One More Reason Not To Give Kids Psychotropic Drugs: It Makes Them Fat

Nathan Seppa reports for US News & World Report:

Many young children and adolescents taking drugs for severe psychiatric problems gain substantial weight and, in some cases, show increased levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in their blood, researchers report in the Oct. 28 Journal of the American Medical Association.

Although the data from this study need to be replicated over a longer time frame, the findings nonetheless raise worrisome questions about anti-psychotic drugs that often benefit children who have schizophrenia, autism, tics, severe bipolar disorder or aggressive behavior.

“We are between a rock and a hard place here,” says study coauthor Christoph Correll, a psychiatrist at the Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y. These mental disorders are severe and can lead to suicide or to educational problems and emotional scars, he says. On the other hand, weight gain during youth predisposes an individual to chronic health problems later in life, he says.

Weight gain has been noticed before in children and adolescents taking commonly prescribed drugs for severe psychiatric problems. But studies seeking to link that weight gain to the medications were often muddied because patients had taken one of the drugs beforehand at some point — and may have already put on weight from it or reset their body metabolism to adjust to the drug somehow…


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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4 Comments on "One More Reason Not To Give Kids Psychotropic Drugs: It Makes Them Fat"

  1. I wonder how many of these “mental disorders” are true mental disorders and are really parental laziness?

    • tonyviner | Oct 29, 2009 at 1:17 am |

      There is no point in wondering about it, it is a sad state of affairs no matter how you slice it. It is not just the parents, the responsibility lies in the hands of any authority figure that deals with the kid and does nothing.

      • It STARTS with the parents though. Aren't they just generally uninformed to begin with?

        • tonyviner | Oct 29, 2009 at 1:24 am |

          Uninformed is not generally the same thing as being lazy, unless they are just too lazy to find the information that they need, in which case you are right.

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