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Obesity and the Pediatrician

STANLEY RAPPOPORT, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(4):597. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110230143028.
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ABSTRACT

To the Editor.—Regarding the marginal comment by S. L. Hammar, MD, in the June issue of the Journal (125:787-788, 1973) I would like to make a few heretical comments. Obesity, like hyperactivity, has many facets and, often, one sees what one is looking for. In my predominately middle class practice, I find that most obese babies are not overfed—they regulate themselves at a level that keeps them plump. Then, they start to thin out coincident with increased activity and a "spotty" eating pattern at 10 to 12 months, as they progress to self-feeding and stop using the bottle.

The clue to treating obesity (unless it is extreme) in young children is not to treat it. In my opinion, there is absolutely no effective way that the practicing pediatrician can work with preadolescent children and induce them to lose weight and sustain this loss for a substantial length of time

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