This study reviewed the use in primary care of national surveillance data for children to determine the data's potential utility to inform policy and practice decisions on how to prevent and treat childhood obesity. We reviewed the 28 countries identified by the World Obesity Federation as having high-quality comparable body mass index data for children. Literature published from any period up to December 2013 was included. Peer review literature was searched using Web of Science (Core Collection, MEDLINE). Grey literature was searched using the Internet by country name, programme name and national health and government websites. We included studies that (i) use national surveillance obesity data in primary care, or (ii) explore practitioner or parent perspectives about the use of such data. The main uses of national surveillance data in primary care were to identify and recruit obese children and their parents to participate in school and general practice-based research and/or interventions, and to inform families of children's measurements. Findings indicate a need for school staff and practitioners to receive additional training and support to sensitively communicate with families. Translation of these findings into policy and practice could help to improve current uses of national child obesity surveillance data in primary care.