Obesity: a growing problem
ABSTRACT Obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or more, is common in many parts of the world, especially in the established market economies, the former socialist economies of Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle Eastern Crescent. As many as 250 million people worldwide may be obese (7% of the adult population) and two to three times as many may be considered overweight. The prevalence of obesity seems to be increasing in most parts of the world, even where it used to be rare. Increased fatness, measured by a high BMI, a large waist circumference or a high waist/hip circumference ratio, is associated with many chronic diseases as well as with poor physical functioning. Assessments of the prevalence of obesity, and trends in this prevalence over time, are more difficult in children than adults, due to the lack of international criteria for classifying individuals as overweight or obese. The World Health Organization has now recommended the use of BMI-for-age percentiles, but the reference curves are still under development. France. The Netherlands, the UK and the USA are among the countries that have reported recent increases in the prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents. Although there are no accurate estimates of the components of energy balance and their changes over time, the available evidence suggests that the trends in obesity rates are related more to a reduction in energy expenditure than to an increase in caloric intake. Prevention of obesity through the promotion of a healthy lifestyle is among the important challenges for the new millennium, and should start in childhood.
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ABSTRACT: Globally, obesity is affecting an increasing proportion of children. Physical activity plays an important role in the prevention of becoming overweight and obese in childhood and adolescence, and reducing the risk of obesity in adulthood. Puberty and the following adolescent period are acknowledged as particularly vulnerable times for the development of obesity due to sexual maturation and, in many individuals, a concomitant reduction in physical activity. In many Western settings, a large proportion of children and adolescents do not meet recommended physical activity guidelines and, typically, those who are more physically active have lower levels of body fat than those who are less active. Active behaviours have been displaced by more sedentary pursuits which have contributed to reductions in physical activity energy expenditure. Without appropriate activity engagement there is an increased likelihood that children will live less healthy lives than their parents. Owing to the high risk of overweight adolescents becoming obese adults, the engagement of children and adolescents in physical activity and sport is a fundamental goal of obesity prevention.British journal of sports medicine 09/2011; 45(11):866-70. DOI:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090199 · 4.17 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine how emotional, external and restrained eating behavior and other health-related lifestyle factors were associated with being overweight in adolescents. Moreover, demographic and ethnic differences in eating behavior have been examined. The respondents were 10,087 Dutch adolescents aged 11-16 years (M= 13.0, SD= 0.8). Self-reported eating behavior was measured with the DEBQ. Health-related lifestyle was determined by physical activity, breakfasting, fruit consumption and snacking. High restrained, and low external eating were positively associated with being overweight, whereas no significant association between emotional eating and being overweight was found for girls, and a negative association for boys. Adolescents who ate breakfast on a daily basis were less likely to be overweight than those who ate breakfast irregularly or never. Being overweight was positively associated with fruit consumption for girls and negatively with physical activity for boys.Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 03/2007; 48(1):23-32. DOI:10.1111/j.1467-9450.2006.00568.x · 1.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Obesity is a worldwide public health problem impacting not only industrialized nations but also developing countries. The main objective of this paper was to analyze risk factors for overweight among Amerindian children and their mothers. Data were collected in 15 Amerindian riverside communities from the Beni River (Bolivia). The total sample was of 195 mothers and 452 children, 0-15 years of age. Information about family activity and dietary patterns was collected, and a clinical examination was performed. Stool samples were collected in children for parasitological screening. Anthropometric measurements, including weight, height, arm circumference, and four skinfolds, were taken. A bioelectrical impedance analysis was performed in mothers. In total, 12.2% (95% confidence interval (CI(95%)) 9.1-15.9%) of the children were considered overweight; less than 1% were overtly obese International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) criteria. Among their mothers, 35.3% (CI(95%), 28.7-42.5%) were overweight (BMI (weight/height (2)) >25 kg/m(2)), and 5% (CI(95%), 2.5-5.1%) were obese (BMI >30 kg/m(2)). BMI was moderately related to anthropometric indices of body composition in children, but was highly correlated with fatness in mothers. The risk of overweight was not associated with environmental factors in children. In mothers, there was a significant relationship between BMI, health status, and dietary diversity score. There was a moderate association in boys between fatness and the BMI of their mothers (R(2) = 0.12, P < 0.001), but not in girls. These findings suggest a trend toward accumulation of fat related to possible changes at the economic and agricultural levels, even in remote rural areas.American Journal of Human Biology 01/2007; 19(1):61-73. DOI:10.1002/ajhb.20580 · 1.93 Impact Factor