Over the last 30 years, the prevalence of overweight across all pediatric age groups and ethnicities has increased substantially, with the current prevalence of overweight among adolescents estimated to be approximately 30%. Current evidence suggests that overweight is modestly associated with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) among young children, but strongly associated with OSAS in older children and adolescents. The rising incidence of pediatric overweight likely will impact the prevalence, presentation, and treatment of childhood OSAS. The subgroup of children who may be especially susceptible include ethnic minorities and those from households with caregivers from low socioeconomic groups. OSAS, by exposing children to recurrent intermittent hypoxemia or oxidative stress, may amplify the adverse effects of adiposity on systemic inflammation and metabolic perturbations associated with vascular disease and diabetes. When these conditions manifest early in life, they have the potential to alter physiology at critical developmental stages, or, if persistent, provide cumulative exposures that may powerfully alter long-term health profiles. An increased prevalence of overweight also may impact the response to adenotonsillectomy as a primary treatment for childhood OSAS. The high and anticipated increased prevalence of pediatric OSAS mandates assessment of optimal approaches for preventing and treating both OSAS and overweight across the pediatric age range. In this Pulmonary Perspective, the interrelationships between pediatric OSAS and overweight are reviewed, and the implications of the overweight epidemic on childhood OSAS are discussed.
sleep apnea; childhood obesity; childhood overweight
OBJECTIVE: The authors sought to estimate the prevalence of overweight and risk for overweight and to examine relationships between body mass index (BMI) and socioeconomic and demographic characteristics among children in Philadelphia and four neighboring counties. METHODS: Data from the 2002 Philadelphia Health Management Corporation Household Health Survey was examined. RESULTS: Of 2,621 children aged 2 to 17 years, 36% were overweight or at risk for overweight and 23% were overweight. Prevalences of overweight and at risk for overweight were higher among younger children than among older children and adolescents. African American, Hispanic, and Asian children had higher prevalences than non-Hispanic white children. Childhood overweight was positively associated with household poverty, lower educational status, and higher BMI in the adult survey respondents. CONCLUSIONS: The observed inverse relationship between age and the prevalence of overweight among Southeastern Pennsylvania children and adolescents differs from previous reports of the prevalence of overweight in samples of U.S. children and adolescents. The high prevalence of overweight among children aged 2 to 9 years should focus attention on improving nutrition and increasing opportunities for physical activity and exercise among preschool and early school-age children.
Obesity constitutes a major health problem in the United States. Hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, diabetes and gout are often associated with obesity and may be a direct result of persistent obesity in adult life.
Obesity frequently has its beginnings in childhood and adolescence. Unfortunately, obesity which develops in early life is a progressive problem. Eighty per cent of overweight children and adolescents will continue to be overweight as adults.12 Furthermore, adults with a history of obesity in childhood are the most resistant to treatment.
Recent studies have shown there is more than one body constitutional type among obese adolescents. Obese adolescents tend to eat less than non-obese controls. While obesity may be found to have many different causative factors, efforts to control this disease may be most successful in the area of primary prevention.
Children and adolescents are important target groups for prevention of overweight and obesity as overweight is often developed early in life and tracks into adulthood. Research into behaviors related to overweight (energy balance-related behaviors) and the personal and environmental determinants of these behaviors is fundamental to inform prevention interventions. In the Netherlands and in other countries systematic research into environmental determinants of energy balance related behaviors in younger adolescents is largely lacking. This protocol paper describes the design, the components and the methods of the ENDORSE study (Environmental Determinants of Obesity in Rotterdam SchoolchildrEn), that aims to identify important individual and environmental determinants of behaviors related to overweight and obesity and the interactions between these determinants among adolescents.
The ENDORSE study is a longitudinal study with a two-year follow-up of a cohort of adolescents aged 12–15 years. Data will be collected at baseline (2005/2006) and at two years follow-up (2007/2008). Outcome measures are body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, time spent in physical activity and sedentary behaviors, and soft drink, snack and breakfast consumption. The ENDORSE study consists of two phases, first employing qualitative research methods to inform the development of a theoretical framework to examine important energy balance related behaviors and their determinants, and to inform questionnaire development. Subsequently, the hypothetical relationships between behavioral determinants, energy balance related behaviors and BMI will be tested in a quantitative study combining school-based surveys and measurements of anthropometrical characteristics at baseline and two-year follow-up.
