In part 5 of this Exclusive Interview, Dr. W. Timothy Garvey talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the AACE 2018 convention in Boston, MA about obesity in children and how to treat pediatrics with limited pharmaceutical options or effective tools.
W. Timothy Garvey, MD, FACE is a professor and Director of the University of Alabama Diabetes Research Center in Birmingham.
Transcript of this video segment:
Freed: Let’s talk about obesity in children. We’re finding more and more of this every day and there are headlines all the time about type 2 diabetes for kids in their teens and kids in grammar school. None of the drugs, I believe, are approved for young children so how do you deal with that?
Garvey: This is such a big problem and there are a lot of pediatric cases that are very sad actually. We have children and adolescents that are very heavy and this really impacts their quality of life. The challenges that adolescents have, they have enough on their plate to begin with. We have patients that even have a hard time kind of moving and walking, and these are just sad cases. We don’t have the tools we need to really be effective in this domain. There is a big clinical need. So we really have to work with lifestyle but first you’ve got the child, then you’ve got the family unit, and then you’ve got the school and the larger environment that the child lives in – you can’t just intervene at any one of those, you’ve got to bring that all together if you’re going to be successful. So that is challenging to a clinician obviously. In our weight loss medicine, we call it at UAB, where we have bariatric surgery, endocrinology, and nutrition sciences, kind of internal medicine obesity medicine specialists in there with dieticians and the clinical psychologists and an exercise trainer and what not, but, we’re bringing in pediatrics to develop more family-based approaches. But it’s largely lifestyle, some physicians use metformin, I’m not sure how successful that is but all of the pharma companies that have developed weight loss medications are mandated by the FDA to do clinical trials in children and adolescents. Some of those are ongoing for some of those medications and some of them haven’t started up yet but that is really what I think is going to be helpful when we do have effective medications to bring in to that treatment of that age group.