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Childhood obesity in America

Van Grouw, Jacqueline M.; Volpe, Stella L.

Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity: October 2013 - Volume 20 - Issue 5 - p 396–400
doi: 10.1097/
OBESITY AND NUTRITION: Edited by Caroline M. Apovian and Jeffrey I. Mechanick

Purpose of review To provide an overview of the current advances in childhood obesity physiology, intervention, and prevention.

Recent findings Structural and functional brain impairments are present in obese adolescents with metabolic syndrome (MetS). Aerobic training for 20 or 40 min per day produced similar affects on metabolic risk factors. Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to improve the metabolic risk factors in obese children; however, obese children require greater doses to treat vitamin D deficiency. A 10-week community-based exergaming weight management program significantly decreased the BMI in obese children.

Summary There is surmounting research on MetS and its associated risk factors in obese children. Gaining a comprehensive overview of the factors associated with obesity in children is crucial in developing the most effective intervention strategies. Community-based and family-centered interventions have generated positive results in reducing children's BMI and improving MetS risk factors. In addition to obesity intervention efforts, ongoing prevention initiatives are imperative to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity.

Department of Nutrition Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Correspondence to Dr Stella L. Volpe, PhD, RD, LDN, FACSM, Department of Nutrition Sciences, Drexel University, 245 North 15th Street, Bellet Building 521, Mail Stop 1030, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA. Tel: +1 215 762 7014; e-mail:

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