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Obesity has become a pandemic of the modern world. Earlier , it was a problem of the developed countries but recently, it is becoming more common in the developing countries as well and affecting all age groups and all strata of society.

There has been an increasing trend of obesity in school going children. This is attributed to consumption of high calorie food, lack of physical activity and poor lifestyle. The digital revolution has affected children as well with more use of mobile phones and tablets with increased screen time which leaves little time for outdoor games.

The treatment options for obesity in children depends upon the clinical scenario, age of the child and level of obesity. The first and foremost in this aspect is education of the parents and caregivers. The root of the problem often lies in bad food habits and poor lifestyle choices cultivated in the early years of life of the child by the parents. The parents should ensure proper food discipline and regular outdoor games for the child especially with peers. The child should be prohibited from buying snacks and sweets on their own and all meal and snack times should be supervised by the parents. Every child should have 60-90 minutes of active exercise per day to maintain a healthy metabolism. A proper disciplined routine would start to yield good results in a few months time.

Some children have genetic conditions or hormonal problems predisposing them to obesity. Such conditions should be identified and the hormonal abnormalities corrected if possible. In cases where the child develops serious comorbidities related to obesity like sleep apnea, joint deformities or others, he/she may be considered for some Interventionsl therapy.

Interventional therapy for children may be in the form of intragastric balloon which is especially useful in adolescents or rarely bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery may be used as a last resort in cases of morbid obesity in children with serious life threatening complications who are refractory to all other measures used to reduce weight. The procedure of choice in such situations would be a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy to curtail hunger and good intake but at the same time not leading to malabsorption or vitamin deficiency.

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