Obesity is a complex public health issue. Recent data indicate the increasing prevalence and severity of obesity in children. Severe obesity is a real chronic condition for the difficulties of long-term clinical treatment, the high drop-out rate, the large burden of health and psychological problems and the high probability of persistence in adulthood. A staged approach for weight management is recommended. The establishment of permanent healthy lifestyle habits aimed at healthy eating, increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior is the first outcome, because of the long-term health benefits of these behaviors. Improvement in medical conditions is also an important sign of long-term health benefits. Rapid weight loss is not pursued, for the implications on growth ad pubertal development and the risk of inducing eating disorders. Children and adolescents with severe obesity should be referred to a pediatric weight management center that has access to a multidisciplinary team with expertise in childhood obesity. This article provides pediatricians a comprehensive and evidence based update on treatment recommendations of severe obesity in children and adolescents.
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