The UK NSC recommendation on Obesity screening in children

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
Last review completed December 2018
Next review due in 2021/22
Key downloads

Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

The NSC does not recommend screening children for obesity because:

  • it is not known if treatments would be effective at helping children to lose weight in the long term
  • it is not known if children who take part in screening respond differently to treatments than those who were not screened

More about Obesity

Obesity is when a person has too much body fat for their age, height and sex. Obesity usually happens when you eat more calories than you burn off by physical activity. Body fat is usually calculated as the Body Mass Index (BMI). There are special charts to show what the BMI should be in children of different ages.

>>Read more about obesity on NHS UK


Association for the Study of Obesity
Faculty of Public Health
Institute of Child Health
Obesity Group of the British Dietetic Association
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Royal College of Surgeons

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

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