The ENDORSE project is a comprehensive longitudinal study that enables investigation of specific environmental and individual determinants of overweight and obesity among younger adolescents. The project will result in specific recommendations for obesity prevention interventions among younger adolescents.
Even though the obesity epidemic continues to grow in various parts of the world, recent reports have highlighted disparities in obesity trends across countries. There is little empirical evidence on the development and growth of obesity in Lebanon and other countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Acknowledging the need for effective obesity preventive measures and for accurate assessment of trends in the obesity epidemic, this study aims at examining and analyzing secular trends in the prevalence of overweight and obesity over a 12-year period in Lebanon.
Based on weight and height measurements obtained from two national cross-sectional surveys conducted in 1997 and 2009 on subjects 6 years of age and older, BMI was calculated and the prevalence of obesity was determined based on BMI for adults and BMI z-scores for children and adolescents, according to WHO criteria. Age -and sex- adjusted odds ratios for overweight and obesity were determined, with the 1997 year as the referent category. Annual rates of change in obesity prevalence per sex and age group were also calculated.
The study samples included a total of 2004 subjects in the 1997 survey and 3636 in the 2009 survey. Compared to 1997, mean BMI values were significantly higher in 2009 among all age and sex groups, except for 6–9 year old children. Whereas the prevalence of overweight appeared stable over the study period in both 6–19 year old subjects (20.0% vs. 21.2%) and adults aged 20 years and above (37.0% vs. 36.8%), the prevalence of obesity increased significantly (7.3% vs. 10.9% in 6–19 year olds; 17.4% vs. 28.2% in adults), with the odds of obesity being 2 times higher in 2009 compared to 1997, in both age groups (OR = 1.96, 95% CI:1.29-2.97 and OR = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.67-2.43, respectively). The annual rates of change in obesity prevalence ranged between +4.1% in children and adolescents and +5.2% in adults.
The study’s findings highlight an alarming increase in obesity prevalence in the Lebanese population, over the 12-year study period, and alert to the importance of formulating policies and nutritional strategies to curb the obesity rise in the country.
Obesity; Trends; Adults; Children; Adolescents; Lebanon
The epidemic of overweight and obesity around the world and in the US is a major public health challenge, with 1.5 billion overweight and obese adults worldwide, and 68% of US adults and 31% of US children and adolescents overweight or obese. Obesity leads to serious health consequences, including an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and heart disease. Current preventive and medical treatments include lifestyle modification, medication, and bariatric surgery in extreme cases; however, they are either not very efficacious or are very expensive. Obesity is a complex condition involving the dysregulation of several organ systems and molecular pathways, including adipose tissue, the pancreas, the gastrointestinal tract, and the CNS. The role of the CNS in obesity is receiving more attention as obesity rates rise and treatments continue to fail. While the role of the hypothalamus in regulation of appetite and food intake has long been recognized, the roles of the CNS reward systems are beginning to be examined as the role of environmental influences on energy balance are explored.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential nutrients that play a beneficial role in several disease processes due to their anti-inflammatory effects, modulation of lipids, and effects on the CNS. Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, have shown promising preliminary results in animal and human studies in the prevention and treatment of obesity. Given their effects on many of the pathways involved in obesity, and specifically in the endocannabinoid and mesocorticolimbic pathways, we hypothesize that EPA and DHA supplementation in populations can reduce the reward associated with food, thereby reduce appetite and food intake, and ultimately contribute to the prevention or reduction of obesity. If these fatty acids do harbor such potential, their supplementation in many parts of the world may hold great promise in reducing the global burden of obesity.
The negative impact of overweight (including obesity) and related treatment on children's and adolescents' health-related quality of life (HRQoL) has been shown in few specific samples thus far. We examined HRQoL and emotional well-being in overweight children from an outpatient treatment sample as well as changes of these parameters during treatment.
