Your child's family doctor or pediatrician will probably make the initial diagnosis of childhood obesity. If your child has complications from being obese, you may be referred to additional specialists to help manage these complications.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything your child needs to do in advance, such as fasting before having certain tests and for how long. Make a list of:
- Your child's symptoms, if any
- Key personal information, including a family medical history and history of obesity
- All medications, vitamins or other supplements your child takes, including doses
- What your child typically eats in a week, and how much activity he or she gets
- Questions to ask your doctor
Bring a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember all the information you're given.
For childhood obesity, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What other health problems is my child likely to develop?
- What are the treatment options?
- Are there medications that might help manage my child's weight and other health conditions?
- How long will treatment take?
- What can I do to help my child lose weight?
- Are there brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions you have.
What to expect from your doctor
Your child's doctor or other health provider is likely to ask you a number of questions about your child's eating and activity, including:
- What does your child eat in a typical day?
- How much activity does your child get in a typical day?
- What factors do you believe affect your child's weight?
- What diets or treatments, if any, have you tried to help your child lose weight?
- Are you ready to make changes in your family's lifestyle to help your child lose weight?
- What might prevent your child from losing weight?
- How often does the family eat together? Does the child help prepare the food?
- Does your child, or family, eat while watching TV, texting or using a computer?
What you can do in the meantime
If you have days or weeks before your child's scheduled appointment, keep a record of what your child eats and how much he or she exercises.
Nov. 17, 2016
- Klish WJ. Definition; epidemiology; and etiology of obesity in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 23, 2016.
- Sabin MA, et al. Childhood obesity: Current and novel approaches. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2015;29:327.
- Klish WJ. Clinical evaluation of the obese child and adolescent. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 23, 2016.
- Childhood obesity causes & consequences. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/causes.html. Accessed Sept. 25, 2016.
- Barlow SE, et al. Expert committee recommendations regarding the prevention, assessment, and treatment of child and adolescent overweight and obesity: Summary report. Pediatrics. 2007;120:S164.
- Golden NH, et al. Preventing obesity and eating disorders in adolescents. Pediatrics. 2016;138:e1649.
- Skelton JA. Management of childhood obesity in the primary care setting. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 23, 2016.
- Brown CL, et al. Addressing childhood obesity: Opportunities for prevention. Pediatric Clinics of North America. 2015;62:1241.
- AAP Council on Communications and Media. Media and young minds. Pediatrics. 2016;138:e20162591.
- AAP Council on Communications and Media. Media use in school-aged children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2016;138:e20162592.