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Would You Give Your Children Speed If They Were Fat?

Hard to imagine physicians prescribing Adderall, a useless drug prescribed for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), for kids battling obesity, but one Chicagoland doctor has "treated" some 800 young patients with it to curb their hunger.

This CNN story focused on the progress of one high-school boy who took Adderall for more than four years, between ages 11-15, because his parents were worried their physically active son was well on his way to type 2 diabetes. He managed to drop the weight while on Adderall and maintain that loss without the drug over the past 18 months.

The doctor claims his drug-based "treatment" has enjoyed a 90 percent success rate, and the boy's parents say they would give their son Adderall again in a heartbeat. Like CNN, however, I'm very concerned about the health ramifications of treating childhood obesity with an amphetamine-based drug not approved by the FDA for that use, as it carries a black box warning based on reports of cardiovascular problems and sudden deaths.

Teens would be far better served health-wise by taking safer, more natural approaches to treat their obesity, with an exercise program that emphasizes strength training. Remember, you'll derive the most benefits from exercise if you treat it like a drug that must be prescribed precisely to do the most good.

Also, the right amount of exercise, in conjunction with proper eating habits based on your teen's unique nutritional type, will make all the difference in the world.

CNN.com March 21, 2007