In a cross-sectional design, self-reported HRQoL of 125 overweight (including obese) children who contacted a treatment facility, but had not yet receive treatment, were compared to 172 children from randomly selected schools using independent two-sample t-tests. Additionally, in a longitudinal design, the overweight children were retested by administering the same questionnaire at the end of the intervention (after one year). It included measures such as the body mass index (BMI), the general health item (GHI), the KINDLR, and the Child Dynamic Health Assessment Scale (ChildDynHA). Comparisons were based on dependent t-tests and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test.
Overweight children showed statistically significant impairment in the GHI (Cohen's d = 0.59) and emotional well-being (ChildDynha) (d = 0.33) compared to the school children. With respect to HRQoL, the friends dimension of the KINDLR was significantly impaired in the overweight group (d = 0.33). However, no impairment was found for the total HRQoL score or other KINDLR subdimensions. Regarding the longitudinal part of our study, most of the children improved their BMI, but the majority (87.5%) remained overweight. Nevertheless, the participants' perceived health, emotional well-being, and generic as well as disease-specific HRQoL improved during intervention.
The findings emphasize the importance of patient-reported outcomes such as HRQoL. Even though overweight and obesity might accompany most of the children throughout their lifetime, the impairment associated with this chronic condition can be considerably reduced. Opportunities of health promotion in overweight/obese children and adolescents are discussed.
Family-based treatment (FBT) is emerging as a treatment of choice for adolescent anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). This paper reviews the history of FBT, core clinical and theoretical elements, and key findings from the FBT for AN and BN treatment outcome literature. In addition, we address clinical questions and controversies regarding FBT for eating disorders, including whether FBT is clinically appropriate for all adolescents (e.g., older adolescents, patients with comorbid conditions), and whether it indicated for all types of families (e.g., critical, enmeshed, and non-intact families). Finally, we outline recently manualized, innovative applications of FBT for new populations currently under early investigation, such as FBT as a preventive/early intervention for AN, FBT for young adults with eating disorders, and FBT for pediatric overweight.
family-based treatment; eating disorders; adolescents
Question There is a large population of overweight and obese children in my clinic. What medications for treatment of obesity are effective and can be used in children?
Answer Orlistat is the only medication indicated by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of obesity in adolescents. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in adolescents aged 12 years and older. There is no single approach to successful treatment of obesity, and lifestyle modification should be maintained throughout the pharmacologic treatment.
The metabolic syndrome (MS) in adults is defined as a concurrence of obesity, disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism, hypertension and dyslipidemia, and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Studies now indicate that many of its components are also present in children and adolescents. Moreover, the clustering of these risk factors has been documented in some children, who are at increased cardiovascular risk in adulthood. The MS is highly prevalent among overweight children and adolescents. Identifying these children is important for early prevention and treatment of different components of the syndrome. The first-line treatment comprises lifestyle modification consisting of diet and exercise. The most effective tool for prevention of the MS is to stop the development of childhood obesity. The first attempt at consensus-based pediatric diagnostic criteria was published in 2007 by the International Diabetes Federation. Nevertheless, national prevalence data, based on uniform pediatric definition, protocols for prevention, early recognition and effective treatment of pediatric MS are still needed.
The aim of this article is to provide a short overview of the diagnosis and treatment options of childhood MS, as well as to present the relationships between MS and its individual components.
metabolic syndrome; cardiovascular diseases; obesity; child; prevention; treatment.
Parents have significant influence on behaviors and perceptions surrounding eating, body image and weight in adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of body weight dissatisfaction, difficulty in communication with the parents and the relationship between communication with parents and adolescents' dissatisfaction with their body weight (dieting or perceived need to diet).
Survey data were collected from adolescents in 24 countries and regions in Europe, Canada, and the USA who participated in the cross-sectional 2001/2002 Health Behaviour of School-Aged Children (HBSC) study. The association between communication with parents and body weight dissatisfaction was examined using binary logistic regression analysis.
Body weight dissatisfaction was highly prevalent and more common among girls than boys, among overweight than non-overweight, and among older adolescents than younger adolescents. Difficulty in talking to father was more common than difficulty in talking to mother in all countries and it was greater among girls than among boys and increased with age. Difficulties in talking to father were associated with weight dissatisfaction among both boys and girls in most countries. Difficulties in talking to mother were rarely associated with body weight dissatisfaction among boys while among girls this association was found in most countries.
