THIS ISSUE of the ARCHIVES highlights the current pandemic of obesity, and its resultant complications, in children and adolescents. What is to be done about this alarming situation? Clearly, there is no single easy answer to a complex matter that likely has multiple etiologic risk factors.
Future attention must be paid to both the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. However, as many will know from personal experience, it is not clear what are the most appropriate interventions. Even very small discrepancies in energy intake will result, in the long run, in excess weight gain.1 Reduced intake, increased exercise, and the changes in lifestyle that are advocated to achieve these goals are difficult—if not impossible—for many to maintain for protracted periods of time.
Sherman PM, Zlotkin SH. Development of Novel Medications for Use in the Treatment of Obesity in Children Will Be Directed by Delineating Controls of Energy Homeostasis. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(8):721. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.8.721