Health experts say obese children should receive at least 26 hours of intensive counseling every year


Health experts: Obese children should receive at least 26 hours of intensive counseling every year


Health experts: Obese children should receive at least 26 hours of intensive counseling every year

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TEANECK, N.J. — New guidance from some health experts is taking an aggressive stand on curbing childhood obesity.

The recommendations say doctors need to intervene in some cases.

CBS New York has been talking with doctors about the crisis.

“It’s a very big problem now,” said Dr. Harry Banschick, a pediatrician at Holy Name in Teaneck.

Banschick has been practicing for 41 years and has watched the childhood obesity problem worsen.

“Children’s lives are directed towards TV and the internet and food commercials. The types of things that they eat are really affected by these advertisements,” Banschick said.

READ MOREPediatrician offers advice for fighting childhood obesity

Nearly 1 in 5 kids has been diagnosed with childhood obesity. Low-income communities are hit even harder.

In a new draft recommendation, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says obese children as young as 6 years old should receive at least 26 hours of intensive counseling every year to help kids balance their weight.

“So that could be everyone — from a dietician to a physical therapist or trainer to a mental health specialist,” said Dr. Celine Gounder, CBS News medical contributor.

Gounder said when it comes to childhood obesity, it’s usually out of the child’s hands.

“The culture of the community, the culture of the family, how they eat. So, it’s not just about addressing the child. You also need to have an environment where you have access to healthy foods,” Gounder said.

Banschick agrees. He said intervention isn’t always realistic, or beneficial.

“Children are subjected to what their parents feed them, and the best thing we could do is educate parents as much as we can about not feeding their children the wrong food,” Banschick said.

READ MOREConcerned parents fear NYC school lunches leading to childhood obesity

Experts say obesity often leads to serious health problems for kids, and those problems usually continue into adulthood.

Type 2 diabetes in a child can be reversed, but experts say that may not be the case with cardiovascular risks.

The task force recommendations did not include weight loss medications or surgery, but some doctors do recommend both options for some older kids.

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