Solving The Problem Of Childhood Obesity

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The development of sweet corn-based syrups, increased vegetable oil consumption, food marketing strategies, relatively inexpensive cost of food in America, suppression of health information, and popularity of sugar-sweetened beverages have been speculated as likely factors in this increased intake [17,18].

Moreover, behaviors related to reduced energy expenditure, such as duration of television watching, are associated with increased BMIs [19].

However, less than 5% of cases of childhood obesity can be attributed to a single, identifiable cause [13].

Rather, obesity remains a complicated interplay of genetics, epigenetics, society, behaviors, and environmental factors.

childhood obesity, obesity management, obesity prevention Obesity-related behaviors are a leading cause of premature, preventable death in the United States, second only to smoking [1].

Obesity is associated with many chronic diseases, including, but not limited to, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, gallbladder disease, coronary artery disease, and hypercholesterolemia [2].Twin studies suggest a high heritability of adiposity [14].Epidemiologic studies of obesity reveal a higher risk in Hispanic, non-Hispanic black, and American Indian children [15].While these conditions typically affect adults, these comorbidities have become a growing concern in the pediatric population [3].Rates of obesity are at epidemic levels, and American children have not been exempt.Currently there are an estimated 43 million children under the age of 5 who are overweight or obese, a figure expected to rise to 60 million by 2020 [7].In 2014, more than 12% of American kindergarteners were obese, while nearly 15% were overweight.Obese adults strongly influence the risk of childhood obesity, and obese children are at high risk for becoming obese adults [4].Overweight in children is defined as ≥ 85 percentile and severe obesity is ≥ 99%ile [5,6].Many factors contribute to the obesity epidemic, reflecting the complex nature of the disease itself.Rare single gene defects in the leptin signaling pathway can cause obesity [11].

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