A leading organization of pediatricians is recommending that teens with obesity be offered weight-loss medication as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

But unless barriers to access fall, it won’t move the needle on the U.S. childhood obesity epidemic — something that affects more than 1 in 5 kids in the country.

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ latest comprehensive childhood obesity guidelines are welcome acknowledgement that the old approach of "watchful waiting,” or putting off intervention to see if a child will grow out of or overcome obesity, too often doesn’t work. The recommendations also underscore that obesity is not a question of willpower, but a health condition with complex biological, socioeconomic and environmental drivers that deserves comprehensive treatment — and that behavioral and lifestyle changes alone do not work for everyone.