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Tackling the childhood obesity crisis: acute paediatricians are not playing their part
  1. Kate Christina Harvey1,
  2. Helen McDermott2,
  3. William Coles3,
  4. Susanne Elliott4,
  5. Nicola McMullan1,
  6. Archana Anandaram5,
  7. Sanaa Ismail5,
  8. Emma Webb6,
  9. Jeremy Kirk6
  10. On behalf of Paediatric Research Across the Midlands (PRAM) Network
  1. 1 Department of Community Paediatrics, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2 Department of Paediatrics, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3 Department of Paediatrics, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Wolverhampton, UK
  4. 4 Department of Paediatrics, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
  5. 5 Department of Paediatrics, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  6. 6 Department of Endocrinology, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kate Christina Harvey, Department of Community Peadiatrics, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK; k.richardson{at}

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The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health state that childhood obesity is the gravest health issue children are facing today, predicting that half of the 10-year-olds will be affected by 20201 and emphasising that all health professionals have a collective responsibility in tackling this. Acute paediatricians have a duty to identify and manage childhood obesity, as with other comorbid conditions. Many paediatricians are, however, reluctant to broach this subject with parents in the acute setting due to concerns regarding receptiveness; yet parents have previously stated that they would want to be told if their child was found to be overweight while in the hospital.2 As studies show a poor correlation between parents’ perceived child weight status and actual weight status, we cannot rely on parents to recognise obesity themselves.3 …

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