Childhood obesity: Current and novel approaches.
Sommaire de l'article
The prevalence of childhood obesity has increased over the last fifty years by approximately 5% per decade, and approximately a quarter of all children are now either overweight or obese. These children have a significantly increased risk of many future health problems including adult obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Despite this relentless increase, common-sense approaches aimed at prevention and treatment have failed to solve the problem. Current approaches at prevention have faced major challenges with some progress in implementing smaller scale programs and social marketing, but little action on broad public policy approaches which often appears unpalatable to society or individual governments. Meanwhile, treatment approaches have mainly focused on lifestyle change, and novel approaches are urgently needed. Prevention needs to shift to improving maternal health prior to conception, with more research focussed on the impact of early years in programming offspring to future overweight/obesity. Likewise, treatment paradigms need to move from simply thinking that obesity can be solved by readdressing diet and activity levels. Novel approaches are needed which take into consideration the complex physiology which regulates early childhood growth and the development of obesity in susceptible individuals.