A new review of studies spread over five continents finds that overweight or obese children and teens can lose weight with lifestyle changes sometimes coupled with medication.
Lead reviewer Hiltje Oude Luttikhuis, MD, with the Beatrix Children's Hospital in Groningen, the Netherlands, and her colleagues analyzed 64 randomized controlled trials of lifestyle therapy and drug interventions.
Behavioral lifestyle therapy aims to change thinking patterns and actions. For example, children and adolescents were encouraged to have breakfast and to eat regular meals, while controlling portions. They were also encouraged to reduce sedentary behaviors like watching TV and to increase physical activity. Techniques used to change these thinking patterns included self-awareness, self-monitoring and goal setting for eating and physical activity. Participants also learned cognitive behavior strategies that included ways to deal with stress.