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J Res Adolesc. 2011 Mar;21(1):129-152.

Etiology, Treatment and Prevention of Obesity in Childhood and Adolescence: A Decade in Review.

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  • 1Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1000 S. Fremont, Unit 8, room 4101, Alhambra, CA 91803, 626 4576631, fax: 626 4576633,


Childhood obesity has become an epidemic on a worldwide scale. This article gives an overview of the progress made in childhood and adolescent obesity research in the last decade, with a particular emphasis on the transdisciplinary and complex nature of the problem. The following topics are addressed: 1) current definitions of childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity; 2) demography of childhood and adolescent obesity both in the US and globally; 3) current topics in the physiology of fat and obesity; 4) psychosocial correlates of childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity; 5) the three major obesity-related behaviors, i.e. dietary intake, physical activity and sleep; 6) genes components of childhood and adolescent obesity; 7) environment and childhood and adolescent obesity; and 8) progress in interventions to prevent and treat childhood obesity. The article concludes with recommendations for future research, including the need for large-scale, high dose and long-term interventions that take into account the complex nature of the problem.

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