Along with adults, children have been victims of the epidemic in overweight and obesity since the 1980's. Childhood obesity presages adult obesity. The association of obesity with chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and arthritis is well established in adults. Health care providers are increasingly diagnosing typical "adult" chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and hypertension in children. Primary prevention of childhood obesity is based on lifestyle, non-medical interventions that could benefit not only children but entire communities as well. Several state and local school-based interventions have documented success in slowing the rate of rise of childhood obesity. These examples demonstrate that a low cost primary prevention intervention may be effective in decreasing childhood obesity, therefore conveying long-term positive health benefits. If the epidemic of obesity is reversed, one would predict that the growth of health care expenditures related to obesity would slow or even reverse in the long term. Effective primary prevention strategies aimed at childhood obesity are essential to improving the future health of the nation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nutrition and Dietetics