The Definition and Assessment of Childhood Overweight: A Developmental Perspective
Overweight has become a serious public health problem not only in the United States but also in countries around the world. The problem has even begun to affect children and adolescents in recent years. This represents a change from the previous decade, when overweight was a health concern for adults. Given the scale of the problem, it is important to establish a clear definition of “overweight” in children as well as an understanding of the techniques used to assess the problem.
Though it does not seem a difficult endeavor, establishing an accurate definition of “overweight” for children is challenging. A number of concerns must be addressed, including arguments for delineating excess weight from excess adipose tissue when defining the problem. Morbidity and mortality are also important to consider before labeling a child as obese. Given that these issues are complex and will likely take considerable time and resources to resolve, it is important that those challenged with the task of classifying and assessing overweight in children have some understanding of how these factors relate to defining “overweight.”
KeywordsOverweight Child Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Excess Adiposity Adolescent Overweight Bogalusa Heart Study
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