Assessment of Pediatric Resident Knowledge and Comfort in Addressing Childhood Obesity in Clinical Practice

Svetlana Azova, Leora Mogilner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Recent data estimate the prevalence of pediatric obesity at 19.3%. Emphasis on primary prevention and early identification is needed to avoid development of serious medical and psychosocial sequelae. The objective of this initiative is to assess baseline knowledge and comfort among trainees at an inner-city pediatric residency program in identifying children with overweight/obesity, evaluating associated risk factors and comorbidities, and providing effective counseling. Methods: Key topics from 2 major guidelines on pediatric obesity assessment, prevention, and treatment were incorporated into the development of a resident questionnaire, which consisted of 12 knowledge-based questions and a Likert scale evaluating self-perceived knowledge and comfort on 7 skills. Results: Forty-six percent of eligible residents completed the questionnaire (n = 28). The mean score on the objective knowledge-based section was 44% ± 13%, with no differences by training year. The percentage of residents with correct responses by topic ranged from 14% to 79%. The mean self-perceived knowledge rating was 3.56 ± 0.86. The mean self-perceived comfort rating was 3.53 ± 0.89. Neither the self-perceived knowledge nor comfort rating was a significant predictor of performance on the objective knowledge-based section when controlling for postgraduate year status. Conclusions: Significant gaps in knowledge were discovered among pediatric residents with regard to appropriate screening, assessment, and counseling practices related to pediatric overweight/obesity. These deficits were not consistently reflected in residents' self-perceived knowledge and comfort ratings. The results of this initiative highlight the need for incorporation of standardized curricula on childhood overweight/obesity into pediatric resident education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-515
Number of pages9
JournalChildhood Obesity
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • obesity
  • overweight
  • pediatrics
  • preventive interventions
  • primary care
  • resident education


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