Unexplained Weight Loss in Children

Content provided by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School

Weight loss in children is always concerning. The only exception is when overweight children lose weight under a doctor's supervision.

Any unexplained weight loss in a child warrants a call to the doctor. This decision guide does not replace that call and should not delay it, but will give you an idea of some of the questions the doctor will have, and what tests or treatments may be ordered.

Children lose weight when they are either not getting enough calories or are burning up more calories than usual due to illness or other reasons. Let's look at the possible causes of weight loss in your child.

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