Why Are Children Not Receiving Adequate Treatment For Obesity?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Janey Pratt, MD Clinical Associate Professor, Surgery Stanford UniversityDr. Janey Pratt, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, Surgery
Stanford University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In 2013 obesity became recognized as a disease.  The rate of pediatric obesity continues to rise.  Severe pediatric obesity is rising at a even faster rate than obesity in pediatrics.  Despite this Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (MBS) remains underutilized in the treatment of severe pediatric obesity.  There is a significant amount of adult data and now pediatric data about effective treatments for severe obesity.  These support the use of MBS as a primary treatment for severe obesity in children. (BMI > 120% of 95th percentile with a comorbidity or BMI > 140% of 95th percentile).

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: What this study shows is that about 1400 cases of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery are done per year on adolescents and this did not change significantly over our study period.  The type of surgery being performed has changed, showing that most adolescents are undergoing sleeve gastrectomies today, similar to changes in adult surgeries as well. The complications associated with MBS has decreased significantly to only 2% from 9%. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: We need to understand why children are not receiving adequate treatment for the disease of obesity.  Pediatricians need to refer patients early so that MBS can result in adequate sustained weight loss in children with a BMI above 120% of the 95th percentile. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We need to understand why children are being under treated for the disease of obesity.  What is the role of Bias and Prejudice in the lack of attention to this disease?  How can we educate pediatricians and parents about the health risks of obesity and how to effectively treat it? What are the causes of obesity and how can it be prevented in childhood.  

Citation:

Griggs CL, Perez NP, Goldstone RN, et al. National Trends in the Use of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Among Pediatric Patients With Severe Obesity. JAMA Pediatr. Published online October 22, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.3030

Oct 22, 2018 @ 8:21 pm

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