Would you be open to letting your 12-year-old take weight loss drugs?

Posted at 6:28 AM, Jul 03, 2024

(WXYZ) — Would you be open to letting your 12-year-old take weight loss drugs?

It’s a pretty direct question that’s why we had to bring it to parents here in Michigan to see how they feel about having that option.

By now you've probably heard of the popular drug Ozempic, a weekly injection that helps lower blood sugar also used by some adults for weight loss.

But what about giving weight loss drugs like it to children?

Mom Jilline Kasper took a break from the heat to talk to us about it.

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Jilline Kasper, Mom

“I wish I could give just like a generalized answer but my hope with anything medical is that there’s a good relationship with the doctor," Kasper said. "Right that there’s not a one size fits all answer to that, and my hope is that is if I’m in that position I have a relationship with my doctor that my doctor knows what most important to me and my kids and if that is the best option I wouldn’t be opposed to it but it wouldn’t be my first option.”

Mom Dynice Santana also talked to us in between splashes.

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Dynice Santana, Mom

“I get it there are other underlying issues that they may want to address at the same time but I feel like there’s a better way to do it than choosing to jump on drugs," Santana said. "Especially since they’re young and you don’t necessarily know what future adverse effects it may have on them.”

Expecting Mom Christina Kattula plans to stick to natural options if it comes down to it.

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Christina Kattula, Expecting Mom

“I think it doesn’t set them up for good habits and its kinda just like the easy way out," Kattula said. "Maybe instead teach them like healthy habits of walking and healthy habbits of eating so that they can be set up for life instead of taking something that could have lasting negative long term effects.”

According to the CDC, roughly one in every five children in the United State are obese. And because of it, some doctors and parents may be turning to weight loss drugs for kids.

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Dr. Asha Shajahan, Family Medicine Physician

“There were studies that were done that had children over the age of 12 and it showed that there were benefits and that it was relatively safe," Dr. Shajahan said.

Dr. Shajahan suggests if you are concerned about your child's weight to consider the fact that there hasn't been a long-term study done on children.

“It may not be harmful but we have to weigh the risks and the benefits so if your child is significantly obese, has tried all of the diet counseling, the psychologic counseling the family counseling has been on several diets has had multiple has had multiple comorbidities so now has high blood pressure, is not able to exercise due to joint pain- these are different circumstances," Dr. Shajahan said.

Most importantly, listen to your doctor.

“Not everything you hear online or on Tik Tok or Instagram are necessarily true," Dr. Shajahan said.

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