Metformin May Curb Appetite in Obese Children

(HealthDay News) — For obese hyperinsulinemic children, metformin seems to decrease perceived hunger and increase perceived fullness, according to a study published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Mopelola A. Adeyemo, MPH, from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues examined the effects of metformin on body weight and energy balance in 100 obese hyperinsulinemic children aged 6 to 12 years. 

On two separate occasions the subjects ate ad libitum from standardized food arrays, before and after 6 months of study medication. The first test meal was consumed after an overnight fast, while a pre-meal load preceded the second meal. 

Data were available for 84 children (45 metformin-treated and 39 placebo-treated).

The researchers found that, independent of changes in body composition, metformin treatment correlated with significant reductions from baseline in the adjusted mean energy intake after the pre-meal load compared with placebo (metformin: −104.5 kcal; placebo: +144.2 kcal; P=.034). Following the pre-meal load, there was a significant decrease in ratings of hunger and an increase in ratings of fullness with metformin (P=.013 and P=.01, respectively).

“In conclusion, we found that the weight-loss effects of metformin treatment may be related to its ability to reduce energy intake in obese, hyperinsulinemic children,” the researchers wrote. “Metformin’s effects may thus be useful as an adjunct to diet, exercise, and behavioral therapy in the management of obese children.”

One author disclosed financial ties to Pfizer.


  1. Adeyemo MA et al. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2014;doi:10.1111/dom.12426.