Overweight and obesity is a global epidemic among children of all ages. Pre- and primary school children who are overweight and obese are more likely to continue to be obese as adolescents and adults, as well as stand at an increased risk for poor health outcomes associated with excess weight. While the central physical cause of overweightness and obesity is the imbalance of energy intake from food and energy expended through physical activity, excess weight is also caused by a number of other contributory factors including personal, social, and environmental influences. Among school-aged children, there seems to be substantial interest and resources currently being devoted to primary and secondary prevention, though intervention studies have yielded somewhat mixed results. Education, interventions, and evaluations of the effectiveness and outcomes of new initiatives aiming to reduce childhood overweight and obesity are needed to recommend future programs with the greatest likelihood of success.
Williams SE, Greene JL