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Recognizing and Preventing Childhood Obesity


Dolinsky, Diana H.; Siega-Riz, Anna Maria; Perrin, Eliana M.; & Armstrong, Sarah C. (2011). Recognizing and Preventing Childhood Obesity. Contemporary Pediatrics, 28(1), 32-42. PMCID: PMC4214371


Childhood obesity is one of the most challenging problems facing pediatricians today. Approximately 10% of children younger than 2 years old and 21% of children between 2 and 5 years of age are overweight. However, there are disparities in the prevalence of childhood obesity. For example, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic preschool-aged children have a higher prevalence of obesity than non-Hispanic white children; in older children, socioeconomic disparities also exist. Young children with excess weight have an increased risk for obesity in the future. Unfortunately, few effective treatments exist for children who already are overweight. Therefore, prevention of obesity is paramount.
How early should prevention begin? Experts have suggested that gestation to early infancy is a critical period in which physiologic changes occur that greatly influence a child’s later risk for obesity. Will recognizing the early signs and red flags associated with the development of obesity lead to a change in the growth trajectory and long-term health of the next generation?

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Contemporary Pediatrics


Dolinsky, Diana H.
Siega-Riz, Anna Maria
Perrin, Eliana M.
Armstrong, Sarah C.