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Table of Contents   
LETTER TO THE EDITOR  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 430-431
Neutralizing the contribution of obesogenic environment in the development of childhood obesity


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication14-Nov-2016
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Neutralizing the contribution of obesogenic environment in the development of childhood obesity. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2016;9:430-1

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Neutralizing the contribution of obesogenic environment in the development of childhood obesity. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2016 [cited 2017 Mar 30];9:430-1. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2016/9/6/430/193965
Dear Sir,

Globally, the risk of childhood obesity has emerged as a major public health concern and has reached alarming proportions in heterogeneous settings.[1] In fact, the prevalence of overweight children has increased to 6.1%, with 41 million children in under-5 year age group being affected in the year 2014.[1] However, the major concern is that almost half of these overweight children are from low- and middle-income nations, with the Asian and African region being worst affected, accounting for close to 50% and 25% of the global load of overweight and obese children.[1],[2]

Acknowledging the rise in the incidence of noncommunicable diseases across the world, it has been reiterated under the sustainable development goals to address the potential risk factors, including obesity, so that the quality of life of individuals can be improved, as they have to deal with not only multiple barriers but even physical, psychological, and health sequel.[1],[3] Furthermore, a negative impact on the educational attainment and economic consequences for the family and the society has also been observed.[1] The crucial fact which has significantly contributed toward the rise in the incidence of childhood obesity is the presence of an obesogenic environment (viz., energy imbalance attributed to the types of food consumed, the decline in physical activity, and sedentary lifestyle) in which a major proportion of children are growing.[2],[3]

It is a fact that the overall progress in tackling the menace of childhood obesity has been quite slow and inconsistent and that no single measure can effectively halt the rise of the ever-growing obesity epidemic.[2],[4] Further, there is a great need to consider the environmental attributes and three crucial phases, namely preconception and pregnancy, infancy and early childhood, and older childhood and adolescence.[3],[4] At the same time, it is very much important to appropriately treat children who are already obese, for their own well-being.[2],[3] Eventually, the need of the hour is to increase the level of political commitment and formulate policies involving all stakeholders and sectors, so that the risk of the childhood obesity and the associated harmful health impacts can be negated.[1],[2],[5]

In-fact, a set of comprehensive and integrated package of recommendations has been proposed, namely promoting intake of healthy foods (and discouraging unhealthy foods by imposing additional tax); encouraging physical activity; giving enormous attention to the preconception and antenatal care related services; implementing measures during the early childhood phase pertaining to the practice of breastfeeding, consumption of a healthy diet, physical activity, healthy habits; envisaging measures in the school settings (viz., setting standards for school meals, no sale of unhealthy foods; inclusion of topics on health-diet-physical activity in school curriculum); and extending family-based, multi-component, lifestyle weight management services.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5]

To conclude, the public health concern of childhood obesity seriously questions the physical and psychological well-being of children and is a known risk factor for the development of adult obesity and early onset of noncommunicable diseases. Thus, there is an indispensable need to act promptly and improve the health standards of the current generation and the future ones as well.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Report of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity. Geneva: WHO Press; 2016. p. 1-13.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Swinburn B, Vandevijvere S. WHO report on ending childhood obesity echoes earlier recommendations. Public Health Nutr 2016;19:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Childhood obesity: A determinant of adolescent and adult hypertension. Int J Prev Med 2014;5 Suppl 1:S71-2.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Lessard L, Breck A. Childhood obesity prevention in childcare settings: The potential of policy and environmental change interventions. Curr Obes Rep 2015;4:191-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Brown CL, Halvorson EE, Cohen GM, Lazorick S, Skelton JA. Addressing childhood obesity: Opportunities for prevention. Pediatr Clin North Am 2015;62:1241-61.  Back to cited text no. 5
    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai, Thiruporur–Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.193965

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