The findings suggest that enhanced parent communication might contribute in most countries to less body dissatisfaction in girls and better communication with the father can help avoiding body weight dissatisfaction in boys. Professionals working with adolescents and their families should help adolescents to have a healthy weight and positive body image and promote effective parent – adolescent communication.
Childhood obesity is associated with the early development of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, to date, traditional methods of research have failed to identify effective prevention and treatment strategies, and large numbers of children and adolescents continue to be at high risk of developing weight-related disease.
To establish a unique 'biorepository' of data and biological samples from overweight and obese children, in order to investigate the complex 'gene × environment' interactions that govern disease risk.
The 'Childhood Overweight BioRepository of Australia' collects baseline environmental, clinical and anthropometric data, alongside storage of blood samples for genetic, metabolic and hormonal profiles. Opportunities for longitudinal data collection have also been incorporated into the study design. National and international harmonisation of data and sample collection will achieve required statistical power.
Ethical approval in the parent site has been obtained and early data indicate a high response rate among eligible participants (71%) with a high level of compliance for comprehensive data collection (range 56% to 97% for individual study components). Multi-site ethical approval is now underway.
In time, it is anticipated that this comprehensive approach to data collection will allow early identification of individuals most susceptible to disease, as well as facilitating refinement of prevention and treatment programs.
The prevalence of childhood and adolescent obesity continues to rise in the United States (US). Immediate health consequences are being observed, and long-term risks are mounting within the pediatric population, secondary to obesity. The hallmark of prevention and treatment of obesity in children and adolescents includes lifestyle modification (i.e., dietary modification, increased physical activity, and behavioral modifications). However, when intensive lifestyle modification is insufficient to reach weight loss goals, adjunctive pharmacotherapy is recommended. Among the group of weight-loss medications, orlistat is the only US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved prescription drug for the treatment of overweight and obese adolescents. Other medications, including metformin, need larger studies to establish their role in treatment. No single approach to management of pediatric obesity is the answer, given the complexity of the disorder and the many reasons for failure. Evidence of weight loss medications in addition to lifestyle modification supports short-term efficacy for treatment of obese children and adolescents, although long-term results remain unclear.
adolescents; children; obese; obesity; overweight
QUESTION In my clinic I have a large population of overweight and obese children. There is a range of weight-loss supplements marketed for the adult population. What natural health products for treatment of obesity are effective and can be used in children?
ANSWER Weight-loss supplements lack sufficient data supporting their efficacy and safety, even in adults. Most weight-loss supplements cannot be recommended at this time for children. Options for obese adolescents include increasing consumption of fibre with diet or using fibre supplements, such as glucomannan. Dietary fibres can also prevent side effects of orlistat, the only medication available for treatment of obese adolescents.
Health political background
In 2006, the prevalence of overweight and adiposity among children and adolescents aged three to 17 years is 15%, 6.3% (800,000) of these are obese.
Obese children and adolescents have an increased body fat ratio. The reasons for overweight are – among others – sociocultural factors, and a low social status as determined by income and educational level of the parents. The consequences of adiposity during childhood are a higher risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and increased mortality in adulthood. Possible approaches to primary prevention in children and adolescents are measures taken in schools and kindergarten, as well as education and involvement of parents. Furthermore, preventive measures geared towards changing environmental and living conditions are of particular importance.
What is the effectiveness and efficiency of different measures and programs (geared towards changing behaviour and environmental and living conditions) for primary prevention of adiposity in children and adolescents, with particular consideration of social aspects?
The systematic literature search yielded 1,649 abstracts. Following a two-part selection process with predefined criteria 31 publications were included in the assessment.
The majority of interventions evaluated in primary studies take place in schools. As the measures are mostly multi-disciplinary and the interventions are often not described in detail, no criteria of success for the various interventions can be extrapolated from the reviews assessed. An economic model calculation for Australia, which compares the efficiency of different interventions (although on the basis of low evidence) comes to the conclusion that the intervention with the greatest impact on society is the reduction of TV-ads geared towards children for foods and drinks rich in fat and sugar. There is a significant correlation between adiposity and socioeconomic deprivation. The lack of interventions (especially preventive measures geared towards changing environmental and living conditions) and studies focusing on this population group is noticeable.
