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      Prevention and Treatment of Pediatric Obesity: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline Based on Expert Opinion


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          Objective: Our objective was to formulate practice guidelines for the treatment and prevention of pediatric obesity.

          Conclusions: We recommend defining overweight as body mass index (BMI) in at least the 85th percentile but < the 95th percentile and obesity as BMI in at least the 95th percentile against routine endocrine studies unless the height velocity is attenuated or inappropriate for the family background or stage of puberty; referring patients to a geneticist if there is evidence of a genetic syndrome; evaluating for obesity-associated comorbidities in children with BMI in at least the 85th percentile; and prescribing and supporting intensive lifestyle (dietary, physical activity, and behavioral) modification as the prerequisite for any treatment. We suggest that pharmacotherapy (in combination with lifestyle modification) be considered in: 1) obese children only after failure of a formal program of intensive lifestyle modification; and 2) overweight children only if severe comorbidities persist despite intensive lifestyle modification, particularly in children with a strong family history of type 2 diabetes or premature cardiovascular disease. Pharmacotherapy should be provided only by clinicians who are experienced in the use of antiobesity agents and aware of the potential for adverse reactions. We suggest bariatric surgery for adolescents with BMI above 50 kg/m 2, or BMI above 40 kg/m 2 with severe comorbidities in whom lifestyle modifications and/or pharmacotherapy have failed. Candidates for surgery and their families must be psychologically stable and capable of adhering to lifestyle modifications. Access to experienced surgeons and sophisticated multidisciplinary teams who assess the benefits and risks of surgery is obligatory. We emphasize the prevention of obesity by recommending breast-feeding of infants for at least 6 months and advocating that schools provide for 60 min of moderate to vigorous daily exercise in all grades. We suggest that clinicians educate children and parents through anticipatory guidance about healthy dietary and activity habits, and we advocate for restricting the availability of unhealthy food choices in schools, policies to ban advertising unhealthy food choices to children, and community redesign to maximize opportunities for safe walking and bike riding to school, athletic activities, and neighborhood shopping.

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          Most cited references187

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          Excess deaths associated with underweight, overweight, and obesity.

          As the prevalence of obesity increases in the United States, concern over the association of body weight with excess mortality has also increased. To estimate deaths associated with underweight (body mass index [BMI] or =30) in the United States in 2000. We estimated relative risks of mortality associated with different levels of BMI (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) from the nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) I (1971-1975) and NHANES II (1976-1980), with follow-up through 1992, and from NHANES III (1988-1994), with follow-up through 2000. These relative risks were applied to the distribution of BMI and other covariates from NHANES 1999-2002 to estimate attributable fractions and number of excess deaths, adjusted for confounding factors and for effect modification by age. Number of excess deaths in 2000 associated with given BMI levels. Relative to the normal weight category (BMI 18.5 to or =30) was associated with 111,909 excess deaths (95% confidence interval [CI], 53,754-170,064) and underweight with 33,746 excess deaths (95% CI, 15,726-51,766). Overweight was not associated with excess mortality (-86,094 deaths; 95% CI, -161,223 to -10,966). The relative risks of mortality associated with obesity were lower in NHANES II and NHANES III than in NHANES I. Underweight and obesity, particularly higher levels of obesity, were associated with increased mortality relative to the normal weight category. The impact of obesity on mortality may have decreased over time, perhaps because of improvements in public health and medical care. These findings are consistent with the increases in life expectancy in the United States and the declining mortality rates from ischemic heart disease.
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            Who succeeds in maintaining weight loss? A conceptual review of factors associated with weight loss maintenance and weight regain.

