Can we treat morbid obese children in a behavioral inpatient program?

Silvana Fennig*, Shmuel Fennig*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT) combined with a family-based intervention has proven as the most effective psychological approach for eating disorders in children and adolescents. The aim of the present paper is to present such a program in a population of severe morbid obese pediatric patients in an inpatient setting in our medical psychiatric unit specializing in the treatment of eating disorders. Our CBT program was developed according to the Cooper/1Fairburn approach to the treatment of obesity. The program is organized in a series of treatment modules that include: 1. starting treatment: pre-admission phase; 2. establishing and maintaining weight loss; 3. encouraging acceptance, addressing realistic expectations to body weight, and addressing body image concerns; 4. long-term weight maintenance. Family intervention and physical activity were implemented throughout the program. The children enrolled in our program suffer from morbid obesity with life-threatening medical complications such as obstructive sleep apnea, intra-cranial pressure, and debilitating joint disease that required an aggressive, invasive approach. The aim of the program is not only to achieve a rapid weight reduction and avoiding invasive medical procedures, but also to minimize subsequent weight regain. Two patients representing the complexity of conducting the program are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-596
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Endocrinology Reviews
Issue numberSUPPL. 4
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Behavioral Intervention
  • Childhood Obesity
  • Severe Obesity


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