More Kids Take Grown-up Drugs in Obesity Fight

Critics say it's a poor substitute for good diet and exercise
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2008 12:33 PM CDT
In this Fen. 28, 2006 file photo, bottles of prescription medications move along a production line at Medco Health Solution, Inc.'s Willingboro Dispensing Pharmacy in Willingboro, N.J.    (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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(Newser) – Doctors are prescribing drugs to more and more children to treat conditions related to obesity, the New York Times reports. Data released by pharmacy plans show that medication for Type 2 diabetes has seen the biggest increase—151% from 2001 to last year. And this month, a pediatricians group recommended cholesterol-lowering drugs for kids as young as 8.

Some experts wonder whether meds are stepping in for diet and exercise. But says one doctor: “Since lifestyle is so difficult, we have no other choice but to go to pharmacotherapy.” And there’s now so much of a market that drug-makers are working on kid versions of adult drugs. One is developing a statin that will come in a child-friendly flavor.