The first line of treatment is to identify the things in your lifestyle that are promoting weight gain and do something about these behaviors. We use the term “behavioral modification” to indicate that those things that someone is doing that are leading to obesity have to be changed. This usually means that we aim to decrease intake of calories. This doesn’t mean we starve people. But there is so much that the typical family does not understand about nutrition and about reading food labels and how to make better food choices. Sometimes, a “quick fix” is to cut way back on sugared drinks. Sometimes it is looking for the other major sources of calories that can be cut. Sometimes it is simply getting someone to eat breakfast, which research has shown to be helpful for reversing a weight problem. We also like to get people to think about ways they can increase their activity throughout the day.
In some adolescents and adults, drugs for weight loss have been tried. Some of the drugs decrease appetite. Some of them let fat that has been eaten pass through the body instead of entering the body.
Unfortunately, long-term studies have not shown major weight loss using dieting or drugs for the majority of obese adults or teenagers. The best non-surgical treatments for pediatric obesity have high drop-out rates and typically result in less than 5 percent weight loss.