levels.