BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Local pediatrician Dr. Nimisha Amin joined 17 News at Sunrise to discuss the American Academy of Pediatrics new controversial guidelines on how to battle childhood obesity.

Obesity is one of the biggest precursors that leads to heart disease. In 2019, the health department reported 44.5% of 5th graders in Kern were overweight or obese.

Dr. Amin said the concern with obesity in children is that conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol will occur much earlier in their adult lives if they become obese during childhood.

Some of the new American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines include:

-Any child over two-years-old who is identified as obese should be enrolled into an “interventional treatment program” and would have to complete 26 hours of counseling and education about healthy diet, exercise and general health practices.

-Children over 12 who are obese should consider weight loss medications.