Handbook of Eating Disorders: Physiology, Psychology, and Treatment of Obesity, Anorexia, and Bulimia

By Kelly D. Brownell; John P. Foreyt | Go to book overview

8
Treatment Of
Childhood Obesity

Leonard H. Epstein

Obesity is prevalent in children and is associated with increased risk of adult obesity. The importance of treating childhood obesity and preventing these children from becoming obese adults is underscored by the poor treatment results with adults. Most programs produce small losses,77 and maintenance is poor.74 This chapter will provide information on the treatment of childhood obesity. The relative risks of childhood obesity at various ages will be considered, and the importance of family factors on the development of obesity will be reviewed. Behavioral risk factors associated with childhood obesity will be covered, and behavioral treatments of childhood obesity will be presented.


The Risks of an Obese Child Becoming an Obese Adult

At least four studies have evaluated the risk of obese children becoming obese adults (see table 8.1). Charney and associates14 studied relationships between infant and adult weight, with infant obesity defined as weight greater than the ninetieth percentile at 6 months and adult obesity as greater than 20 percent over ideal weight. Fourteen percent of the over‐

____________________
The preparation of this chapter and the research presented from our laboratory were supported in part by grants 12520 and 16411 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Special appreciation is expressed to Rena Wing, who has contributed much to my thinking about childhood obesity.

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