A Short Scientific Review of Childhood Obesity – Discovery UK

In order to conduct a scientific review on childhood obesity it is first necessary to review the existing evidence base relating to child obesity with particular attention to any consensus relating to modifiable contributors to childhood obesity. Although ultimately the result of an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure, childhood obesity results from a complex set of upstream determinants and is a serious public health problem [1]. It involves genetic, metabolic, environmental and behavioural components that are interrelated and potentially confounding, thus making causal pathways difficult to define, and what works in terms of childhood obesity interventions is still not clear [2]. According to Weiss, [3] “The driving force of the epidemic of obesity in adults and children alike, is a ‘toxic’ environment which leads to maladaptive behavioural changes concerning the food we consume, the amount of physical activity we perform daily and the way we spend our free time.”

In his summary of the volume of research into child obesity intervention and prevention programmes Manfred Muller Editor of Obesity Reviews said: “Faced with the serious trends in obesity, prevention of childhood overweight has become a major topic of research. Accordingly there are many individual studies as well as 44 (!) systematic reviews on prevention of child obesity. Both, trends in obesity and also trends in reviews on obesity prevention are serious. These reviews do not add to the solution of the problem. Thus I consider them as wrong turnings that wasted time… I feel that they will add to a never ending and self-perpetuating story that in addition may camouflage the ‘simple’ answers… Rising obesity is primarily the result of increasing food supply, overvaluation of food and consuming more calories i.e. mostly inappropriate energy dense food [4].

It has been shown that 34% of overweight children aged seven years go on to become obese at aged 11 [5] and weight in childhood is predictive of weight in adulthood, with the strength of association growing with age [6, 7]. Most overweight children and adolescents go on to become overweight or obese adults [8].

To read the rest of the review please click the below link:

childhood_obesity_short_scientific_review.pdf

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