Jennifer Green, MD: Treating Pediatric Obesity

Type 2 diabetes can be more aggressive in younger patients.

The increase in rates of pediatric obesity might have ripple effects in other areas of medicine.

Obviously, obesity on its own can be a challenging and debilitating condition, but it also might be drastically increasing the rates of type 2 diabetes in young adults.

In an interview with HCPLive® during Pri-Med West 2022 in Anaheim, Jennifer Green, MD, Professor of Medicine, Duke University, explained how doctors, particularly pediatricians, should approach pediatric patients who might be at risk for obesity.

“It is worrisome because the increase in obesity in children and young adults has really correspondingly significantly increased rates of type 2 diabetes in young people,” Green said.

One of the issues here, according to Green, is that type 2 diabetes presents itself differently in younger patients.

For example, the disease can be much more aggressive when it presents early in life that progresses very rapidly.

But one of the things that Green suggests is for pediatricians identify patients who might be at risk of obesity. However, Green said the idea is to not promote weight loss in young people, but rather maintaining weight through puberty.