Examining Body Mass Index in an Urban Core Population: From Health Screening to Physician Visit
Background: Childhood obesity is commonly encountered in the primary care office and disproportionately affects those from low income or minority backgrounds.
Objective: To determine how accurately primary care clinicians in an urban setting identified patients with body mass indices (BMIs) at or above the 95th percentile for age and to determine which obesity treatment strategies are used.
Materials and methods: The study population consisted of school-aged, inner-city children with a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for age whose charts were made available for data collection by retrospective chart review.
Results: A total of 158 patient medical charts were reviewed. Of these, 90 (57%) patients failed to be identified by the provider as having an elevated BMI. Obesity treatment was initiated in only 68 (43%) of these patients.
Conclusions: Providers are not effectively recognizing childhood obesity and are not consistently implementing effective obesity treatment strategies.
O'Connor KA, Sahrmann JM, Magie RD, Segars L. Examining Body Mass Index in an Urban Core Population: From Health Screening to Physician Visit. Clinical Pediatrics. 2013; 52(4). doi: 10.1177/0009922813479443.