There are only a few primary studies of high quality on adiposity prevention in children and adolescents. Especially studies which compare different measures are lacking. This holds also true for the economic analysis, which seems logical insofar, as the basis for economic analyses are usually primary studies (preferably randomized controlled trials (RCT)) due to their evidence level). Studies on interventions geared towards changing environmental and living conditions and towards specific population groups (i. e. the socially disadvantaged) are hardly available.
There are hardly any primary studies of high quality on adiposity prevention in children and adolescents, especially studies which compare different measures are lacking. Interventions geared towards specific population groups (particularly for the socioeconomically disadvantaged) are specifically underrepresented. Establishing such studies is an essential requirement of adiposity prevention. Recommended are a combination of measures geared towards changing environmental and living conditions and towards specific population groups. Furthermore, it is recommended to systematically register future programs (preferably online) in order to be able to draft criteria of success.
Almost half of the adult Dutch population is currently overweight and the prevalence of overweight children is rising at alarming rates as well. Obese children consult their general practitioner (GP) more often than normal weight children. The Dutch government has assigned a key role to the GP in the prevention of overweight.
The DOERAK cohort study aims to clarify differences between overweight and non-overweight children that consult the GP; are there differences in number of consultations and type and course of complaints? Is overweight associated with lower quality of life or might this be influenced by the type of complaint? What is the activity level of overweight children compared to non-overweight children? And is (sustained) overweight of children associated with parameters related to the energy balance equation?
A total of 2000 overweight (n = 500) and non-overweight children (n = 1500) aged 2 to 18 years who consult their GP, for any type of complaint in the South-West of the Netherlands are included.
At baseline, height, weight and waist circumference are measured during consultation. The number of GP consultations over the last twelve months and accompanying diagnoses are acquired from the medical file. Complaints, quality of life and parameters related to the energy balance equation are assessed with an online questionnaire children or parents fill out at home. Additionally, children or parents keep a physical activity diary during the baseline week, which is validated in a subsample (n = 100) with an activity monitor. Parents fill out a questionnaire about demographics, their own activity behaviour and perceptions on dietary habits and activity behaviour, health and weight status of their child. The physical and lifestyle behaviour questions are repeated at 6, 12 and 24 months follow-up.
The present study is a prospective observational cohort in a primary care setting.
The DOERAK cohort study is the first prospective study that investigates a large cohort of overweight and non-overweight children in primary care. The total study population is expected to be recruited by 2013, results will be available in 2015.
Shape and weight concerns among overweight pre-adolescents heighten risk for eating disorders and weight gain. Treatment and prevention efforts require consideration of psychosocial factors that co-occur with these concerns. This study involved 200 overweight pre-adolescents, aged 7–12 years (M age = 9.8; SD = 1.4), presenting for family-based weight control treatment. Hierarchical regression was used to examine the influence of pre-adolescents’ individual characteristics and social experiences, and their parents’ psychological symptoms, on shape and weight concerns as assessed by the Child Eating Disorder Examination. Findings revealed that higher levels of dietary restraint, greater feelings of loneliness, elevated experiences with weight-related teasing, and higher levels of parents’ eating disorder symptoms predicted higher shape and weight concerns among overweight pre-adolescents. Interventions addressing overweight pre-adolescents’ disordered eating behaviors and social functioning, as well as their parents’ disordered eating behaviors and attitudes, may be indicated for those endorsing shape and weight concerns.
Weight/shape concerns; Social relationships; Overweight; Pre-adolescents
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is reduced in obese children and adolescents, especially in clinical samples. However, little is known regarding the HRQoL of moderately overweight youth. Moreover, several studies have indicated perceived overweight as a critical factor associated with lower HRQoL. Our main objective was to compare HRQoL between treatment-seeking overweight youth and the general adolescent population, whilst separating the effects of treatment-seeking status and perceived weight from those of objective weight status.
