SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Around 15 million children in the United States are considered obese. That’s according to the American Academy of Pediatrics which are changing some of its guidelines on child obesity.

These updates include recommending prescribing weight loss medication and intervention surgery to children as young as 12. The recommendations are for the most extreme cases where regular diet and exercise programs have failed or the child has developed conditions related to the weight. But prevention and learning healthy habits are still the number one way to fight childhood obesity.

“And developing healthy eating habits is not just about the child, it’s about the family, and so we have to realize that the whole family, this is typically whole family endeavor when you start treating pediatric obesity,” Dr. Steven Joyce, MercyOne Internal Medicine and Pediatrics provider.

it’s important to have conversations with your child’s doctor about weight and healthy eating habits.