Approximately 3% of children and adolescents in the UK have severe obesity. The incidence of cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, hyperinsulinism and hyperlipidaemia approaches 20% in such individuals. Lifestyle intervention programmes and pharmacotherapy are effective in some individuals, but the relapse rate is high. In exceptional cases, bariatric surgery is effective. This review outlines the scale of the problem, highlights those at risk and discusses referral, current services, appropriate screening and therapeutic interventions.