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August 2013

Childhood Obesity: Is There Effective Treatment?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Denver, Aurora, Colorado
JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(8):697-699. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.102

Over the past 3 decades, the worldwide prevalence of obesity and overweight has steadily increased among child populations.1,2 Though rates appear to have recently plateaued in some US demographic subgroups, including non-Hispanic white individuals and those of higher socioeconomic status, stark racial and ethnic disparities are still evident as the prevalence of obesity among Hispanic and African American children is nearly twice that of non-Hispanic white children.3 Serious gradients in the burden of childhood obesity have been observed across socioeconomically disadvantaged children in industrialized and developing countries throughout the world.4,5 Increased adiposity during childhood has a significant impact on cardiometabolic health6,7 and, perhaps most alarmingly, is highly predictive of obesity during adulthood along with a broad range of adverse health effects that are independent of adult body mass index.8 Clinicians and public health professionals have an acute need for effective interventions to mitigate these factors.

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