Division of Pediatric Surgery, Children's Hospital of Illinois, Order of St. Francis Medical Center, University of Illinois College of Medicine-Peoria, 420 Northeast Glen Oak Avenue, Suite 201, Peoria, IL 61603, USA.
Childhood obesity is a tremendous burden for children, their families, and society. Obesity prevention remains the ultimate goal but rapid development and deployment of effective nonsurgical treatment options is not currently achievable given the complexity of this disease. Surgical options for adolescent obesity have been proven to be safe and effective and should be offered. The development of stratified protocols of increasing intensity should be individualized for patients based on their disease severity and risk factors. These protocols should be offered in multidisciplinary, cooperative clinical trials to critically evaluate and develop optimal treatment strategies for morbid obesity.