Tackling the Problem of Childhood Obesity

Authors: Saurabh Sethi, MD, MPH


Obesity has become one of the most important public health problems in the United States (US).1 Body mass index (BMI) is the standard measure for classifications of overweight and obesity in children who are two years and older.2 An overweight condition for a child of 2–19 years old is defined as BMI greater than or equal to the 85th percentile, but less than the 95th percentile; obesity is described as a BMI at the 95th percentile or greater.3 Currently, approximately one third of children and adolescents in the US are either overweight or obese. As the prevalence of obesity increases, the prevalence of the comorbidities associated with obesity also increases.4 Due to this reason, it is important that the healthcare providers identify overweight and obese children in order to counsel and treat them.

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