We compared the HRQoL of a clinical sample of overweight youth (N=137 patients, mean age±s.e.=11.24±0.15 years) with that of a representative population sample (N=6354, mean age=12.75±0.03 years). The population sample was subdivided into groups based on measured and perceived weight status. We used hierarchical linear models to compare HRQoL subscale scores (self- and parent-reported) between patients and population groups, adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics and taking into account clustering of the population sample.
The parent-reported HRQoL of the treatment sample was significantly lower than that of other overweight youth perceived as ‘too fat’ on two subscales: ‘self-esteem’ and ‘friends’ (effect sizes: d=0.31 and 0.34, respectively). On other subscales, patients scored lower than adolescents perceived as having a ‘proper weight’ by their parents. The patterns for self-reported HRQoL in adolescents were different: patients reported higher self-esteem than other overweight youth feeling ‘too fat’ (d=-0.39). Female patients also reported higher physical well-being (d=-0.48), whereas males scored lowest among all compared groups (d=0.42-0.95). Patients did not differ from other overweight youth who felt ‘too fat’ with respect to other HRQoL dimensions. In general, lower HRQoL was primarily associated with a perceived, rather than actual, overweight status.
The treatment-seeking status of overweight youth was notably associated with low social well-being, which may therefore be the main motive for seeking treatment. Other HRQoL domains were not consistently reduced in treatment-seekers. Our results further indicate that perceived overweight rather than actual overweight impacts HRQoL in youth with a modest excess weight. These results have implications for interventions in overweight youth and in individuals who are dissatisfied with their weight.
‘Obeldicks light’ is registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00422916).
Health-related quality of life; Overweight; Obesity; Weight perception; Body image; Children and adolescents; Treatment-seeking status
The European Society of Hypertension has recently published its recommendations on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure in children and adolescents. Taking this contribution as a starting point the Study Group of Hypertension of the Italian Society of Pediatrics together with the Italian Society of Hypertension has conducted a reappraisal of the most recent literature on this subject. The present review does not claim to be an exhaustive description of hypertension in the pediatric population but intends to provide Pediatricians with practical and updated indications in order to guide them in this often unappreciated problem.
This document pays particular attention to the primary hypertension which represents a growing problem in children and adolescents. Subjects at elevated risk of hypertension are those overweight, with low birth weight and presenting a family history of hypertension. However, also children who do not present these risk factors may have elevated blood pressure levels. In pediatric age diagnosis of hypertension or high normal blood pressure is made with repeated office blood pressure measurements that show values exceeding the reference values. Blood pressure should be monitored at least once a year with adequate methods and instrumentation and the observed values have to be interpreted according to the most updated nomograms that are adjusted for children’s gender, age and height. Currently other available methods such as ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and home blood pressure measurement are not yet adequately validated for use as diagnostic instruments. To diagnose primary hypertension it is necessary to exclude secondary forms. The probability of facing a secondary form of hypertension is inversely proportional to the child’s age and directly proportional to blood pressure levels. Medical history, clinical data and blood tests may guide the differential diagnosis of primary versus secondary forms. The prevention of high blood pressure is based on correct lifestyle and nutrition, starting from childhood age. The treatment of primary hypertension in children is almost exclusively dietary/behavioral and includes: a) reduction of overweight whenever present b) reduction of dietary sodium intake c) increase in physical activity. Pharmacological therapy will be needed rarely and only in specific cases.
Blood pressure; Children; Hypertension; Obesity; Overweight; Prevention; Physical activity; Salt intake
Two previous surveys conducted in Ho Chi Minh City revealed an increasing prevalence of overweight and obese adolescents, from 5.9% in 2002 to 11.7% in 2004. From 2004 to 2010, the government set up and implemented health promotion programs to promote physical activity and good nutritional habits in order to prevent overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. Our study aimed to estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents in urban areas of Ho Chi Minh City in 2010.
A representative sample of 1,989 students aged 11–14 years was selected using a multistage cluster sampling method. 23 schools were randomly selected from the full list of all public junior high schools. In each selected school, 2 classes were chosen at random and all students from the class were examined. Age- and sex-adjusted overweight and obesity were defined using International Obesity Taskforce cut-offs.
