Pediatric Weight Management (PWM) Nutrition Counseling: Setting Weight Goals with Patient and Family
Click here to see the explanation of recommendation ratings (Strong, Fair, Weak, Consensus, Insufficient Evidence) and labels (Imperative or Conditional). To see more detail on the evidence from which the following recommendations were drawn, use the hyperlinks in the Supporting Evidence Section below.
PWM: Weight Goals
Weight goals should be individualized for the child. Because of growth occurring within children and adolescents, the goal of pediatric weight-management programs may be weight stabilization rather than weight loss. Research indicates that weight stabilization in children and adolescents may be associated with improvements in BMI and other measures of adiposity.
Risks/Harms of Implementing This Recommendation
Conditions of Application
Potential Costs Associated with Application
In analyzing the research, the ADA Pediatric Weight Management work group defined both stabilization of weight (no statistically significant change in weight from baseline), as well as decrease in weight or adiposity as a positive outcome.
Since there currently exists no universal research-based treatment goal for addressing pediatric obesity, the ADA Pediatric Weight Management work group maintains that weight goals should be individualized for the child and family. While weight loss may be appropriate in some cases, weight stabilization in growing children and adolescents may be more appropriate.
The work group suggests, as a reference, Sarah E. Barlow and and the Expert Committee. Expert Committee Recommendations Regarding the Prevention, Assessment, and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity: Summary Report. Pediatrics 2007;120;S164-S192 (see especially, Table 8).
Recommendation Strength Rationale
The "consensus" rating is appropriate since the current recommendations for pediatric weight management treatment goals are based on consensus documents and the ADA's policy that all nutrition care should be individualized to the particular needs of the patient and family.
- Risks/Harms of Implementing This Recommendation
The recommendations were created from the evidence analysis on the following questions. To see detail of the evidence analysis, click the blue hyperlinks below (recommendations rated consensus will not have supporting evidence linked).
References not graded in Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Evidence Analysis Process
Sarah E. Barlow and and the Expert Committee. Expert Committee Recommendations Regarding the Prevention, Assessment, and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity: Summary Report. Pediatrics 2007;120;S164-S192.
Nutrition Diagnosis and Intervention: Standardized Language for the Nutrition Care Process. 2007. Chicago: American Dietetic Association.