The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 85, Issue 6, pp 461–462 | Cite as

Rising Obesity in Children: A Serious Public Health Concern

  • Christian L. Roth
  • Vandana Jain

According to recent data from 195 countries, childhood obesity has increased globally, affecting a total of 107.7 million children in the year 2015 [1]. The rate of increase in prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes is higher in children than in adults [1]. Pediatric obesity predisposes to lifelong excess weight [2] and raises a person’s risk of significant comorbidities, including breathing problems, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, musculoskeletal disorders, mood disturbances, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, glucose intolerance, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, atherosclerosis already starting in childhood and even many cancers [1, 3]. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of obesity-related death in many countries [1].

Despite efforts to combat these trends, existing prevention and intervention strategies have not curtailed rising obesity rates in children [1, 4], possibly because they do not sufficiently address the underlying contributors. In modern...


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest



  1. 1.
    Afshin A, Forouzanfar MH, Reitsma MB, et al; GBD 2015 Obesity Collaborators. Health effects of overweight and obesity in 195 countries over 25 years. N Engl J Med. 2017;377:13–27.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Simmonds M, Llewellyn A, Owen CG, Woolacott N. Predicting adult obesity from childhood obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2016;17:95–107.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lauby-Secretan B, Scoccianti C, Loomis D, Grosse Y, Bianchini F, Straif K; International Agency for Research on Cancer Handbook Working Group. Body fatness and cancer--viewpoint of the IARC working group. N Engl J Med. 2016;375:794–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Lawman HG, et al. Trends in obesity prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States, 1988-1994 through 2013-2014. JAMA. 2016;315:2292–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lawrence NS, Hinton EC, Parkinson JA, Lawrence AD. Nucleus accumbens response to food cues predicts subsequent snack consumption in women and increased body mass index in those with reduced self-control. NeuroImage. 2012;63:415–22.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nawab T, Khan Z, Khan IM, Ansari MA. Is small town India falling into the nutritional trap of metro cities? A study in school-going adolescents. J Family Med Prim Care. 2016;5:581–6.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cali AM, Caprio S. Obesity in children and adolescents. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008;93:S31–6.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Viggiano D, De Filippo G, Rendina D, et al. Screening of metabolic syndrome in obese children: a primary care concern. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2009;49:329–34.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Whitaker RC, Wright JA, Pepe MS, Seidel KD, Dietz WH. Predicting obesity in young adulthood from childhood and parental obesity. N Engl J Med. 1997;337:869–73.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    The NS, Suchindran C, North KE, Popkin BM, Gordon-Larsen P. Association of adolescent obesity with risk of severe obesity in adulthood. JAMA. 2010;304:2042–7.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Aggarwal B, Jain V. Obesity in children: definition, etiology and approach. Indian J Pediatr. 2017;
  12. 12.
    Singhal A. Early life origins of obesity and related complications. Indian J Pediatr. 2017;
  13. 13.
    Koves IH, Roth C. Genetic and syndromic causes of obesity and its management. Indian J Pediatr. 2017;
  14. 14.
    Vikram NK. Cardiovascular and metabolic complications - diagnosis and management in obese children. Indian J Pediatr. 2017;
  15. 15.
    Dabas A, Seth A. Prevention and management of childhood obesity. Indian J Pediatr. 2017.
  16. 16.
    Sagar R, Gupta T. Psychological aspects of obesity in children and adolescents. Indian J Pediatr. 2017;

Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of PediatricsSeattle Children’s Hospital, University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Integrative Brain ResearchSeattle Children’s Research InstituteSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of PediatricsAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations