Blog
About

  • Record: found
  • Abstract: found
  • Article: found
Is Open Access

Childhood obesity, prevalence and prevention

1 , , 2 , 3

Nutrition Journal

BioMed Central

Read this article at

Bookmark
      There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

      Abstract

      Childhood obesity has reached epidemic levels in developed countries. Twenty five percent of children in the US are overweight and 11% are obese. Overweight and obesity in childhood are known to have significant impact on both physical and psychological health. The mechanism of obesity development is not fully understood and it is believed to be a disorder with multiple causes. Environmental factors, lifestyle preferences, and cultural environment play pivotal roles in the rising prevalence of obesity worldwide. In general, overweight and obesity are assumed to be the results of an increase in caloric and fat intake. On the other hand, there are supporting evidence that excessive sugar intake by soft drink, increased portion size, and steady decline in physical activity have been playing major roles in the rising rates of obesity all around the world. Consequently, both over-consumption of calories and reduced physical activity are involved in childhood obesity.

      Almost all researchers agree that prevention could be the key strategy for controlling the current epidemic of obesity. Prevention may include primary prevention of overweight or obesity, secondary prevention or prevention of weight regains following weight loss, and avoidance of more weight increase in obese persons unable to lose weight. Until now, most approaches have focused on changing the behaviour of individuals in diet and exercise. It seems, however, that these strategies have had little impact on the growing increase of the obesity epidemic. While about 50% of the adults are overweight and obese in many countries, it is difficult to reduce excessive weight once it becomes established. Children should therefore be considered the priority population for intervention strategies. Prevention may be achieved through a variety of interventions targeting built environment, physical activity, and diet. Some of these potential strategies for intervention in children can be implemented by targeting preschool institutions, schools or after-school care services as natural setting for influencing the diet and physical activity. All in all, there is an urgent need to initiate prevention and treatment of obesity in children.

      Related collections

      Most cited references 79

      • Record: found
      • Abstract: not found
      • Article: not found

      Prevalence and trends in obesity among US adults, 1999-2000.

      The prevalence of obesity and overweight increased in the United States between 1978 and 1991. More recent reports have suggested continued increases but are based on self-reported data. To examine trends and prevalences of overweight (body mass index [BMI] > or = 25) and obesity (BMI > or = 30), using measured height and weight data. Survey of 4115 adult men and women conducted in 1999 and 2000 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative sample of the US population. Age-adjusted prevalence of overweight, obesity, and extreme obesity compared with prior surveys, and sex-, age-, and race/ethnicity-specific estimates. The age-adjusted prevalence of obesity was 30.5% in 1999-2000 compared with 22.9% in NHANES III (1988-1994; P or = 40) also increased significantly in the population, from 2.9% to 4.7% (P =.002). Although not all changes were statistically significant, increases occurred for both men and women in all age groups and for non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Mexican Americans. Racial/ethnic groups did not differ significantly in the prevalence of obesity or overweight for men. Among women, obesity and overweight prevalences were highest among non-Hispanic black women. More than half of non-Hispanic black women aged 40 years or older were obese and more than 80% were overweight. The increases in the prevalences of obesity and overweight previously observed continued in 1999-2000. The potential health benefits from reduction in overweight and obesity are of considerable public health importance.
        Bookmark
        • Record: found
        • Abstract: found
        • Article: not found

        Predicting obesity in young adulthood from childhood and parental obesity.

        Childhood obesity increases the risk of obesity in adulthood, but how parental obesity affects the chances of a child's becoming an obese adult is unknown. We investigated the risk of obesity in young adulthood associated with both obesity in childhood and obesity in one or both parents. Height and weight measurements were abstracted from the records of 854 subjects born at a health maintenance organization in Washington State between 1965 and 1971. Their parents' medical records were also reviewed. Childhood obesity was defined as a body-mass index at or above the 85th percentile for age and sex, and obesity in adulthood as a mean body-mass index at or above 27.8 for men and 27.3 for women. In young adulthood (defined as 21 to 29 years of age), 135 subjects (16 percent) were obese. Among those who were obese during childhood, the chance of obesity in adulthood ranged from 8 percent for 1- or 2-year-olds without obese parents to 79 percent for 10-to-14-year-olds with at least one obese parent. After adjustment for parental obesity, the odds ratios for obesity in adulthood associated with childhood obesity ranged from 1.3 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.6 to 3.0) for obesity at 1 or 2 years of age to 17.5 (7.7 to 39.5) for obesity at 15 to 17 years of age. After adjustment for the child's obesity status, the odds ratios for obesity in adulthood associated with having one obese parent ranged from 2.2 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.1 to 4.3) at 15 to 17 years of age to 3.2 (1.8 to 5.7) at 1 or 2 years of age. Obese children under three years of age without obese parents are at low risk for obesity in adulthood, but among older children, obesity is an increasingly important predictor of adult obesity, regardless of whether the parents are obese. Parental obesity more than doubles the risk of adult obesity among both obese and nonobese children under 10 years of age.
          Bookmark
          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Environmental contributions to the obesity epidemic.

          The current epidemic of obesity is caused largely by an environment that promotes excessive food intake and discourages physical activity. Although humans have evolved excellent physiological mechanisms to defend against body weight loss, they have only weak physiological mechanisms to defend against body weight gain when food is abundant. Control of portion size, consumption of a diet low in fat and energy density, and regular physical activity are behaviors that protect against obesity, but it is becoming difficult to adopt and maintain these behaviors in the current environment. Because obesity is difficult to treat, public health efforts need to be directed toward prevention.
            Bookmark

            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
            [2 ]School of Nursing and Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
            [3 ]Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
            Contributors
            Journal
            Nutr J
            Nutrition Journal
            BioMed Central (London )
            1475-2891
            2005
            2 September 2005
            : 4
            : 24
            1208949
            1475-2891-4-24
            16138930
            10.1186/1475-2891-4-24
            Copyright © 2005 Dehghan et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Categories
            Review

            Nutrition & Dietetics

            Comments

            Comment on this article