Child and Adolescent Obesity

The problem of overweight and obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United Kingdom as well as globally. Childhood overweight and obesity are associated with several negative consequences. The Bogalusa Heart Study found that childhood obesity is associated with cardiovascular risk factors: of children with a Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥ 95th percentile, 39% had at least two cardiovascular risk factors. Overweight and obesity in childhood is also responsible for several psychological problems such as discrimination, lower self-esteem, depression, body image disturbance, rejection by peers, impaired quality of life, and stigmatization. Childhood obesity tends to persist into adulthood. Of children with a BMI ≥ 95th percentile, 65% had an adult BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2, further warranting the need for childhood obesity prevention efforts. With 43 million children around the world considered overweight or obese and an additional 92 million at risk of becoming overweight targeting childhood obesity worldwide has become a national priority. Community-based interventions are important in combating childhood obesity, since it will take the combined efforts and collective strength of schools, families, and communities to reverse obesity trends. A Systematic Review of Community-Based Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs Melinda J Ickes