An update in prevention and treatment of pediatric obesity
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- Moya, M. World J Pediatr (2008) 4: 173. doi:10.1007/s12519-008-0033-7
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Obesity prevalence is growing as well as its severity with increasing morbidity and mortality. This “globesity” also affects developing countries where under nutrition and stunting frequently coexist with overweight and obesity. One third of obese adults began to be so in the pediatric ages. There are two main types of prevention: general one representing greater actions from health authorities and the individual one carried out by the pediatrician and the patient at risk. Once the state of obesity is reached (relative body mass index, rBMI >121%) the longer lasting care becomes more complex and frequently unsuccessful. The treatment of obesity is aimed to care for the present and silent disorders and for preventing its further tracking to adulthood.
Identification of pediatric population at risk which is the one with an rBMI of 111%–120% plus other risk factors. Specific individual actions include reduction of food intake, increase of energy expenditure, involvement of parents, and the child-adolescent himself in the prevention. Therapy is based on some principles plus the important medical and emotional approach.
A Cochrane study based on only 10 appropriate studies showed a predominant poor efficacy of the undergone preventive action. Treatment guides are presented after our own experience with a group of 400 kids with an average follow-up of 7 years and other individual prevention studies.
Involving motivated pediatricians with a minimum of time for visits and better follow-up in the frame of a general national preventive programme could be a rational outcome. Treatment of obesity should never be postponed whatever the clinical care is.