Submitted to: Acta Paediatrica
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: February 25, 2005
Publication Date: June 1, 2005
Citation: Bowman, S.A. 2005. Pediatrician's office: a solution in the prevention of childhood obesity. Acta Paediatrica. 94(6):652-654.
Childhood obesity is on the rise globally. The World Health Organization estimates about 17.6 million children less than 5 years of age to be overweight worldwide. An overweight child has a higher likelihood of becoming an overweight adult. Hence the prevention of childhood obesity is critical to preventing obesity in the adulthood. This commentary highlights Genovesi and colleagues' study findings. The study was conducted at pediatricians' offices in Italy. The study authors have identified understanding how mothers perceived their children's overweight status as an important step in the prevention of childhood obesity. In general, mothers decide what foods and beverages their young children eat and drink daily. Therefore, food choices mothers make for their children may have a life-long influence on their children's food habits, body weight, and health. Mothers should have adequate nutrition knowledge so they are able to plan and provide nutritious meals to their children. Pediatricians may play a role in childhood obesity prevention interventions by helping mothers understand growth chart and provide mothers appropriate nutrition guidance for planning a balanced diet. Pediatricians should offer nutrition guidance in their office locations or direct mothers to nutrition counselors. They may make available in their offices, pamphlets on appropriate food choices for children and adults, recipes, menu planning, and tips on food shopping.