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Four out of five adolescents living with obesity are likely to live with obesity in adulthood.² They also have increased risk of type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, as well as other associated complications.³ Through better understanding of the perceptions and behaviours that may act as barriers to effective obesity management for adolescents living with obesity (ALwO), positive steps may be taken to overcome them.


At the European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in 2022, Novo Nordisk announced the results of ACTION teens, a study to understand the perceptions, attitudes, and barriers to effective obesity care among ALwO, caregivers and healthcare professionals (HCPs).


Download the ACTION teens Study Summary now

  • 87% of doctors have not received advanced training in how to manage obesity after medical school4
  • Almost 1 in 5 (18%) HCPs are not comfortable discussing weight with adolescents5

  • Nearly 1 in 4 (24%) ALwO do not realise that they classify as living with obesity4
    • Over a third (35%) of ALwO perceive their overall health to be ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’4
  • Two thirds (65%) believe the responsibility to lose weight lies with them alone4
  • Online channels are the most important source of weight management information for ALwO4
  • 80% of teens living with obesity seen by HCPs already have at least one comorbidity6

  • 1 in 3 caregivers do not realise that their child classifies as living with obesity and nearly half (49%) perceive their child’s health to be ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’4
  • Over a third (37%) of caregivers believe their child’s weight is entirely their child’s responsibility4

Read the publication

ACTION teens is a pioneering international study that captures perceptions, attitudes, behaviours and potential barriers to effective obesity care in ALwO.

  • The global, cross-sectional, quantitative and survey-based study aims to improve obesity management and treatment for ALwO.
  • Generating evidence to drive awareness of the needs of ALwO and caregivers
  • Identifying areas of misalignment between ALwO, caregivers and HCPs


The seven areas explored in the survey questions are:

  • Overall health and wellbeing
  • Weight loss conversations and motivations
  • Attitudes about obesity and food
  • Interactions with HCPs
  • Impact of obesity
  • Information sources
  • Sociodemographics


These findings suggest a need to improve communication between ALwO, their caregivers, and treating HCPs. The study results also highlight need for educational support for caregivers and HCPs on the experiences, challenges, and needs of ALwO.4

Team Novo Nordisk

Discover how the talented athletes and medical professionals behind Team Novo Nordisk use innovative technology and evidence-based research to break the barriers of what it means to live with diabetes.
ACTION teens

Connecting medical professionals with useful tools to manage obesity effectively.


World Obesity. World Obesity Atlas 2023. Available at: Last accessed: June 2023


Simmonds M, Llewellyn A, Owen CG, Woolacott N. Predicting adult obesity from childhood obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2016 Feb;17(2):95-107. doi: 10.1111/obr.12334. Epub 2015 Dec 23. PMID: 26696565


Lifshitz F. Obesity in Children. J Clin Res Pediatric Endocrinol. 2008;1(2):53-60.


Halford J, Bereket A, Bin-Abbas B, et al. (2022) Misalignment among adolescents living with obesity, caregivers, and healthcare professionals: ACTION Teens global survey study. Pediatric Obesity 2022 Nov;17(11):e12957.


Garibay Nieto N, Baur L, Bereket A et al. HCP comfort discussing weight and weight management behaviors: Data from the ACTION Teens study. Poster presented at ObesityWeek®, 1-4 Nov 2022, San Diego, US


Maffeis C, Baur L, Bereket A, et al. ACTION teens global survey: participant characteristics and key information sources for adolescents living with obesity, caregivers and healthcare professionals. Poster presented at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO), 5 May 2022, Maastricht, The Netherlands