How is childhood obesity managed?

Updated: Jul 01, 2020
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

In cases of childhood obesity, [110, 111, 112] the goal is not to cause weight loss, but to reduce the rate of weight gain to fit normal growth curves. The basic principles of management include the following:

  • Modifying diet

  • Increasing appropriate physical activity and exercise

  • Reducing time spent in sedentary activities - Eg, watching television

  • Modifying behavior

Medication therapy may also be used in the management of pediatric obesity, but close monitoring and a combination of all the aforementioned modalities is required to achieve substantial and sustained weight loss. At the present, orlistat is the only medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as an adjunct for weight loss in adolescents.

For full discussion of this topic, see the Medscape Reference article Obesity in Children.


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