The prevalences of overweight and obesity were 17.8% and 3.2%, respectively. Prevalences of overweight and obesity were significantly higher in boys (22%, 5.4% ) than in girls (13.3%, 1.3%, p<0.001) and higher in children from districts with a high economic level (20.5% , 3.8% ) than in those from districts with a low economic level (12.1%, 3.8%, p<0.001). Additionally, children living in wealthier families were more overweight and obese than those living in less wealthy families. When using WHO cutoffs, the overall prevalences of overweight and obesity reached 19.6% and 7.9%, respectively.
Our study’s findings suggest that the prevalence of overweight and obesity among secondary school students remains high, especially among boys living in wealthier families. Public health programs should therefore be developed or improved in order to promote good eating habits and physical activity among youth in HCMC.
Adolescent overweight; Ho Chi Minh City; IOTF definition; Obesity; Prevalence; Socioeconomic; Vietnam
Willingness to participate in obesity prevention programs is low; underlying reasons are poorly understood. We evaluated reasons for (non)participating in a novel telephone-based obesity prevention program for overweight children and their families.
Overweight children and adolescents (BMI>90th percentile) aged 3.5–17.4 years were screened via the CrescNet database, a representative cohort of German children, and program participation (repetitive computer aided telephone counseling) was offered by their local pediatrician. Identical questionnaires to collect baseline data on anthropometrics, lifestyle, eating habits, sociodemographic and psychosocial parameters were analyzed from 433 families (241 participants, 192 nonparticipants). Univariate analyses and binary logistic regression were used to identify factors associated with nonparticipation.
The number of overweight children (BMI>90th percentile) was higher in nonparticipants than participants (62% vs. 41.1%,p<0.001), whereas the number of obese children (BMI>97th percentile) was higher in participants (58.9% vs.38%,p<0.001). Participating girls were younger than boys (8.8 vs.10.4 years, p<0.001). 87.3% and 40% of participants, but only 72.2% and 24.7% of nonparticipants, respectively, reported to have regular breakfasts (p = 0.008) and 5 regular daily meals (p = 0.003). Nonparticipants had a lower household-net-income (p<0.001), but higher subjective physical wellbeing than participants (p = 0.018) and believed that changes in lifestyle can be made easily (p = 0.05).
An important reason for nonparticipation was non-awareness of their child's weight status by parents. Nonparticipants, who were often low-income families, believed that they already perform a healthy lifestyle and had a higher subjective wellbeing. We hypothesize that even a low-threshold intervention program does not reach the families who really need it.
The most prevalent disordered eating pattern described in overweight youth is loss of control (LOC) eating, during which individuals experience an inability to control the type or amount of food they consume. LOC eating is associated cross-sectionally with greater adiposity in children and adolescents, and appears to predispose youth to gain weight or body fat above that expected during normal growth, thus likely contributing to obesity in susceptible individuals. No prior studies have examined whether LOC eating can be decreased by interventions in children or adolescents without full-syndrome eating disorders, or whether programs reducing LOC eating prevent inappropriate weight gain attributable to LOC eating. Interpersonal psychotherapy, a form of therapy that was designed to treat depression and has been adapted for the treatment of eating disorders, has demonstrated efficacy in reducing binge eating episodes and inducing weight stabilization among adults diagnosed with binge eating disorder. In this paper, we propose a theoretical model of excessive weight gain in adolescents at high-risk for adult obesity who engage in LOC eating and associated overeating patterns. A rationale is provided for interpersonal psychotherapy as an intervention to slow the trajectory of weight gain in at-risk youth, with the aim of preventing or ameliorating obesity in adulthood.
Adolescents; Psychosocial Behavior; Binge Eating; Weight Maintenance; Prevention
Obesity among children and adolescents is a growing public health problem. The aim of the present paper is to identify potential determinants of obesity and risk groups among 3- to 17-year old children and adolescents to provide a basis for effective prevention strategies.
Data were collected in the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS), a nationally representative and comprehensive data set on health behaviour and health status of German children and adolescents. Body height and weight were measured and body mass index (BMI) was classified according to IOTF cut-off points. Statistical analyses were conducted on 13,450 non-underweight children and adolescents aged 3 to 17 years. The association between overweight, obesity and several potential determinants was analysed for this group as well as for three socio-economic status (SES) groups. A multiple logistic regression model with obesity as the dependent variable was also calculated.
