The Ethics of Childhood Obesity Treatment – from the Childhood Obesity Task Force (COTF)

With the American Medical Association’s recent declaration that obesity is a serious disease [1], a critical consideration of the ethics of treating childhood obesity is especially timely. Although data suggest that the childhood obesity epidemic has stabilized in some countries [2], the levels remain too high; 18-49% of European children are overweight [3]. Consequently there is an immense and urgent need for the effective treatment of this complex disease. Unfortunately, the most recent Cochrane review concludes that, although family-based interventions can reduce excess weight in children and adolescents, long-term, effective and sustainable interventions for childhood obesity have yet to be identified [4].

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