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Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Feb;73(2):158-71.

Metabolic precursors and effects of obesity in children: a decade of progress, 1990-1999.

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Institute for Prevention Research, the Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.


Current data suggest that 20% of US children are overweight. An analysis of secular trends suggested a clear upward trend in body weight in children of 0.2 kg/y between 1973 and 1994. In addition, childhood obesity is more prevalent among minority subgroups, such as African Americans. Obesity that begins early in life persists into adulthood and increases the risk of obesity-related conditions later in life. Obesity is now considered a disease of epidemic proportions, not just in the United States but also worldwide. In the past 10 y there has been a tremendous increase in the number of studies examining the etiology and health effects of obesity in children. The major objectives of this article are to 1) review highlights in pediatric obesity research from 1990 to 1999; 2) summarize our research on the roles of energy expenditure, physical activity, and aerobic capacity in the etiology of pediatric obesity, and on ethnic differences in the relation between obesity and type 2 diabetes risk factors in children; and 3) discuss areas of future study that will require greater emphasis as the field of childhood obesity research evolves over future years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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