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Public Health - Social and Behavioral Health

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Childhood obesity is a public health challenge in the United States (U.S.) and elsewhere in the world. Additionally, those who are obese are heavier than in the past (Anderson & Butcher, 2006). In the U.S., one in three children is overweight or obese (Ogden et al., 2010), a prevalence that has tripled since 1970 (Anderson & Butcher, 2006; Kumanayika & Grier, 2006; Wang & Zhang, 2006). In response to this public health issue, Healthy People 2010 (US/DHHS, 2000) and President Obama (US/Office of the President, 2010) have identified childhood obesity as a national health priority as it has immediate consequences for a child’s physical and psychological health (Puhl & Latner, 2007; Raman, 2002; Strauss, 1999; US/DHHS, 2000), as well as implications for future health (Freedman et al., 2007; Raman, 2002; Strauss, 1999; US/DHHS, 2000). Beyond negative health outcomes, there are also economic costs (e.g., greater need for health care) associated with childhood obesity (Marder & Chang 2006; Skinner et al., 2008). Thus, identifying factors related to childhood obesity not only has implications for the health and quality of life of children, but it also has important implications for family expenditures and health care costs.


This chapter is from Public Health - Social and Behavioral Health, chapter 6 (2012: 115, doi:10.5772/37369. Posted with permission.


This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Steven Garasky, et al.



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