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Pediatr Clin North Am. 1985 Apr;32(2):363-79.

Childhood obesity.


Several conclusions can be drawn on the basis of the research reviewed: Obese children are more likely to become obese adults than are their thinner peers. Parent weight may interact with child weight status in the etiology of adult obesity. Obese children with obese parents are more likely to become obese adults than are obese children with thin parents. The prediction of adult obesity from childhood obesity improves with the age of the child. As the obese child gets older, he or she is more likely to become an obese adult. The inclusion of parents in the treatment process is important for the success of childhood weight control. It may be best to see the parent and child separately in treatment meetings rather than together. Children with thin parents may do better in weight control than children of obese parents. Adherence to exercise is likely to be a problem with obese children, and the choice or design of an exercise program should take these adherence problems into account. Nutritional adequacy of the child's diet should be evaluated both in terms of what the child is eating as well as in terms of the prescribed diet. Likewise, growth of the obese child during dieting should be monitored and should be related to expected height, which can be based on parent height. In summary, childhood obesity is a problem that places a child at great risk for becoming an obese adult. However, a growing body of research has emerged that has identified important risk factors for the development of obesity in children. Likewise, treatment methods have been developed that produce significant and long-lasting effects on childhood weight status. Continued development of treatment methods would be of great potential importance in the prevention and treatment of this prevalent problem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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