Rationale for Intervention

Evaluating the ‘cost’ of obesity is of great interest to governments planning health care for future generations. In 2007 the economic cost of obesity in the UK was placed at ?15.8 billion per year, encompassing ?4.2 billion in direct costs to the NHS, and taking into account other costs in loss of earnings and productivity in the wider economy [9]. In children these economic estimates have not been made but there is clearly a long-term economic cost when children drop out of education and training as a result of their obesity [14, 15].

Treatment Options and Patient Selection

Lifestyle Modifications

Dietetic and lifestyle interventions, together with treatment of medical comorbidities, form the cornerstone of obesity management particularly in the younger age group. In a growing child, weight maintenance could lead to significant reduction in BMI due to increasing height. This in turn is associated with an improvement in cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities of obesity such as diabetes mellitus, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and polycystic ovary syndrome. In particular, children aged 5-12 years and children who are overweight rather than obese profit from lifestyle interventions [16].

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