Obesity in Children
Obesity in children is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile compared to peers of the same age and gender.
BMI is calculated from height and weight and plotted on a growth chart according to the child’s age and gender. Obesity occurs when over time more calories are consumed than expended. Many factors affect obesity including poor eating habits, lack of exercise, family history, and psychosocial problems. Very few cases of obesity can be attributed to a specific disease.
Recent estimates indicate that nearly 10% of infants and toddlers and 12% of children and adolescents aged 2 through 19 years meet criteria for obesity in the United States (Ogden, Carroll, Curtin, Lamb, & Flegal, 2010). Correlates of childhood obesity include genetics, environment, metabolism, behavior, culture, and SES. Children from ethnic minority backgrounds and lower socioeconomic status are at an increased risk of being...