Childhood obesity is a significant risk factor for future health problems and is now considered a major public health problem.
It is becoming evident in younger age groups with studies showing a sizable increase in the percentage of overweight children
between the ages of two and three years (Nelson, Ford 2004).
The prevalence of overweight among 4 & 5 year olds increased from 5% to 10.4% between 1976 and 2000 (Patrick & Nicklas,
For overweight children the probability that overweight persists into adulthood, increases with child’s age from 20% among overweight
4 year olds to 80% among overweight teenagers (Thorpe et al 2004).
Hence efforts to prevent overweight should begin in early childhood (Walker & Avis, 1999).
Various factors influence the likelihood of a child becoming obese.
Parental knowledge and dietary habits, lack of physical activity, indiscriminate eating habits of
processed foods that lack nutrititious value, sugary drinks, watching TV or sitting in front of computers without much activity, and genetics contribute to this epidemic.
Intervention and prevention strategies for childhood obesity are a family-focused
Prevention, prior to development of obesity, is more effective than most corrective
Community involvement in developing opportunities for a
healthy lifestyle needs to be a combined effort with any intervention aimed at individuals and
Detailed discussion is done in the book below written by a high school