Children, Obesity and Exercise: Prevention, Treatment, and Management of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity

Children, Obesity and Exercise: Prevention, Treatment, and Management of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity

Children, Obesity and Exercise: Prevention, Treatment, and Management of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity

Children, Obesity and Exercise: Prevention, Treatment, and Management of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity

Synopsis

Throughout the developed world there is an increasing prevalence of childhood obesity. Because of this increase, and awareness of the risks to long term health that childhood obesity presents, the phenomena is now described by many as a global epidemic.

Children, Obesity and Exercise provides sport, exercise and medicine students and professionals with an accessible and practical guide to understanding and managing childhood and adolescent obesity. It covers:

  • overweight, obesity and body composition;
  • physical activity, growth and development;
  • psycho-social aspects of childhood obesity;
  • physical activity behaviours;
  • eating behaviours;
  • measuring children s behaviour;
  • interventions for prevention and management of childhood obesity.

Children, Obesity and Exercise addresses the need for authoritative advice and innovative approaches to the prevention and management of this chronic problem.

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Excerpt

The increasing prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity is a global trend (World Health Organization, 1997) and is of concern as overweight or obese children are at a higher risk of experiencing a range of health problems in the immediate, short and long term.

Immediate health problems of overweight and obese children include social isolation and potential psychological dysfunction (Friedman, Story and Perry, 1995; Must, 1996; Must and Strauss, 1999). Young overweight children have been described by their peers as ugly, stupid, dishonest and lazy (Staffieri, 1967) and they may experience teasing and social isolation as a result (Stunkard and Burt, 1967). Such children are also at greater risk of co-morbidities than their lean counterparts. For example, children who are overweight or obese are at greater risk of asthma, and when they have it they have been shown to use more medicine (Belamarich et al., 2000; Luder, Melnik and DiMaio, 1998), wheeze more, experience more unscheduled visits to hospital (Belamarich et al., 2000) and miss more school days as a result of their asthma than lean asthmatic children (Luder, Melnik and DiMaio, 1998).

In the short term, overweight and obese children are more likely to develop certain gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, endocrine and orthopaedic problems than their lean peers that may be exacerbated in the long term. Further, overweight and obese girls are more likely to develop reproductive system abnormalities, such as early onset of puberty and menarche, and polycystic ovary syndrome (Goran, 2001; Must, 1996; Must and Strauss, 1999; Taitz, 1983).

Data from the longitudinal Bogalusa Heart Study suggest that, in the long term, cardiovascular disease risk factor prevalence increases greatly over time in overweight and obese children (Goran, 2001). In short, remaining obese from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood places the individual at a higher risk of associated morbidities (Guo and Chumlea, 1999; Magarey et al., 2003).

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