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The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) recommends that all children (aged 6 years and older) and adults be screened for obesity using the body mass index (BMI).

In addition to the BMI, your waist circumference, waist to hip ratio, or skinfold thickness measurement can also help determine if you have more body fat than is recommended.

References:

Obesity in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 16, 2012. Accessed August 28, 2012.

Obesity in children and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 25, 2012. Accessed August 28, 2012.

McTigue KM, Harris R, et al. Screening and interventions for obesity in adults: summary of the evidence for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Int Med. 2003;139:933-949.

Who is at risk for overweight and obesity. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/atrisk.html. Accessed August 28, 2012.

1/29/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for obesity in children and adolescents: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Pediatrics. 2010 Jan 18.



Last reviewed March 2014 by Kim Carmichael, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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