Behavioral Interventions and Cardiovascular Risk in Obese Youth: Current Findings and Future Directions

Anna Vannucci, Denise E. Wilfley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The identification and early intervention of pediatric obesity is critical to reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Family-based behavioral interventions have consistently demonstrated efficacy in reducing adiposity and CVD risk factors (i. e., blood pressure, cholesterol, fasting glucose levels, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome). Even modest weight loss in severely obese youth can lead to sustained improvement in CVD risk factors. However, weight regain following treatment cessation remains a challenge in the contemporary obesogenic environment. Intensive family-based interventions spanning socioenvironmental contexts (i. e., home, peer, community) show promise in sustaining weight loss in the long-term. Despite having effective treatments for pediatric obesity and CVD risk factors, families rarely have access to these programs and so increasing the role of healthcare providers in screening and referral efforts is imperative. Moving forward, it is also essential to establish communication and cooperative networks across sectors build sustainable prevention and intervention programs and to provide cohesive health messages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-578
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Cardiovascular Risk Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2012


  • Adolescents
  • Appetitive traits
  • Binge eating
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Children
  • Cholesterol
  • Eating in the absence of hunger
  • Family-based treatment
  • Food reinforcement
  • Impulsivity
  • Insulin resistance
  • Loss of control eating
  • Moderators
  • Obesity
  • Predictors
  • Prevention
  • Primary care
  • Satiety responsiveness
  • School
  • Treatment
  • Type 2 diabetes

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