Seven steps to successful child and adolescent weight loss

March 5, 2009,

Overweight children and adolescents, with the active involvement of their parents and families, can successfully lose weight by following the Seven Steps to Success described in the current issue of Obesity Management, a journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

A team of experts that includes physicians and psychologists propose a new model of care for treating childhood and teen obesity which includes dietary, fitness, and lifestyle changes, education, and as a final option, if needed, surgery. The article, entitled, "Seven Steps to Success: A Handout for Parents of Overweight Children and Adolescents," defines a stepwise intervention strategy of increasing intensity: (1) medical management; (2) education; (3) environmental changes; (4) support groups; (5) cognitive-behavior therapy I: clinical or short-term immersion; (6) cognitive-behavior therapy II: long-term immersion; (7) bariatric surgery.

Essential to the success of this treatment model is the commitment and participation of family members, and especially parents, who should not only be strongly supportive of the child's efforts, but also take an active role in the nutritional, exercise, and lifestyle modifications being introduced.

Although it may not be necessary for each individual to complete all of the steps to achieve successful weight loss, families should pursue the stepwise strategy aggressively until they succeed, encourages the team of authors: Daniel Kirschenbaum, PhD, from Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL, and Wellspring, Cupertino, CA; Daniel DeUgarte, MD, Fred Frankel, PhD, and Wendy Slusser, MD, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Julie Germann, PhD, Children's Medical Center, Dallas, TX; Thomas McKnight, MD, Hulbert Field Air Force Base, Okaloosa, FL; Peter Nieman, MD, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Richard Sandler, MD, Rush Children's Hospital & Rush University Medical School, Chicago, IL.

"This 7 Step Model proposed by Dr. Dan Kirschenbaum and colleagues makes it easy to understand the treatment options available for childhood obesity. This logical approach may help parents and providers choose the right treatment for the child," says James O. Hill, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Obesity Management, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, and Director of the Center for Human Nutrition and of the Colorado Clinical Nutrition Research Unit at the University of Colorado Denver.

More information: The article is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/obe.

Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc

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