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April 9, 2003

Treatment of Pediatric and Adolescent Obesity

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Unit on Growth and Obesity, Developmental Endocrinology Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Md (Dr J. A. Yanovski); Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Md (Dr S. Z. Yanovski).

JAMA. 2003;289(14):1851-1853. doi:10.1001/jama.289.14.1851

The prevalence of overweight in US children and adolescents has reached alarming levels. The proportion of children and adolescents who are overweight, defined as a body mass index exceeding the 95th percentile for age and sex based on norms from the 1960s, has tripled in the past 3 decades.1 This dramatic increase in overweight has not been confined to US children and adolescents; pediatric overweight is also increasing in other countries.24 Greater body weight has been found to predispose children and adolescents to many of the medical complications of obesity found in adults, such as hypertension,5 dyslipidemia,6 impaired glucose homeostasis,7,8 steatohepatitis,9 sleep apnea,10 and intracranial hypertension,11 and to problems unique to childhood and adolescence, including accelerated pubertal12 and skeletal13 development and orthopedic disorders, such as slipped capital femoral epiphysis.14

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