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Kids Not Only Obese, They're Extremely Obese

Study: Extreme Obesity in 7% of Boys, 5% of Girls; as High as 12% in Some Ethnic Groups

Extreme Obesity: Second Opinion continued...

The implications of the study findings are clear, says Sandra Hassink, MD, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Obesity Work Group and director of the Nemours Pediatric Obesity Initiative at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.

''We need to tackle obesity as soon as we see it," she says. Better yet, parents can take a family approach to help children stay at a healthy weight.

'"This is a call to intervene early when you see a child who is at particular risk for this," she tells WebMD. Once parents notice rapid weight gain or high-risk eating behaviors (such as high amounts of ''junk food"), she advises them to take action. Once a child is severely obese, she says, ''you have psychosocial issues, such as bullying and teasing."

''Parents who have children in the over 85 to 94th percentile (overweight) need to be focusing even more so on the family environment, [limiting] TV watching, sugary and fast food consumption," she says.

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