At least a quarter of primary school children in Australia are overweight or obese; the long-term impacts are likely to include chronic morbidity and loss of life-years.
Universal preventive strategies have so far had limited effectiveness, while secondary and tertiary referral services would be overwhelmed if they attempted to systematically manage a problem with such high prevalence.
Primary care services could play an important role in secondary prevention of overweight and mild obesity in children.
While reports of child obesity research have burgeoned since 1995, effectiveness trials of primary care interventions in primary-school-aged children have been neglected.
Randomised controlled trials of a primary care approach, although challenging, are essential to determine whether it does more good than harm.
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