Obesity: How We Treat

How is obesity treated?

Children's Hospital Colorado addresses childhood obesity

Generally, treatment of pediatric obesity involves lifestyle and behavioral modification programs. The Weight Management Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado can provide several options for treatment. 


Patients are not generally put on “diets” but rather receive education on proper nutrition and are encouraged to transition to a healthier diet. In some specific circumstances, specialized diets such as the protein-sparing modified fast (PSMF), low-fat and low calorie or other formal nutrition programs are used. At this time, there are no specific, FDA-approved, weight loss medications available for pediatric use, though medications are sometimes prescribed for specific medical issues related to obesity. In addition, weight loss surgery may be an option for patients with severe morbid obesity who have committed to a medical weight loss program for at least six months. 

Otherwise, our program works to identify and treat any related medical problems, such as type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, hyperlipidemia, polycystic ovarian syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, hypertension, pseudotumor cerebri, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, depression and others. For most of these, the best treatment is weight loss itself, but depending on the severity of illness additional treatment may be necessary.