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Treatment of obesity in adolescents: where should interventions focus?
  1. Peymane Adab
  1. Correspondence to Dr Peymane Adab, The University of Birmingham, Public Health Epidemiology, Birmingham, UK; p.adab{at}

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The upward trend in child and adolescent obesity is of global concern, with up to 16% of populations aged between 10 and 17 years being classified as obese in some countries.1 Given the well-established short-term and long-term health2 and psychosocial3 consequences, the increasing prevalence and the impact on social inequalities in health, there is an urgent need to tackle obesity at an early stage.

Several systematic reviews have summarised the evidence on the effectiveness of weight management interventions for child and adolescent obesity.4–6 In general, they highlight methodological limitations, with many previous trials not being adequately powered and interventions lacking a theoretical framework.6 Trials are particularly sparse among adolescent populations.

The findings from a trial evaluating the Healthy Eating and Lifestyles Programme (HELP), aimed at weight management in obese population aged between 12 and 18 years,7 are reported in this issue. This trial addresses many of the limitations in previous studies. The 12-week family-based intervention is theoretically informed and the trial was adequately powered to …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This paper has been amended since it was published Online First. Owing to a scripting error, some of the publisher names in the references were replaced with 'BMJ Publishing Group'. This only affected the full text version, not the PDF. We have since corrected these errors and the correct publishers have been inserted into the references.

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