Children today face a health crisis that would have been unimaginable just decades ago. Obesity is on the rise at an alarming rate, and it is affecting children of all races and socioeconomic groups -- and spreading across the globe. In the Overweight Children section, the reader will find current information about this epidemic, as individuals, groups, and governments are beginning to focus much-needed attention on ways to help kids get and stay healthy.
The prevalence of overweight and obese children has risen dramatically and at alarming rates for the past few decades in the United States. Thirty percent of children have been found to be affected with overweight problems.
There are many adverse health effects associated with being overweight or obese that are observed in children and adolescents. Being overweight or obese during childhood and particularly adolescence is related to increased medical risks/disease (morbidity) and mortality in later life.
It is important to involve the entire family when working towards the goals of weight loss or obesity in children. Studies have illuminated that there exists a familial aggregation of risk factors for obesity, and the family provides the child's major social learning environment. Studies have further demonstrated that the long-term (10-year) effectiveness of a weight control program is significantly improved when the intervention is directed at the parents as well as the child, rather than aimed at the child alone.