Purpose of review: The simple energy balance model of obesity is inconsistent with the available findings on obesity etiology, prevention, and treatment. Yet, the most commonly stated causes of pediatric obesity are predicated on this model. A more comprehensive biological model is needed upon which to base behavioral interventions aimed at obesity prevention. In this light, alternative etiologies are little investigated and thereby poorly understood.
Recent findings: Three candidate alternate etiologies are briefly presented: infectobesity, the gut microbiome, and circadian rhythms. Behavioral child obesity preventive investigators need to collaborate with biological colleagues to more intensively analyze the behavioral aspects of these etiologies and to generate innovative procedures for preventing a multi-etiological problem, e.g., group risk analysis, triaging for likely causes of obesity.
Keywords: Adenovirus-36; Children; Circadian rhythm; Microbiome; Obesity; Prevention.