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ABSTRACT: Obesity is a complex, multifactorial condition in which excess body fat may put a person at health risk. National data indicate that the prevalence of obesity in the United States is increasing in children and adults. Reversing these trends requires changes in individual behavior and the elimination of societal barriers to healthy lifestyle choices. Basic treatment of overweight and obese patients requires a comprehensive approach involving diet and nutrition, regular physical activity, and behavioral change, with an emphasis on long-term weight management rather than short-term extreme weight reduction. Physicians and other health professionals have an important role in promoting preventive measures and encouraging positive lifestyle behaviors, as well as identifying and treating obesity-related comorbidities. Health professionals also have a role in counseling patients about safe and effective weight loss and weight maintenance programs. Recent evidence-based guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, as well as recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/American College of Endocrinology, American Obesity Association, U.S. Clinical Preventive Services Task Force, Institute of Medicine, and World Health Organization can be consulted for information and guidance on the identification and management of overweight and obese patients.
ABSTRACT: Newborn infants may be transferred to a special care nursery because of conditions such as prematurity (gestation less than 37 weeks), prolonged resuscitation, respiratory distress, cyanosis, and jaundice, and for evaluation of neonatal sepsis. Newborn infants' core temperature should be kept above 36.4 degrees C (97.5 degrees F). Nutritional requirements are usually 100 to 120 kcal per kg per day to achieve an average weight gain of 150 to 200 g (5 to 7 oz) per week. Standard infant formulas containing 20 kcal per mL and maternal breast milk may be inadequate for premature infants, who require special formulas or fortifiers that provide a higher calorie content (up to 24 kcal per mL). Intravenous fluids should be given when infants are not being fed enterally, such as those with tachypnea greater than 60 breaths per minute. Hypoglycemia can be asymptomatic in large-for-gestational-age infants and infants of mothers who have diabetes. A hyperoxia test can be used to differentiate between pulmonary and cardiac causes of hypoxemia. The potential for neonatal sepsis increases with the presence of risk factors such as prolonged rupture of membranes and maternal colonization with group B streptococcus. Jaundice, especially on the first day of life, should be evaluated and treated. If the infant does not progressively improve in the special care nursery, transfer to a tertiary care unit may be necessary.
Failure to Thrive - Article
ABSTRACT: Failure to thrive is a condition commonly seen by primary care physicians. Prompt diagnosis and intervention are important for preventing malnutrition and developmental sequelae. Medical and social factors often contribute to failure to thrive. Either extreme of parental attention (neglect or hypervigilance) can lead to failure to thrive. About 25 percent of normal infants will shift to a lower growth percentile in the first two years of life and then follow that percentile; this should not be diagnosed as failure to thrive. Infants with Down syndrome, intrauterine growth retardation, or premature birth follow different growth patterns than normal infants. Many infants with failure to thrive are not identified unless careful attention is paid to plotting growth parameters at routine checkups. A thorough history is the best guide to establishing the etiology of the failure to thrive and directing further evaluation and management. All children with failure to thrive need additional calories for catch-up growth (typically 150 percent of the caloric requirement for their expected, not actual, weight). Few need laboratory evaluation. Hospitalization is rarely required and is indicated only for severe failure to thrive and for those whose safety is a concern. A multidisciplinary approach is recommended when failure to thrive persists despite intervention or when it is severe.
Nutrition in Toddlers - Article
ABSTRACT: Toddlers make a transition from dependent milk-fed infancy to independent feeding and a typical omnivorous diet. This stage is an important time for physicians to monitor growth using growth charts and body mass index and to make recommendations for healthy eating. Fat and cholesterol restriction should be avoided in children younger than two years. After two years of age, fat should account for 30 percent of total daily calories, with an emphasis on polyunsaturated fats. Toddlers should consume milk or other dairy products two or three times daily, and sweetened beverages should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces of 100 percent juice daily. Vitamin D, calcium, and iron should be supplemented in select toddlers, but the routine use of multivitamins is unnecessary. Food from two of the four food groups should be offered for snacks, and meals should be made up of three of the four groups. Parental modeling is important in developing good dietary habits. No evidence exists that early childhood obesity leads to adult obesity, but physicians should monitor body mass index and make recommendations for healthy eating. The fear of obesity must be carefully balanced with the potential for undernutrition in toddlers.
Childhood Obesity: Time for Action, Not Complacency - Editorials
Medical Management of Obesity - Article
ABSTRACT: Obesity is one of the most common medical problems in the United States and a risk factor for illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, degenerative arthritis and myocardial infarction. It is a cause of significant morbidity and mortality and generates great social and financial costs. Obesity is defined as a body mass index greater than 30. Many patients accomplish weight loss with diet, exercise and lifestyle modification. Others require more aggressive therapy. Weight loss medications may be appropriate for use in selected patients who meet the definition of obesity or who are overweight with comorbid conditions. Medications are formulated to reduce energy intake, increase energy output or decrease the absorption of nutrients. Drugs cannot replace diet, exercise and lifestyle modification, which remain the cornerstones of obesity treatment. Two new agents, sibutramine and orlistat, exhibit novel mechanisms of action and avoid some of the side effects that occurred with earlier drugs. Sibutramine acts to block uptake of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, while orlistat decreases fat absorption in the intestines.