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Pediatr Clin North Am. 2001 Aug;48(4):823-54, vii.

Childhood and adolescent obesity. Prevalence and significance.

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  • 1Section of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California, USA.


The prevalence of children and adolescents with body mass index (BMI) of greater than 95th percentile has doubled in the last 2 decades (present prevalence is 10.9%) and there is a 50% increase in the prevalence of those with a BMI greater than 85th percentile (present prevalence is 22.0%) in the US. There are substantial risks for morbidity in obese children even before they reach adulthood. Further, if obesity in childhood persists into the adult years, the morbidity and mortality is greater than if the obesity developed in the adult. Screening using appropriate historical and physical data will reveal those children most in need of modification of weight gain.

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