Success in weight management is usually measured differently by health care professionals, parents, and children. Successful treatment of obesity in children involves the adoption of lifestyle, pharmacologic (medications) or surgical (bariatric surgery) interventions.
Health care professionals
Health care professionals may view success as improvements in the quality of life, self-esteem/body image and emotional difficulties, desired weight loss which meets the expectations of the family (parents and children) and healthier lifestyle behaviors. Improvements in family functioning, as well as a reduction of risks for some chronic diseases and conditions, can also be viewed as a success by health care professionals.
Children and Parents
Parents and children may see success differently. However, if the family is motivated to make lifestyle changes, they should talk about their goals early during obesity treatment to avoid conflicting expectations.
According to the recommendations for childhood weight management, overall success is improved long-term physical health through permanent lifestyle habits. This achievement will be evident by a BMI below the 97th percentile.
In the absence of bariatric surgery, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight in children as they grow, or a modest reduction in weight can be realistic and achievable goals which can be accomplished by making healthy lifestyle changes.