What are the long-term advantages of preventing the development of obesity in childhood and adolescence?

Updated: Feb 20, 2019
  • Author: Steven M Schwarz, MD, FAAP, FACN, AGAF; Chief Editor: Jatinder Bhatia, MBBS, FAAP  more...
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Answer

In the absence of a clear, organic etiopathogenesis (eg, leptin deficiency, other hormonal abnormalities), the long-term management of moderate or morbid obesity in adulthood is highly problematic and rarely successful. Preventing the development of obesity in childhood and adolescence is more likely to reduce long-term complications than treatment of obesity in adults (see Long-term complications of childhood obesity under Prognosis).

Further studies are needed to achieve the following:

  • Identify young children who are predisposed to adolescent and adult obesity

  • Identify interventions that prevent the development of obesity in children at risk

  • Assess the long-term risks of obesity in prepubertal children

  • Identify measures that prevent further weight gain in children and adolescents with obesity


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