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Pediatric obesity epidemiology

Orsi, Carisse M; Hale, Daniel E; Lynch, Jane L

Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity: February 2011 - Volume 18 - Issue 1 - p 14–22
doi: 10.1097/MED.0b013e3283423de1
Growth and development: Edited by Lynne L. Levitsky
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Purpose of review To provide updated summary of recently published data regarding pediatric obesity epidemiology.

Recent findings There is a burgeoning literature of pediatric obesity epidemiology, with type 2 diabetes trends serving as the harbinger for obesity related diseases in children. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System report a tripling of the prevalence of BMI at least 95% (obesity) among US school-age children and adolescents over the past three decades. Recent updates provide insight into infants and toddler obesity and explore the impact of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, school setting and geographic variations. International data confirm similar upward shifts in pediatric BMI distribution, especially in countries undergoing economic transitions favoring industrialized, western urban lifestyles.

Summary The health and financial consequences of this epidemic are a complex global public health dilemma. International efforts are underway to reverse these obesity trends. On-going analysis of obesity prevalence and exploration of potential causal associations are required to implement and assess the effectiveness of interventions and policies.

Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Correspondence to Jane L. Lynch, MD, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA Tel: +1 210 358 7550; fax: +1 210 358 7595; e-mail: Lynchj2@uthscsa.edu

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.