Health & Spirit

Helping obese teens lose weight

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

What came first -- the chicken or the egg? That's been buggin' folks for millennia. In fact, Aristotle, in the 4th century B.C., wrote, "There could not have been a first egg to give a beginning to birds, or there would have been a first bird which gave a beginning to eggs." Only with evolution did we learn that the chicken came from some not-quite-a-chicken predecessor, all the way back to the first living cell.

Seems there's a faulty appetite regulator in the brains of obese teens. The question is: Did the broken regulator cause the excess weight, or is it a result of it? As with the chicken and the egg, which came first? Well, we don't know, but realizing there's a broken food regulator provides a new understanding of the challenges obese teens face in achieving a healthy weight.

A study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America makes it clear that the 20.5 percent of 12- to 19-year-olds in the U.S. who are obese have measurable changes in the appetite-, impulse- and reward-regulating centers of their brain. (Obesity affects the brain's amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, bilateral hypothalamus and more!) Helping teens attain a healthy weight means dealing with all of that.

How to do it: It takes a team to help them reset their brains: an exercise physiologist/coach; a nutritionist; a yoga or meditation instructor, plus cognitive behavioral therapy. That can provide the tools needed to establish impulse control and help a teen recognize when enough food is enough.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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