Pediatric Weight Management Program brings new research to the clinical setting
When you know your obese pediatric patient requires intervention at a level that addresses the biopsychosocial complexities that lie at the root of the issue, the Pediatric Weight Management Program at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital offers clinics in Minneapolis, Burnsville, Maple Grove and St. Paul. The Pediatric Weight Management team consists of experts in pediatrics, nutrition, physical therapy and psychology. To help manage the severest co-morbidities, the Pediatric Weight Management team consults with Pediatric Endocrinology, Cardiology and Gastroenterology, and serves as the hub (or “health care home”) for all things related to obesity.
Claudia Fox, MD, MPH
Many children come to the program with co-morbidities: fatty liver, depression, disordered eating, anxiety, diabetes, high blood pressure and the like. By using the team approach, a variety of tools is employed to create a tailored plan for each patient. Weight loss medications and surgical options may be available. Bariatric surgical treatment is an option for select patients with extreme obesity who undergo a minimum six-month preparation phase that includes a regimented diet, psychological evaluation and instruction, and exercise rehabilitation.
Food and Drug Administration-approved medication options for obesity in children and adolescents are very few. In an effort to expand tools available, Claudia Fox, MD, MPH, and her colleagues recently published in Obesity, a journal of Nature Publishing Group, their study of exenatide use for children: Exenatide as a Weight-Loss Therapy in Extreme Pediatric Obesity: A Randomized, Controlled Pilot Study.
Exenatide, typically used in adults to treat Type 2 diabetes, was examined as a weight loss agent in youth with extreme obesity. Participants in this study also engaged in intensive lifestyle modification for the entire study. This pediatric pilot/feasibility study, while limited in scope and numbers of participants, yielded important information. Researchers concluded that preliminary evidence shows exenatide provides a modest weight loss with the benefit of improving metabolic profiles. The results of a larger, randomized controlled clinical trial examining the effects of exenatide on weight loss in youth are pending.
Ongoing research opportunities are available to patients in Pediatric Weight Management Program at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, which offers clinics in Minneapolis, Burnsville, Maple Grove and St. Paul. For more information, contact Andrea Metzig at 612-625-3623 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Areas of research include cardiovascular health and obesity, lifestyle modification, medications for obesity, and effects of bariatric surgery.