Pediatric Endocrinologist: Treatment of Severe Childhood Obesity Must Be Addressed

ORLANDO, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#25thAACE–Although recent reports have suggested the childhood obesity epidemic
has reached a plateau, a pediatric endocrinologist presented eye-opening
evidence today illustrating the ongoing challenges the condition
presents, particularly in preventing or reversing the condition in the
severely obese pediatric population.

Dr. Ilene Fennoy, M.P.H., Medical Director of Columbia University
Medical Center’s Center for Comprehensive Adolescent Bariatric Surgery,
appeared in a “Meet-the-Experts” session at the American Association of
Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 25th Annual Scientific &
Clinical Congress to share scientific data indicating morbidly obese
adolescents (ages 12 to 19) are not only at a higher risk of remaining
obese as adults, but also for developing immediate and long-term
obesity-related co-morbidities. Among them are insulin
resistance/diabetes hypertension, metabolic syndrome, hyperlipidemia,
non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome and
premature death.

Outcomes for studies of treatment interventions were highlighted by Dr.
Fennoy as well, including lifestyle changes incorporating increased
physical activity and dietary modifications (i.e. low fat vs. low
glycemic diet), pharmacological interventions and weight-loss surgery,
each underscoring the need for more – and more effective – options.

For example, studies have demonstrated that diet and exercise
interventions in severely obese children have a modest short-term impact
on weight loss and co-morbidities, while only one medication is
currently approved for the treatment of obesity in adolescents. Further,
reports of long-term outcomes for adolescent weight-loss surgery are
few, and many youth with severe obesity don’t qualify for surgery, or
have limited access due to lack of insurance coverage.

“There is no question that this is a serious problem and it continues to
grow,” said Dr. Fennoy. “And while there is recent and promising data
documenting the safety and longevity of currently available approaches
to this problem, it is evident that more research is necessary for both
prevention and treatment.”

Severe obesity afflicts between 4% and 6% of all youth in the United
States, and the prevalence is increasing.

About the American Association of Clinical
Endocrinologists (AACE)

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) represents
more than 7,000 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad. AACE
is the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world. A
majority of AACE members are certified in endocrinology, diabetes and
metabolism and concentrate on the treatment of patients with endocrine
and metabolic disorders including diabetes, thyroid disease,
osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders,
hypertension and obesity. Visit our site at

About the American College of Endocrinology

The American College of Endocrinology (ACE) is the educational and
scientific arm of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
(AACE). ACE is the leader in advancing the care and prevention of
endocrine and metabolic disorders by: providing professional education
and reliable public health information; recognizing excellence in
education, research and service; promoting clinical research and
defining the future of Clinical Endocrinology. For more information,
please visit


American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)
Green, 407-506-2960