Childhood obesity

Published on March 31, 2016   38 min

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Other Talks in the Series: Obesity: Science, Medicine and Society

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Today, I'm going to talk about childhood obesity. I'm Dr. Mars Skae, a consultant pediatric endocrinologist based in Manchester in the United Kingdom.
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As an overview, today's talk will contain information regarding childhood obesity, specifically to its definitions, rates and global trends, some of the causes of childhood obesity, the comorbidities associated with childhood obesity, and key determinants of obesity in childhood, the stigmatization and psychological issues that revolve around this particular area, obesity particularly relating to the child with disability, and some of the data on long-term outlook for children with obesity.
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Childhood obesity has some unique aspects when compared to adults. I'd like to point these out in the next slide.
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Many factors interact to contribute to the obesogenic environment, and particularly to a child's weight. As in adults, genetic and hormonal factors contribute to this. However, what is unique to children is parental or carer influence, which can affect not only their intake, but also their allowance for activity. Children spend approximately 30 percent of their time in the school environment. Therefore, schools also play a unique and important role in the fight to tackle obesity. Children don't cook for themselves. Their meals are often catered for or cooked for them, and therefore their intake is often completely controlled by other individuals, or the provision of monies for purchasing this. Play and activity also is often supervised in children, and therefore their access to this, unlike in adults, is completely dependent on the decisions of other individuals. And finally, factors in the local community and amenities provided for them affect their outcomes, and policies implemented by regional and national governments.