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From the JAMA Network
August 25, 2015

Engaging Primary Care Clinicians in Early Obesity Prevention Research

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Counseling, School, and Educational Psychology, Graduate School of Education, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo
  • 2The Lewin Group, Falls Church, Virginia
  • 3Pediatric Unit, Verona University Medical School, Verona, Italy
  • 4Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
JAMA. 2015;314(8):823-824. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.6262

Childhood obesity is a public health problem of global significance. The medical and psychosocial comorbidities of childhood obesity are extensive, and the disorder is costly to individual children and societies. Particularly challenging is the “tracking” of obesity1: obese children tend to become obese adolescents, who in turn tend to become obese adults and harbor its many comorbidities. Although this certainly is not true of all obese children, environmental and biological pressures can undermine successful weight loss even among the most determined families. For these reasons, the prevention of childhood obesity is an international priority. However, controlled intervention trials striving to prevent childhood obesity are scarce, and even rarer are those occurring in the first 2 years of life. This presents an important opportunity for innovative early obesity prevention studies, guided by recent discoveries of biological and behavioral mechanisms.