Article| Volume 28, ISSUE 6, P526-533, November 2014

Identification and Assessment of Childhood Obesity by School-Based Health Center Providers


      • 46% of Hispanic, 38% of black, and 29% of white children are overweight or obese.
      • School-based health centers (SBHCs) provide care to vulnerable youth.
      • Guidelines to assess childhood obesity have been published.
      • Little is known about SBHC provider adherence to obesity guidelines.
      • SBHC providers follow some guidelines, but there is room for improvement.



      School-based health centers (SBHCs) serve many overweight/obese children, yet little is known about provider adherence to obesity guidelines. The purpose of this descriptive study was to evaluate obesity care assessment practices of SBHC providers prior to completing training on obesity guidelines.


      Providers (n = 33) from SBHCs in six states (AZ, CO, NM, MI, NY, and NC) completed The International Life Science Institute Research Foundation Assessment of Overweight in Children and Adolescents Survey.


      Most providers reported using body mass index percentile (93.9%) to assess weight. In caring for overweight/obese children, providers reported screening for hypertension 100% of the time and cardiovascular disease 93.9% of the time, and approximately two thirds reported requesting total cholesterol and lipid profile laboratory assessments. Some assessment guidelines were not routinely followed.


      SBHCs serve a high-risk population, and providers in this study may benefit from additional training on assessment guidelines and quality improvement processes to improve adherence to current guidelines.

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      Heather Aldrich, Professional Research Coordinator, College of Nursing, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO.


      Bonnie Gance-Cleveland, Professor and Loretta C. Ford Endowed Chair, College of Nursing, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO 80045.


      Sarah Schmiege, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Informatics, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO.


      Danielle Dandreaux, Program Director, Center for Improving Health Outcomes in Children, Teens, and Families, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ.