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Body mass index and obesity in adolescents in a psychiatric medium secure service

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How to cite this article Haw C. & Bailey S. (2012) Body mass index and obesity in adolescents in a psychiatric medium secure service. J Hum Nutr Diet. 25, 167–171

Background:  Obesity is more prevalent in adults with severe mental illness than in the general population. Little is known about the prevalence of obesity in mentally ill adolescents. The present study aimed to determine the prevalence of obesity and its complications among inpatients in a psychiatric medium secure service for adolescents and young people.

Methods:  The study comprised a cross‐sectional survey of routinely collected data, including body mass index (BMI) both currently and 3 months previously, serum cholesterol and psychotropic prescription data, as well as the number of patients known to have type II diabetes mellitus and hypertension.

Results:  Of the 95 patients studied, 33 (34.7%) were overweight and 45 (47.4%) were obese. Twenty‐six (56.5%) females were obese, including seven who were morbidly obese. Nineteen (38.8%) males were obese, one of whom was morbidly obese. Prescription of antipsychotics was associated with obesity and the total percentage dose of antipsychotic correlated with BMI. Two patients had type 2 diabetes mellitus and two had hypertension. Seventeen patients had a serum cholesterol of over 5 mm.

Conclusions:  Being overweight and obesity were very common in the young people studied and appeared to be related to the prescription of antipsychotics. Interventions are needed to reduce unhealthy raised BMI and prevent the physical complications of obesity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: St Andrew’s Healthcare, Northampton, UK

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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