Special Issue "Adolescent Weight Management: Advances and Future Challenges"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 February 2024 | Viewed by 115
Interests: adolescents; glucose metabolism; obesity; prediabetes; impaired glucose tolerance; type 2 diabetes mellitus; hyperinsulinaemia; insulin resistance; endocrine late effects in childhood cancer survivors; type 1 diabetes mellitus; hyperglycaemia; diabetic complications; growth; short stature
Adolescent weight management constitutes an important challenge in the clinical practice of health care providers. Since the rates of excess in body weight among adolescents have risen dramatically in multinational epidemiological data, the effective support of an adolescent diagnosed with obesity is an increasingly frequent requirement. This increase in adolescent overweight and obesity has been linked to a variety of non-communicable diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mental health issues, all of them correlated to augmented morbidity during early adult life.
Current advances in adolescent weight management have focused on comprehensive, multi-component interventions that address nutrition, activity, and mental health. These interventions often include a combination of behavioural modification, nutritional education, physical activity promotion, and family involvement. Several studies have shown that these comprehensive interventions can offer a reduction in BMI and improvement in health outcomes among overweight and obese adolescents. Novel pharmaceutical agents released in recent years to treat adolescents with obesity have also enhanced the therapeutic options of health care providers. Recent advances in our knowledge of underlying genetic causes of obesity have also offered a novel perspective of therapeutic management, in a relatively small but extremely difficult to handle group of adolescents with severe genetic forms of obesity.
Another major advance in adolescent weight management is the use of technology-based interventions, utilizing software applications, websites, and other digital tools which have been designed to provide adolescents with continuous motivation for an engagement to a healthy lifestyle. These technology-based interventions can be particularly effective for supporting and motivating adolescents, who are often highly familiar with digital tools.
Despite all these advances, there is a wide range of unmet needs and several challenges to be addressed by the health care professionals dealing with adolescent weight management. The sustainability of weight management interventions over the long term constitutes the most prominent issue. Struggling to maintain the newly introduced healthy behaviours after the end of an intervention is a common issue that sometimes leads to weight regain. Future interventions need to focus on providing ongoing support and reinforcement to maintain the initially prominent healthy results.
Another challenge focuses on efficiently addressing the underlying social and environmental factors that contribute to adolescent overweight and obesity. Food marketing, the availability of unhealthy food, and a lack of safe places for physical activity burdens adolescents from engaging in a healthy lifestyle. Future interventions need to incorporate strategies that target these social factors and promote the creation of an environment supporting healthy eating and physical activity.
In conclusion, current advances in adolescent weight management provide promise in reducing overweight and obesity rates among adolescents. However, there are still challenges that need to be addressed to ensure the long-term success of these interventions. Future research should focus on sustainability, technology-based interventions, and addressing social and environmental factors to create lasting change in adolescent weight management.
Dr. Eleni P Kotanidou
Manuscript Submission Information
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