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Severe Obesity Is Easier To Manage in Kids Than in Teens



sharma-obesity-doctor-kidTo anyone who has raised adolescents, the findings of this study should not come as a surprise.

According to a study by Thomas Reinehr from the University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany, published in Pediatric Obesity, extremely obese children respond better than extremely obese adolescents to behavioural interventions.

The researchers looked at data from a one-year intensive behavioural intervention 1291 children (mean age 11.0years, mean BMI 27.5, 55.8% female, 37.6% extremely obese (defined by BMI-SDS >2.3) at end of intervention and 1 year later.

While the overall mean BMI-SDS wqs indeed reduced (−0.20 ± 0.32 at end of intervention and −0.14 ± 0.37 1 year later), and there were no significant differences in the outcomes of overweight and obese kids vs. overweight and obese adolescents, this was not the case for the severely obese group.

Here, the group of extremely obese kids (>10 years), showed only a rather modest treatment effect compared to younger extremely obese kids (<10 years).

Thus the authors conclude that,

“Our study demonstrated an encouraging effect of lifestyle intervention in extremely obese children ≤10 years at the end of intervention and 1 year later, but only a limited effect in extremely obese adolescents >10 years.”

This is not unlike the situation for other chronic diseases, where management in adolescents tends to be more challenging than managing younger kids or adults.

I guess this is simply another fact that obesity management shares with the management of other chronic diseases.

If you have experience with managing adolescent obesity, I’d certainly like to hear from you.

@DrSharma
Edmonton, AB

1 Comment

  1. I felt comfortable with Dr. Sharma and his knowledge when answering my questions. I felt positive after the appointment. The staff were varied and seemed focused more on their jobs than the patient. I felt no connection with any of them but did what they asked. Had I decided to stay with my own psychiatrist of 15 years? I probably would have had the surgery but I had their psychiatrist who was on their team and came half an hour late and seemed preoccupied. I had the feeling I was just another fat annoyance taking up his time and he really had no interest in me. He did ask me if I had a personality disorder. I raised my eyebrow and said “No”, thinking it was a strange question. Would the patient know? That is why we go to doctors to find out the reasons for ill health. That was the end of my time there and I was told that day! After their team psychiatrist ended my appointment a nurse came to me and told me. Yes I knew that this operation was not going to work without the work I put into it and I was ready 60 years ready, now 65. My goal was to lose weight and get off all the tablets that come with weight. Tablets that cost far more than the operation over time but that is the pharmaceutical game that plagues many of us. In England doctors realize this and do give lap bands.

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