, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 152-157
Date: 28 Jul 2013

Management of Pediatric Obesity: A Lifestyle Modification Approach

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Abstract

Over the last decades, pediatric obesity has become a global epidemic with worldwide estimates as high as 43 million children and adolescents affected, and this number is rising at an exponential rate. With pediatric obesity comes a host of co-morbidities including impaired glucose tolerance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and impaired liver function. Treatment of this population has proven to be challenging for many reasons. For patients, a new baseline exists consisting of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle as well as a lack of availability of affordable healthy alternatives. In addition, there is an overwhelming presence of energy-dense foods. For physicians, there are many issues including lack of time, training, and reimbursement. The most efficacious and reliable way to treat this population and its co-morbidities is with a healthy, balanced lifestyle consisting of a realistic diet plan and exercise regimen. The is the cornerstone of therapy in the Center for Obesity And its Complications in Health (COACH) clinic which is Children’s Medical Center’s (Dallas, TX) strategy to combat and treat pediatric overweight and obesity. Lifestyle changes of diet and exercise plans are tailored to each individual’s interests and metabolic needs in COACH which is a multi-disciplinary clinic. Additionally, co-morbidities are screened for and treated aggressively to help prevent long-term complications of overweight and obesity. If others do similar interventions in their communities, this global epidemic has the possibility of more positive outcomes than those currently projected.