National Childhood Obesity Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Month, as recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Sep 21, 2018
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Did you know that about 1 in 5 (19%) children in the United States have obesity? Simply put, childhood obesity is an epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention honors the month of September as National Childhood Obesity Month to raise awareness of childhood obesity. According to the CDC, obese children are at higher risk for developing chronic health conditions such as asthma and type 2 diabetes. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics website showcases recent research on the major health issue, which highlights that childhood obesity has increased significantly among some groups. The 2018 study "Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity in US Children, 1999-2016" reveals that children aged 2 to 5 years showed an increase in obesity from 2015 to 2016. The study further emphasized that White and Asian children have significantly lower rates of obesity than African American children and Hispanic children.

The newly revised chapter on childhood obesity in Rudolph's Pediatrics, 23rd edition delves into the factors that contribute to weight gain in children. According to Chapter 24: The Overweight or Obese Child, "Health disparities due to differences in access to healthy environments, resources, and health care may be contributing to this difference in prevalence. A child’s weight status is influenced by a combination of genetic, behavioral, environmental, and psychosocial variables."

The CDC further explains that lack of access to both affordable healthy food and community areas to get physical activity contribute to childhood obesity. An additional factor includes lack of sleep. 

Take a look at below Figure 21-1 from Clinical Care of the Child with Obesity to study an ecological model for childhood obesity to understand the underlying factors that contribute to the epidemic: 



Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website:  https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html

American Academy of Pediatrics website: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/New-Study-Finds-Childhood-Obesity-Epidemic-Continues-Overall.aspx

"Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity in US Children, 1999-2016" study: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/141/3/e20173459

Chapter 24 The Overweight or Obese Child: O'Connor T, Sisley S, Bacha F. The Overweight or Obese Child. In: Kline MW. eds. Rudolph's Pediatrics, 23e New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2018. https://accesspediatrics.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?sectionid=165072018&bookid=2126&Resultclick=2.

Figure 21-1: Hassink SG, Hampl SE, Huang JS, Slusser W. Clinical Care of the Child with Obesity: A Learner's and Teacher's Guide; 2016. 

Go to the profile of Leah Carton

Leah Carton

Editorial Assistant, McGraw-Hill Education

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