Which dietary modifications are used in the treatment of children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Feb 13, 2019
  • Author: Mary E Cataletto, MD; Chief Editor: Denise Serebrisky, MD  more...
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Caloric intake limitation and dietary counseling are necessary if obesity complicates obstructive apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea may aggravate gastroesophageal reflux. Children and adolescents with significant sleep apnea should avoid eating large amounts just before bedtime. This is especially the case if children are being treated with CPAP, which can lead to air swallowing and gastric distention.

Introduce an appropriate diet in patients who are obese to facilitate weight reduction.

Weight reduction is most successful with the aid of a nutritionist or an established weight reduction program. However, such programs have a low success rate, and surgical intervention for severe obesity is increasingly considered in older children.

Although bariatric surgery is primarily thought of as a treatment option for adults, it is increasingly being considered in adolescents.

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