Obesity rates in adults and children have risen at alarming rates over the past three decades, with one in three adults in the United States being obese and almost one in five children being overweight (Hedley et al., 2004). It has been projected that, for the first time, this generation of children will die at a younger age than their parents (Olshansky et al., 2005). The obesity epidemic has most certainly been fueled by changes in the environments in which people live, primarily in the increase of sedentary jobs, lifestyles and leisure activities, and the easy access to and availability of inexpensive energy-dense foods and drinks. These environmental changes over the past two decades have led many to dismiss the role of genetics as contributing to childhood obesity onset and the current obesity epidemic. However, as noted below, there is compelling evidence that family history and genetics are critical to the onset of childhood obesity; moreover, certain children may be more susceptible or responsive to the “obesogenic” environments in ways that put them at increased risk to gain excess body fat during growth.
KeywordsEmotional Eating Obesity Risk Positive Energy Balance Obesity Onset Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire
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