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ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #349584

Title: The overweight or obese child

item O'CONNOR, TERESIA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item SISLEY, STEPHANIE - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item BACHA, FIDA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2018
Publication Date: 1/8/2018
Citation: O'Connor, T., Sisley, S., Bacha, F. 2018. The overweight or obese child. In: Kline, M.W., Blaney, S.M., Giardino, A.P., Orange, J.S., Penny, D.J., Schutze, G.E., Shekerdemian, L.S., editors. Rudolph's Pediatrics. 23rd edition, Volume 1. Sykesville, MD: McGraw-Hill Medical. p. 1-7.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Childhood obesity has been identified as a critical medical and public health problem due to both an increase in prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and the increased risk for obesity-associated diseases and conditions in these children. Reports from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 31.8% of the US pediatric population, 2 to 19 years old, were overweight in 2011-12, and 16.9% were obese. The incidence of overweight and obesity has tripled in the United States over the past 3 decades, leading to the prediction that the current generation of children will have a shorter life expectancy than that of their parents. Also alarming is the increasing prevalence of extreme obesity among children, with 6% of youth aged 2 to 19 years old meeting that criteria in 2013-4. Children who have extreme obesity are at particularly high risk for developing obesity-associated comorbidities and diseases, including some that were previously considered only of adult onset, such as type 2 diabetes. The incidence of both overweight and obesity increases as children get older. Many physicians recommend greater efforts to prevent the development of obesity starting in early childhood to reverse this troubling trend. Ethnic minority children in the United States, specifically Hispanic and non-Hispanic black children, are at greatest risk for overweight and obesity. Health disparities due to differences in access to healthy environments, resources, and health care may be contributing to this difference in prevalence. A child’s weight status is influenced by a combination of genetic, behavioral, environmental, and psychosocial variables. Interventions that attempt to prevent or treat obesity among children need to consider the complex interactions of these variables and ensure that the underlying factors for the current health disparities in obesity rates are addressed.