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Metformin Helps Obese Teenage Girls

A lifestyle modification program along with metformin, a drug commonly used by type 2 diabetics to lower blood sugar level, may help teenage girls lose weight if they make changes in their diet as well, according to a study.

To test its effectivity, researchers examined the effect of adding metformin versus placebo to a personal diet and exercise goal-setting program for 85 obese adolescents with insulin resistance, 71 percent of whom were female. Researchers report in the Journal of Pediatrics that goal-setting alone did not lead to significant weight loss. However, researchers observed a significant decrease in body weight in girls receiving metformin, but not in those receiving placebo. A decrease in body mass index of more than five percent were seen in 60 percent of the participants who took metformin and at the same time cut back on their diet.

“Current options for weight loss medications are fairly expensive and not typically covered by insurance plans,” noted Dr. Kathryn Love-Osborne of Denver Health and Hospitals in Colorado in her comments to Reuters Health. “As such, medications are not readily accessible to low-income patients who are at higher risk for obesity-related complications.”

As such, researchers concluded that the availability of safe and inexpensive medications that might provide additional benefits for patients who are motivated to make modest lifestyle changes would be a welcome option for primary care providers who are working with obese teens.

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