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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2005;45(7-8):511-25.

A review of childhood and adolescent obesity interventions.

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  • 1Department of Food Science, Chenoweth Laboratory, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 01003-1410, USA.


Obesity is one of the largest health problems facing Americans. Figures produced by the National Center for Health Statistics show that in 1999-2002, 15.8% of 6-11-year-olds were overweight as were 16.1% of adolescents aged 12-19. Some have proposed that interventions in childhood may be the best place to focus efforts to reduce the growing obesity epidemic. This paper examines several of the popular intervention strategies that have been proposed for youth and assesses the potential of these interventions for meaningful public health impacts. Findings show that most childhood obesity interventions completed to date produced only meager results, creating need for more well-designed studies that are tailored to the needs of specific age, ethnic and economic groups.

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