More intensive interventions needed to combat severe obesity in teens

August 11, 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
Credit: 2014 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Nearly 6% of all children and teens in the U.S. are severely obese, and the prevalence of severe obesity is increasing faster than that of moderate obesity or overweight. This is an alarming trend as about 90% of these youths will grow up to be obese adults. The serious health problems associated with severe obesity and the poor long-term prognosis and quality of life projected for these children and teens demand more serious consideration of safe and effective treatment options that go beyond diet and lifestyle modifications, as proposed in an Editorial published in Childhood Obesity.

In "Pediatric Severe Obesity: Time to Establish Serious Treatments for a Serious Disease," Stephen R. Daniels, MD, PhD, University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado (Aurora), and Aaron S. Kelly, PhD, University of Minnesota Medical School and Children's Hospital (Minneapolis), note that while healthy lifestyle changes made during childhood may be quite helpful in weight reduction, these less intensive types of approaches tend to be less effective in treating severely obese teenagers. According to the authors, better access to specialty medical weight management programs, pharmacotherapy, and weight loss surgery are all important components of a more comprehensive strategy to combat severe among teens.

"Drs. Daniels and Kelly are performing a vital service by directing our attention to this serious and increasingly prevalent problem," says David L. Katz, MD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief of Childhood Obesity and Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center. "We need commensurately serious solutions which I believe can include lifestyle interventions, but only of adequate scope and intensity. Just as lifestyle has been proven a worthy alternative to coronary bypass surgery, our sons and daughters deserve alternatives to bariatric surgery in combating this problem that our culture has handed them."

Explore further: Five percent of US children, teens classified as 'severely obese'

More information: The article is available free on the Childhood Obesity website at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/chi.2014.1041 until September 12, 2014.

Related Stories

Five percent of US children, teens classified as 'severely obese'

September 9, 2013
About 5 percent of U.S. children and teens are "severely obese"—a newly defined class of risk, according to an American Heart Association scientific statement published online in the journal Circulation.

1 in 4 U.S. kids underestimate their weight, study finds

July 31, 2014
(HealthDay)—Many obese and overweight kids don't see themselves that way, which makes achieving a healthy weight almost impossible, researchers report.

Study exposes risk of nutritional deficiencies in obese teens

May 4, 2014
A new study exposes the risk of nutritional deficiencies in severely obese teens – both those who had weight loss surgery and those who did not.

One in four NSW school kids are overweight or obese

June 16, 2014
Nearly one in four New South Wales school children are overweight or obese according to a University of Sydney study reported in today's Medical Journal of Australia.

Waistlines of US kids seem to be holding steady, study finds

July 21, 2014
(HealthDay)—The waistlines of America's children and teens may have stopped expanding, a new study indicates.

New study paints grim health picture for obese teens

November 18, 2013
(HealthDay)—Severely obese teens are at increased risk for a host of serious health problems as adults, including asthma, kidney disease and sleep disorders, according to a new study.

Recommended for you

Evening hours may pose higher risk for overeating, especially when under stress, study finds

January 16, 2018
Experiments with a small group of overweight men and women have added to evidence that "hunger hormone" levels rise and "satiety (or fullness) hormone" levels decrease in the evening. The findings also suggest that stress ...

Bariatric surgery prolongs lifespan in obese

January 16, 2018
Obese, middle-age men and women who had bariatric surgery have half the death rate of those who had traditional medical treatment over a 10-year period, reports a study that answers questions about the long-term risk of the ...

Sugar-sweetened drinks linked to overweight and obesity in children, adults: Analysis of new studies

December 23, 2017
A new review of the latest evidence on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)- which includes 30 new studies published between 2013 and 2015 (and none of them industry sponsored) - concludes that SSB consumption is associated with ...

As income rises, women get slimmer—but not men

December 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—A comprehensive survey on the widening American waistline finds that as paychecks get bigger, women's average weight tends to drop.

Policy and early intervention can curb obesity rates

December 18, 2017
More information and emphasis on dietary lifestyle changes that prevent obesity, and its comorbidities, have not reduced the rise in obesity in U.S. adults and adolescents, according to a recent study in the New England Journal ...

Warning labels can help reduce soda consumption and obesity, new study suggests

December 15, 2017
Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.