UCSD offering obesity trials for children and teens

Obesity has become the most common chronic health condition of childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 out of 3 children in the United States, ages 2 to 19, is overweight or at risk of becoming overweight.

In an effort to learn more about how physicians can help young people lose weight, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine Weight and Wellness Clinic are launching two major studies involving kids, teens and their families.

“Extra pounds can lead to lifelong health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease,” explained Kerri Boutelle, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, and Director, Behavioral Services at the Weight and Wellness Clinic. “Both of these studies are geared to youths and their parents. Parents are the key to the child’s success and we teach them the skills needed to motivate their children. Both studies are a team approach.”

Boutelle and her colleagues are conducting two studies:

The Guided Self-Help (GSH) study uses a self-help manual coupled with personal “in clinic” visits to guide overweight children and their parents.

The Teen-ROC (Regulation of Cues) study uses a “cue” developed for overweight teens that teaches them to decrease their need to respond to food cues, and use coping skills to deal with cravings. This is the “teen” version of a similar pilot program Boutelle initiated at University of Minnesota, where she was the Director of a child and adolescent eating disorder and obesity program.

Who Can Participate?

The GSH study is looking for:

-52 families

-With overweight children eight to 12 years old

-13 twenty minute clinics

-Six month period

The Teen-ROC study is recruiting:

-26 families

-With adolescents 13 to 16 years old who over eat when they are not hungry

-4 month treatment

“We live in a world where high-calorie, high-fat foods are available everywhere and our lives are more sedentary than ever. Our aim is to provide families the support they need to tackle and win in this food-oriented environment.”

For more information, please email

or call (858)205-8219.