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Obesity in children and adolescents

Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2009;52(12):1311-1320.
Published online December 15, 2009.
Obesity in children and adolescents
Jeong Wan Seo
Department of Pediatrics School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea
소아청소년 비만
이화여대 의학전문대학원 소아과학교실
Jeong Wan Seo, Email: jwseo@ewha.ac.kr
Childhood obesity has rapidly increased in Korea during the past 20–30 years. Approximately 1 of 10 children and adolescents is obese. Appropriate prevention and intervention measures urgently need. Obesity prevention starts early in life, i.e., obesity prevention and education begins during the period of fetal development in utero. Behavioral changes are the most positively reflected during pregnancy. Infants should be fed breast milk, and inculcated with healthy eating and behavioral habits during infancy to ultimately establish a healthy lifestyle in children. For achieving a lifestyle and behavior that successfully allow children to overcome obesity, although individual motivation is important, active support of parents and family members is also imperative. Health care providers should also make an effort to actively prevent obesity and take necessary intervention actions. Although the efforts of individuals, family, and healthy care providers are important to prevent the rapid increase in obesity, primary prevention should be encouraged at a higher level. Schools should specifically aim at improving nutrition and physical activity by allocating times for healthy eating, playing, and physical education. Moreover, local communities should provide support by funding for safe recreational environments, such as playgrounds and walking tracks. Public health strategies in community and national policies, such as city planning, food marketing, and advertisements, are required for primary prevention of obesity.
Key Words: Prevention, Intervention, Obesity, Children, Adolescents

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