Childhood Obesity Dora Matagi

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

Dora Matagić, PO2

recent

research evidence on a
number of aspects of childhood
obesity:
 definition and prevalence
 consequences
 causes and prevention
body

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

it

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
Strategies

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

Aim:

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

Definitions
Obesity

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.

the

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

In

adults:
BMI 25 or more = overweight;
BMI 30 or more = obesity.
A

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

A

slightly lower BMI for age (85th
percentile or more) =
‘overweight’.

Many

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

There

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

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

Obesity

in children and adolescents has
been increasing rapidly

In




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

Children

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

Consequences of obesity – shortterm
increased

risk of:



orthopaedic problems
(particularly in the foot and hip)



asthma symptoms and
psychosocial morbidity

Consequences of obesity – shortterm
Adverse




effects on the cardiovascular

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

Adverse

effects on the metabolism of

glucose
higher

risk of type 2 (non-insulindependent) diabetes

Consequences of obesity – shortterm
Increased

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

Consequences of obesity – longterm
the

persistence of obesity
an increased risk of premature
mortality
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
obesity

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

ignorance

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

Causes of the childhood
obesity epidemic

Obesity

is a disorder of energy balance

The

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

‘slow
most

metabolism’ is a myth

obesity is due to lifestyle rather
than underlying pathology

There

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

Prevention of childhood
obesity: current evidence

a

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

any

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