Child and adolescent obesity: A review of community-based approaches to a growing problem



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The prevalence of overweight/obesity among adults and children in our society has increased to levels which render it a public health priority. These conditions are known to be causal factors in the onset of many chronic diseases in adulthood, but are now affecting the youth population as well. Though genetics are partially responsible, the increase in prevalence of obesity is more likely due to dietary factors and sedentary behavioral practices.\r\n The purpose of this project is to identify community based programs within the United States and conduct a preliminary assessment of their effectiveness using existing health promotion guidelines. I will identify community approaches that have been initiated and present preliminary self-reported data as to their effectiveness in recruitment, overall results, and compliance with guidelines as outlined by the Human Health Services Department for community based programs. The results of this project should be helpful in the establishment of additional community based programs and possibly provide policy makers with information that will facilitate the creation of more effective programs. The specific aims are as follows:\r\n• Conduct a literature search to identify the established nutritional and physical fitness guidelines that address child or adolescent obesity.\r\n• Conduct a literature search of community based programs from 1990-2006 that used physical activity as a component to reduce or prevent childhood or adolescent obesity. \r\n• Use published review articles to identify the most effective programs that target either prevention of childhood / adolescent obesity or reduction of childhood / adolescent obesity and comment on their use of established guidelines.\r\n\r\n This work identified a number of interventions that targeted both adults and youth. Most studies reported some measure of success, but lacked any definitive replicable results due to design limitations and lack of long-term follow-up. Societal methods to successfully address the issue will require multi-faceted efforts of individuals, families, and institutions at the local, state and national levels.\r\n



obesity, community-based obesity, childhood obesity