            Weight loss is difficult to achieve and maintaining the weight loss is an even greater challenge. The identification of factors associated with weight loss maintenance can enhance our understanding for the behaviours and prerequisites that are crucial in sustaining a lowered body weight. In this paper we have reviewed the literature on factors associated with weight loss maintenance and weight regain. We have used a definition of weight maintenance implying intentional weight loss that has subsequently been maintained for at least 6 months. According to our review, successful weight maintenance is associated with more initial weight loss, reaching a self-determined goal weight, having a physically active lifestyle, a regular meal rhythm including breakfast and healthier eating, control of over-eating and self-monitoring of behaviours. Weight maintenance is further associated with an internal motivation to lose weight, social support, better coping strategies and ability to handle life stress, self-efficacy, autonomy, assuming responsibility in life, and overall more psychological strength and stability. Factors that may pose a risk for weight regain include a history of weight cycling, disinhibited eating, binge eating, more hunger, eating in response to negative emotions and stress, and more passive reactions to problems.
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              Prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance among children and adolescents with marked obesity.

              Childhood obesity, epidemic in the United States, has been accompanied by an increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents. We determined the prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance in a multiethnic cohort of 167 obese children and adolescents. All subjects underwent a two-hour oral glucose-tolerance test (1.75 g [DOSAGE ERROR CORRECTED] of glucose per kilogram of body weight), and glucose, insulin, and C-peptide levels were measured. Fasting levels of proinsulin were obtained, and the ratio of proinsulin to insulin was calculated. Insulin resistance was estimated by homeostatic model assessment, and beta-cell function was estimated by calculating the ratio between the changes in the insulin level and the glucose level during the first 30 minutes after the ingestion of glucose. Impaired glucose tolerance was detected in 25 percent of the 55 obese children (4 to 10 years of age) and 21 percent of the 112 obese adolescents (11 to 18 years of age); silent type 2 diabetes was identified in 4 percent of the obese adolescents. Insulin and C-peptide levels were markedly elevated after the glucose-tolerance test in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance but not in adolescents with diabetes, who had a reduced ratio of the 30-minute change in the insulin level to the 30-minute change in the glucose level. After the body-mass index had been controlled for, insulin resistance was greater in the affected cohort and was the best predictor of impaired glucose tolerance. Impaired glucose tolerance is highly prevalent among children and adolescents with severe obesity, irrespective of ethnic group. Impaired oral glucose tolerance was associated with insulin resistance while beta-cell function was still relatively preserved. Overt type 2 diabetes was linked to beta-cell failure.

                Author and article information

                J Clin Endocrinol Metab
                J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab
                The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
                Oxford University Press
                01 December 2008
                01 December 2008
                : 93
                : 12
                : 4576-4599
                [1 ]Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, George Washington University School of Medicine (G.P.A.), Washington, D.C. 20037
                [2 ]Yale University School of Medicine (S.C.), New Haven, Connecticut 06510
                [3 ]Columbia University (I.F.), New York, New York 10027
                [4 ]Duke University Medical Center (M.F.), Durham, North Carolina 27710
                [5 ]Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (F.R.K.), Los Angeles, California 90027
                [6 ]University of California San Francisco (R.H.L.), San Francisco, California 94143
                [7 ]University of Florida (J.H.S.), Gainesville, Florida 32611
                [8 ]Schneider Children’s Hospital (P.W.S.), New Hyde Park, New York 11040
                [9 ]University of California–Davis Medical Center (D.M.S.), Sacramento, California 95817
                [10 ]Mayo Clinic (V.M.M.), Rochester, Minnesota 55905
                Author notes
                [* ]Address all correspondence and requests for reprints to: The Endocrine Society, 8401 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 900, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815. govt-prof@ 123456endo.society.org Telephone: 301-941-0200. Address all reprint requests for orders of 101 and more to: Menna Burgess, Reprint Sales Specialist, Cadmus Professional Communications. Telephone: 410-819-3960, fax: 410-684-2789, or reprints2@ 123456cadmus.com . Address all reprint requests for orders of 100 or less to Society Services. Telephone: 301-941-0210 or societyservices@ 123456endo-society.org .
                Copyright © 2008 by The Endocrine Society

                This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License (CC-BY-NC-ND; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

                : 29 August 2008
                : 05 November 2007
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                Endocrinology & Diabetes
                Endocrinology & Diabetes


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