Reactions to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines for the management of adolescent obesity: A multi-informant qualitative approach

Clin Obes. 2021 Aug;11(4):e12451. doi: 10.1111/cob.12451. Epub 2021 Mar 29.


The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has set forth recommendations for clinicians to screen youth (6-18 years) for obesity. Those identified should be referred to comprehensive weight management programs consisting of at least 26 contact hours and focus on multiple targets of behaviour (ie, diet, physical activity, behaviour change). However, these recommendations are primarily based upon outcomes from randomized controlled trials and the feasibility of meeting these guidelines for adolescents in a clinical setting is unknown. The present study employed a multi-informant qualitative approach with adolescents, parents, and physicians, to identify and understand multiple perspectives on the feasibility and acceptability of implementing the USPSTF guidelines. In-depth interviews with seven adolescents, seven parents, and four physicians were analysed. Generally, participants viewed the guidelines positively but identified changes that may be necessary to increase the feasibility of adolescents engaging in programs that meet these guidelines. Participants also noted the importance of flexibility within programs, indicating that it would be difficult for many adolescents to participate in a program that was not tailored to their needs and resources. Future research should focus on adapting clinical weight management programs to meet both USPSTF guidelines and the needs of adolescents and their families.

Keywords: USPSTF guidelines; adolescent; paediatric weight management programs; qualitative.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Advisory Committees
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Parents
  • Pediatric Obesity* / prevention & control