Childhood obesity is a major public health crisis nationally and internationally. The prevalence of childhood obesity has increased over few years. It is caused by imbalance between calorie intake and calories utilized. One or more factors (genetic, behavioral, and environmental) cause obesity in children. Physical, psychological, and social health problems are caused due to childhood obesity. Hence, effective intervention strategies are being used to prevent and control obesity in children. The purpose of this manuscript is to address various factors influencing childhood obesity, a variety of interventions and governmental actions addressing obesity and the challenges ahead for managing this epidemic.
In order to collect materials for this review a detailed search of CINAHL, MEDLINE, ERIC, Academic Search Premier databases was carried out for the time period 1999-2011.
Some of the interventions used were family based, school based, community based, play based, and hospital based. The effective school-based interventions were seen targeting physical activity along with healthy diet education. The major challenges faced by these intervention programs are financial, along with stigmatization of obese children. Governments along with other health care organizations are taking effective actions like policy changing and environmentally safe interventions for children to improve physical activity.
In conclusion, childhood obesity can be tackled at the population level by education, prevention and sustainable interventions related to healthy nutrition practices and physical activity promotion.
Keywords: Calorie imbalance, childhood obesity, interventions, physical activity, policy changing