Current Content
Volume 49 - Number 1
January/February 2023

Evaluation of Adherence to Childhood Obesity Guidelines and the Use of a Screening Tool in the Primary Care Setting

Shayna Harding

Childhood obesity is growing at an alarming rate and results in significant health issues in children. Current guidelines for preventing obesity include behavior modification, screening for obesity, and providing education on nutrition and physical activity. However, much of the literature suggests primary care providers (PCPs) are not using or adhering to guidelines recommended to combat childhood obesity due to a variety of barriers. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of a screening tool for PCPs during well-child visits to screen and prevent childhood obesity in an extensive family practice in the Northwestern United States. A retrospective chart review was performed to determine if school-aged children were screened consistently for obesity. The screening tool was implemented in the clinic by each of the eight PCPs to identify children who are obese/overweight. A post-intervention chart review was completed to determine if providers improved how they screened for childhood obesity. The study concluded with statistical significance (p< = 0.05) that the screening tool increased how providers documented during well-child visits. Identifying at-risk children for obesity is the first step in reducing rates of childhood obesity. Implementing an evidenced-based screening tool shows promise in identifying and addressing obesity behaviors during well-child visits. It has the potential to improve provider efficacy in obesity prevention, and influence nutrition and physical activity behaviors in children.