Obesity in Children Questions & Answers

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

Overview

What is the prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents in the US?

Which health conditions are associated with childhood obesity?

What are the trends in the prevalence of obesity in children, and what factors are believed to have a role in its development?

How is obesity in children defined?

What is body mass index (BMI)?

What BMI values are considered overweight or obese in children and adolescents?

What is the role of insufficient cardiorespiratory fitness in weight gain and the risk of being overweight in children aged 6-15 years?

What is the role of sleep in the body mass index (BMI) of children?

What is the relationship between the birth of a sibling and body mass index (BMI) in young children?

Which genetic syndromes are associated with childhood obesity?

Which hormonal disorders are associated with childhood obesity?

Which medications may cause weight gain in children and adolescents?

What is energy imbalance, and what is its role in childhood obesity?

What is the role of hormone dysfunction in weight gain and childhood obesity?

What are the roles of familial and environmental factors in childhood obesity?

Are twins affected similarly in the development of childhood obesity?

How does excess abdominal fat contribute to insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension in childhood obesity, and what are the long-term effects of these conditions?

What is the role of fatty liver in insulin sensitivity and beta cell function in obese adolescents?

What is the prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents in the US?

What are the international prevalence rates of obesity in children?

What are the race-related demographics of obesity in children, and which ethic groups have the highest incidence of childhood obesity?

Is obesity more common in adolescent males or females?

What is the relationship between obesity in adolescence and obesity in adulthood?

What long-term complications of obesity are seen in adults who were obese in childhood or adolescence?

What is the effect of dieting and unhealthy weight-control behaviors in young adults?

What is the risk of hypertension in childhood and adolescent obesity?

What are the acute complications of childhood obesity?

Which orthopedic disorders occur more frequently in children with obesity?

How do liver and gallbladder dysfunction manifest in children with obesity?

What emotional and psychosocial complications are common in children and adolescents with obesity?

What are the cardiovascular and endocrine complications associated with childhood and adolescent obesity?

How does body fat distribution correlate to cardiovascular and endocrine complications in childhood and adolescent obesity?

Does childhood obesity increase the risk of atherosclerosis?

What is the correlation between childhood or adolescent obesity and obesity in adulthood?

What is the correlation between BMI and long-term complications of childhood obesity?

What is the relationship between adolescent obesity and diabetes in adulthood?

What is the relationship between adolescent obesity and coronary artery disease (CAD) in adulthood?

How is childhood obesity associated with significant changes in myocardial geometry and function?

What is the role of childhood and adolescent obesity in the risk of gout and colorectal cancer in adulthood?

What are the effects of childhood obesity on psychosocial dysfunction in adulthood?

Presentation

Which characteristics of the physical exam may indicate a hormone or genetic condition in childhood obesity?

Which symptoms suggest hypothyroidism in children with obesity?

Which condition may be indicated when a child with obesity presents with polyuria and polydipsia?

What are the signs and symptoms of hypothalamic obesity and pituitary hypothyroidism in children with obesity?

What are the signs of excessive cortisol in children with obesity?

Which conditions related to childhood obesity may be indicated by signs of sexual development at an early age?

What are the clinical clues that suggest a hormonal etiology for childhood obesity?

DDX

How do the rate of linear growth and the timing of puberty contribute to the diagnostic picture in obesity in children?

Workup

What is the role of genetic or hormone tests in the workup of obesity in children?

Which lab tests are used in the evaluation of type II diabetes mellitus in children with obesity?

Which lab studies may be indicated in patients with obesity?

When should MRI of the brain be obtained in the workup of obesity in children?

Treatment

What are the goals of therapeutic interventions for childhood obesity?

What is the most effective approach to managing obesity in children?

What are the effects of weight loss and reductions in BMI in childhood obesity?

Is behavioral therapy effective for the treatment of obesity in children?

What is the role of binge eating in childhood obesity?

What is the role of family support in the treatment of childhood obesity?

What is the role of group therapy in the treatment of childhood obesity?

What are the WHO guidelines on sugar intake?

What is the most effective approach to treatment of childhood obesity?

Is smoking tobacco a reasonable approach to weight management in adolescents and adults with obesity?

What is the role of physical activity in the treatment of childhood obesity?

What is the role of exercise in the treatment of childhood obesity?

Are exercise referral schemes an effective approach to the treatment of childhood obesity?

How can weight gain be limited in mild or moderate childhood obesity?

Which weight-management programs are most effective in the treatment of obesity in children?

Are reduced-fat diets effective in the treatment of childhood obesity?

What is the WHO recommended dietary fat intake in the management of childhood obesity?

How can children and adolescents with obesity achieve rapid weight loss?

Does a high-protein diet reduce the desire to eat in children with obesity?

Are very controlled-energy diets effective in the treatment of obesity in children, and what are the risks?

Which psychiatric disorders are associated with severe obesity in children?

What are the potential adverse effects of psychiatric treatment in children with obesity?

What is the role of family participation in the treatment of obesity in children and adolescents?

Is laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB) more effective than lifestyle intervention in the treatment of adolescent obesity?

When is surgical intervention considered in the treatment of adolescent obesity?

What is the role of vertical-banded gastroplasty (VBG) in the treatment of adolescent obesity?

What is the role of laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB) in the treatment of adolescent obesity?

How effective is laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB) in comparison to vertical-banded gastroplasty (VBG) in the treatment of adolescent obesity, and when is it considered?

What are the ESPGHN guidelines on bariatric surgery in children and adolescents with obesity?

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

What are the AHA/ASA guidelines for primary prevention of stroke related to obesity in childhood?

Are school-based interventions effective in reducing the prevalence of obesity in children?

Are child obesity prevention programs effective?

Why is regular follow-up important for patients with obesity?

Medications

Which medications are available for long-term obesity management in adults?

Can sibutramine (Meridia) be used to treat obesity?

Can rimonabant (Acomplia) be used to treat obesity?

Can fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine (“fen-phen”) be used to treat obesity?

Are sibutramine and orlistat effective medications for the treatment and long-term management of obesity?

What are the adverse effects associated with weight loss drugs for the treatment of obesity?

When are noradrenergic agents contraindicated in the treatment of obesity?

Are weight loss drugs effective for the treatment of adolescent obesity?

When are anorectic drugs indicated for the treatment of obesity in children?

What are the effects of oral metformin in children with obesity?