|Title of host publication||Oxford Bibliographies|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Publication status||Published - 26 Aug 2013|
Childhood obesity is a significant public health issue internationally. Growing recognition of the problem paralleled escalating rates of childhood obesity and evidence establishing the links with a number of serious metabolic, physical, social, and psychological consequences. These consequences include increased risk of developing cardiovascular dysfunction, type 2 diabetes, pulmonary, hepatic, renal, and musculoskeletal complications, reduced health-related quality of life, stigmatization, teasing, and unhealthy behaviors. Internationally, childhood obesity rates continue to rise in some countries (e.g., Mexico, India, China, Canada), although in some countries there is emerging evidence of slowing of the rate of increase or a plateauing in some age groups. Obesity prevalence is also inextricably linked to the degree of relative social inequality, with higher rates of obesity observed in more socially disadvantaged groups in most developed countries and the reverse in developing and transitional countries. The evidence is strong however, that once obesity is established, it is both difficult to reverse and tracks into adulthood, providing a strong case for primary prevention efforts. The available knowledge base on which to develop a platform of obesity prevention action and base decisions about appropriate public health interventions to reduce the risk of obesity is strengthening: however, uncertainty remains about the most effective, equitable, sustainable, and cost-effective ways to prevent childhood obesity.