Racial Disparities in Obesity Treatment Among Children and Adolescents

Veronica R. Johnson*, Nonyerem O. Acholonu, Ana C. Dolan, Ashwin Krishnan, Emily Hsu Chi Wang, Fatima Cody Stanford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: With the growing obesity epidemic among children and adolescents, the evaluation of disease origin to slow disease progression is necessary. Racial disparities which are evident amid prevalence and treatment must be studied to counteract disease propagation. Recent Findings: Disparities are pronounced among Black and Hispanic pediatric patients prior to conception and birth due to genetic composition and fetal environment. Postnatal environment and psychosocial influences can further increase a child/adolescent’s propensity to increased weight. Current treatment options including nutrition, physical activity, behavior modification, pharmacotherapy, and surgery are underutilized in communities of color due to limited access to care and cost. Summary: Data is limited to demonstrate disparities among treatment of obesity in children and adolescents. The reviewed studies show the role of race on disease treatment. Increased research efforts, especially in pharmacotherapy and metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS), will help combat obesity in pediatric communities of color.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-350
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent obesity reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Disparities
  • Lifestyle intervention
  • Metabolic and bariatric surgery
  • Pediatric/adolescent obesity treatment
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Internal Medicine


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