Addressing Childhood Obesity: Opportunities for Prevention

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2015 Oct;62(5):1241-61. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2015.05.013. Epub 2015 Jul 16.


The overweight and obesity epidemic among children and adolescents in the United States continues to worsen, with notable racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities. Risk factors for pediatric obesity include genetics; environmental and neighborhood factors; increased intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), fast-food, and processed snacks; decreased physical activity; shorter sleep duration; and increased personal, prenatal, or family stress. Pediatricians can help prevent obesity by measuring body mass index at least yearly and providing age- and development-appropriate anticipatory guidance to families. Public policies and environmental interventions aim to make it easier for children to make healthy nutrition and physical activity choices. Interventions focused on family habits and parenting strategies have also been successful at preventing or treating childhood obesity.

Keywords: Etiology; Genetics; Obesity; Overweight; Pediatric; Prevention; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Pediatric Obesity / etiology
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Risk Factors