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Publisher : Indian Journal of Medical Research
Year : 2010
Abstract : Worldwide, obesity trends are causing serious public health concern and in many countries threatening the viability of basic health care delivery. It is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and significantly increases the risk of morbidity and mortality. The last two decades have witnessed an increase in health care costs due to obesity and related issues among children and adolescents. Childhood obesity is a global phenomenon affecting all socio-economic groups, irrespective of age, sex or ethnicity. Aetiopathogenesis of childhood obesity is multi-factorial and includes genetic, neuroendocrine, metabolic, psychological, environmental and socio-cultural factors. Many co-morbid conditions like metabolic, cardiovascular, psychological, orthopaedic, neurological, hepatic, pulmonary and renal disorders are seen in association with childhood obesity. The treatment of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents requires a multidisciplinary, multi-phase approach, which includes dietary management, physical activity enhancement, restriction of sedentary behaviour, pharmacotherapy and bariatric surgery. A holistic approach to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic needs a collection of activities including influencing policy makers and legislation, mobilizing communities, restructuring organizational practices, establishing coalitions and networks, empowering providers, imparting community education as well as enriching and reinforcing individual awareness and skills. The implications of this global phenomenon on future generations will be serious unless appropriate action is taken.