The strongest association with obesity was observed for parental overweight and for low SES. Furthermore, a positive association with both overweight (including obesity) and obesity was seen for maternal smoking during pregnancy, high weight gain during pregnancy (only for mothers of normal weight), high birth weight, and high media consumption. In addition, high intakes of meat and sausages, total beverages, water and tea, total food and beverages, as well as energy-providing food and beverages were significantly associated with overweight as well as with obesity. Long sleep time was negatively associated with obesity among 3- to 10-year olds. Determinants of obesity occurred more often among children and adolescents with low SES.
Parental overweight and a low SES are major potential determinants of obesity. Families with these characteristics should be focused on in obesity prevention.
The condition of obesity has become a significant public health problem in the United States. In children and adolescents, the prevalence of overweight has tripled in the last 20 years, with approximately 16.0% of children ages 6–19, and 10.3% of 2–5 year olds being considered overweight. Considerable research is underway to understand obesity in the general pediatric population, however little research is available on the prevalence of obesity in children with developmental disorders. The purpose of our study was to determine the prevalence of overweight among a clinical population of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Retrospective chart review of 140 charts of children ages 3–18 years seen between 1992 and 2003 at a tertiary care clinic that specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children with developmental, behavioral, and cognitive disorders. Diagnostic, medical, and demographic information was extracted from the charts. Primary diagnoses of either ADHD or ASD were recorded, as was information on race/ethnicity, age, gender, height, and weight. Information was also collected on medications that the child was taking. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated from measures of height and weight recorded in the child's chart. The Center for Disease Control's BMI growth reference was used to determine an age- and gender-specific BMI z-score for the children.
The prevalence of at-risk-for-overweight (BMI >85th%ile) and overweight (BMI > 95th%ile) was 29% and 17.3% respectively in children with ADHD. Although the prevalence appeared highest in the 2–5 year old group (42.9%ile), differences among age groups were not statistically significant. Prevalence did not differ between boys and girls or across age groups (all p > 0.05). For children with ASD, the overall prevalence of at-risk-for-overweight was 35.7% and prevalence of overweight was 19%.
When compared to an age-matched reference population (NHANES 1999–2002), our estimates indicate that children with ADHD and with ASD have a prevalence of overweight that is similar to children in the general population.
The prevalence of childhood obesity has increased worldwide, which is a serious concern as obesity is associated with many negative immediate and long-term health consequences. Therefore, the treatment of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents is strongly recommended. Inpatient weight-loss programs have shown to be effective particularly regarding short-term weight-loss, whilst little is known both on the long-term effects of this treatment and the determinants of successful weight-loss and subsequent weight maintenance.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the short, middle and long-term effects of an inpatient weight-loss program for children and adolescents and to investigate the likely determinants of weight changes, whereby the primary focus lies on the potential role of differences in polymorphisms of adiposity-relevant genes.
The study involves overweight and obese children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years, who participate in an inpatient weight-loss program for 4 to 6 weeks. It started in 2006 and it is planned to include 1,500 participants by 2013. The intervention focuses on diet, physical activity and behavior therapy. Measurements are taken at the start and the end of the intervention and comprise blood analyses (DNA, lipid and glucose metabolism, adipokines and inflammatory markers), anthropometry (body weight, height and waist circumference), blood pressure, pubertal stage, and exercise capacity. Physical activity, dietary habits, quality of life, and family background are assessed by questionnaires. Follow-up assessments are performed 6 months, 1, 2, 5 and 10 years after the intervention: Children will complete the same questionnaires at all time points and visit their general practitioner for examination of anthropometric parameters, blood pressure and assessment of pubertal stage. At the 5 and 10 year follow-ups, blood parameters and exercise capacity will be additionally measured.
Apart from illustrating the short, middle and long-term effects of an inpatient weight-loss program, this study will contribute to a better understanding of inter-individual differences in the regulation of body weight, taking into account the role of genetic predisposition and lifestyle factors.
Lifestyle intervention; Polymorphism; Follow-up; Adipokines; Inflammation; Fitness