Seema Kumar, M.D., conducts research primarily related to prevention and treatment of childhood obesity and related comorbidities.
Dr. Kumar's clinical interests and research focus on novel modalities for weight loss and treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and lipid disorders in children and adolescents. She has particular interest in the efficacy and long-term consequences of bariatric surgery in adolescents.
- Medical treatment of childhood obesity. Dr. Kumar is studying best practices for treatment of obesity in children. The role of decision support tools for diagnosis of childhood obesity in primary care is of particular interest, and she has conducted clinical trials to study the role of a mindfulness-based behavior modification program on weight loss in obese adolescents.
- Role of bariatric surgery in management of severe obesity in adolescence. Dr. Kumar is interested in the short-term and long-term efficacy and safety of bariatric surgery in adolescents and studies barriers to referral for bariatric surgery among primary care providers.
- Study of extraskeletal benefits of vitamin D in obese children. Dr. Kumar has conducted numerous clinical trials to study the impact of vitamin D supplementation on blood glucose and lipids in obese adolescents. The role of vitamin D in endothelial function in children is also one of her study topics.
- Association between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity. Dr. Kumar has studied the association between ADHD hyperactivity disorder and obesity, and is currently studying the role of various psychiatric comorbidities seen in individuals with ADHD in development of obesity.
- Treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. Dr. Kumar has particular interest in the study of modifiable risk factors for prediabetes and diabetes in children. The impact of substance abuse on glycemic control in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes is a key focus area.
Significance to patient care
Childhood obesity is often underdiagnosed and underappreciated by providers and parents. Dr. Kumar's research is contributing to knowledge on the role of decision support tools for diagnosis and management of childhood obesity in children.
Prevention and treatment of obesity-related comorbidities is a challenge in children. Her research work has contributed to a better understanding of the role of vitamin D status in glucose homeostasis, lipids and endothelial function in obese children and adolescents.
Dr. Kumar has recently demonstrated an association between ADHD in females and obesity; this research highlights the need for individuals with ADHD to engage in a healthy lifestyle in order to prevent obesity.
- Member, editorial board, Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology, 2015-present
- Co-chair, Reporting Outcomes Committee, Pediatric Obesity Weight Evaluation Registry (POWER), 2014-present
- Elected governance board member, Pediatric Obesity Weight Evaluation Registry (POWER), 2014-present
- Expert panel member, Childhood Obesity Work Group, Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, 2012-present
- Member, Nutrition Committee, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, 2011-present