Childhood Obesity Dora Matagi

Topics: Obesity, Body mass index, Nutrition Pages: 10 (792 words) Published: April 15, 2015
Childhood Obesity: An

Dora Matagić, PO2


research evidence on a
number of aspects of childhood
 definition and prevalence
 consequences
 causes and prevention

mass index (BMI) as a
means of defining obesity in
children and adolescents


does matter to physical and
psychological health
there are adverse health risks for
both the obese child and the
adult who was obese as a child

Introduction and aim

to combat childhood
obesity have been overtaken by the
scale and speed of the childhood
obesity epidemic


summarising recent systematic
reviews on these topics in order to
provide an informed basis for future
interventions intended to tackle the
childhood obesity epidemic.


is a disorder in which the
body fat content has become so
high that it creates health
problems or and increased risk of
health problems.


body mass index (BMI), i.e.
weight (in kg) divided by height2
(m2) provides the best simple
means of defining overweight


BMI 25 or more = overweight;
BMI 30 or more = obesity.

high BMI for age in a boy or girl
(95th percentile or more) =


slightly lower BMI for age (85th
percentile or more) =


children and adolescents
have BMI percentiles that are
below our definitions of
overweight and obesity, but are
excessively fat


is no simple alternative to
the BMI which is evidence-based
at present

Prevalence: How common
is obesity and has it
changed over time?


in children and adolescents has
been increasing rapidly


2004 in England, obesity prevalence
(defined as BMI 95th centile or more)
14% in 2- to 10-year-olds
25 % in 11- to 15-year-olds


from families of lower
socioeconomic status and children from
some ethnic minority groups – higher
risks of being obese

Consequences of obesity – shortterm

risk of:

orthopaedic problems
(particularly in the foot and hip)

asthma symptoms and
psychosocial morbidity

Consequences of obesity – shortterm

effects on the cardiovascular

an abnormal blood lipid profile
chronic low-grade inflammation
higher blood pressure


effects on the metabolism of


risk of type 2 (non-insulindependent) diabetes

Consequences of obesity – shortterm

risk of developing type
1 diabetes (non-insulindependent or ‘childhood onset’

Consequences of obesity – longterm

persistence of obesity
an increased risk of premature
for women, impaired social,
educational and economic prospects
at least 70 % of contemporary obese
adolescents will become obese adults
liver disease (‘fatty liver’) and cancer

Consequences of obesity – longterm

should be taken seriously
by parents and by health and
other professionals


about obesity is acting
as a major barrier to efforts to
prevent it and treat it effectively

Causes of the childhood
obesity epidemic


is a disorder of energy balance


long-term requirement for lifestyle
change is a major contributor to the
failure of efforts to treat obesity once it
has become established.


metabolism’ is a myth

obesity is due to lifestyle rather
than underlying pathology


are many societal
influences on children’s eating
and calorie expenditure (physical
It is not helpful to focus blame for
eating and activity simply on the
child or the family

Prevention of childhood
obesity: current evidence


number of behavioural factors
might be regarded as the highest
priority targets for prevention


preventive interventions should
be focused on obesity rather than
generalised healthy living...
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