, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 567-578
Date: 22 Sep 2012

Behavioral Interventions and Cardiovascular Risk in Obese Youth: Current Findings and Future Directions

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The identification and early intervention of pediatric obesity is critical to reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Family-based behavioral interventions have consistently demonstrated efficacy in reducing adiposity and CVD risk factors (i.e., blood pressure, cholesterol, fasting glucose levels, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome). Even modest weight loss in severely obese youth can lead to sustained improvement in CVD risk factors. However, weight regain following treatment cessation remains a challenge in the contemporary obesogenic environment. Intensive family-based interventions spanning socioenvironmental contexts (i.e., home, peer, community) show promise in sustaining weight loss in the long-term. Despite having effective treatments for pediatric obesity and CVD risk factors, families rarely have access to these programs and so increasing the role of healthcare providers in screening and referral efforts is imperative. Moving forward, it is also essential to establish communication and cooperative networks across sectors build sustainable prevention and intervention programs and to provide cohesive health messages.

Research support

NIMH K24 070446 (D.E. Wilfley), NHLBI T32 5HL007456 (D.E. Wilfley), NICHD R01 HD036904 (D.E. Wilfley)