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Metformin for Obese Children

Metformin was linked to reduced food intake, decreased hunger ratings, and increased fullness ratings…

For obese hyperinsulinemic children, metformin seems to decrease perceived hunger and increase perceived fullness, according to a published study.

Mopelola A. Adeyemo, M.P.H., from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues examined the effects of metformin on body weight and energy balance in 100 obese hyperinsulinemic children aged 6 to 12 years. On two separate occasions the subjects ate ad libitum from standardized food arrays, before and after six months of study medication. The first test meal was consumed after an overnight fast, while a pre-meal load preceded the second meal. Data were available for 84 children (45 metformin-treated and 39 placebo-treated).

The researchers found that, independent of changes in body composition, metformin treatment correlated with significant reductions from baseline in the adjusted mean energy intake after the pre-meal load compared with placebo (metformin: −104.5 ± 83.8 kcal; placebo: +144.2 ± 96.9 kcal; P = 0.034). Following the pre-meal load, there was a significant decrease in ratings of hunger and an increase in ratings of fullness with metformin (P = 0.013 and 0.01, respectively).

“In conclusion, we found that the weight-loss effects of metformin treatment may be related to its ability to reduce energy intake in obese, hyperinsulinemic children,” the authors write. “Metformin’s effects may thus be useful as an adjunct to diet, exercise, and behavioral therapy in the management of obese children.”

Practice Pearls:

  • Metformin reduced food intake for obese children.
  • Metformin treatment correlated with significant reductions from baseline in the adjusted mean energy intake after the pre-meal load compared with placebo.
  • Metformin may be useful as an adjunct to diet, exercise, and behavioral therapy in the management of obese children.

Mopelola A. Adeyemo MPH1, Effects of Metformin on Energy Intake and Satiety in Obese Children, Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, A Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, DOI: 10.1111/dom.12426 Abstract