This research study is an excellent example of collaborative scholarly investigations which bring out amazing facts and reveal the significant reason, effects and probable solutions for a problem. After realising the magnitude of the prevalence of the childhood obesity, experts from across the nations decided to hold a meet in order to arrive at consensus towards the prevalence of the childhood obesity and chalk out future course of actions.
This meet was held in the year 2004 in Israel where a group of 65 physicians and other health professionals representing nine countries from four continents convened to discuss and to discover the exactitude of the pervasive health crisis in childhood obesity. It is a well-known fact that the necessity of addressing this problem demands urgency and efficacy like never before. The prevalence of childhood obesity has reached alarming levels and if drastic measure are not taken, then there would be no wonder if obesity threatens the mankind like pandemics would threaten.
Consider the following stats: Even though the definition of obesity varies, it is based on body mass index (BMI) cut-offs described hereafter. As many as 250 million people, or about 7% of the 2004 world population, were obese. Two to three times more people were overweight. In one of the most extreme examples, the prevalence of overweight doubled among children 6 –11 yr of age and tripled among those 12–17 yr of age in the United States between the second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted between 1976 and 1980, and the most recent such survey, conducted in 1999 and 2000.
Approximately 14–15% of all 15 yr olds in the United States can be classified as obese (Phyllis W Speiser, et al. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 90(3): P1871). 4. 6. 1: Causes The convention listed a number of reasons or causes for the childhood obesity. These causes include genetic reasons as well. The convention identified the genes which are important determinants of obesity. Here Monogenic Obesity is considered to due to the Leptin gene. This was the first specific gene recognized as important in human body weight control.
This adipocyte hormone is involved in a complex circuit of hormones and neurotransmitters to control appetite. To date, several monogenic obesity syndromes have been identified, and most involve the leptin-melanocortin regulation pathway (Farooqi IS, Matarese G et al; 2002: J Clin Invest 110:1093–1103, Krude H et al, Acad Sci 994:233–239). Apart from these other causes as identified by the convention are: environmental reasons, endocrinological reasons and socio-psychological reasons.
4. 6. 2: Solutions & Prevention: The scholars in the convention suggested preventive strategies in infancy and even prenatally. Since certain genes also influence the obesity in kids, the experts found it important to apply preventive strategies in the prenatal stage. Also, low birth weight (due to maternal under nutrition), smoking of parents, or placental insufficiency, or alternatively large size at birth attributable most often to GDM, may both be associated with obesity.
(Bhargava SK et al; N Engl J Med 350:865–875; Hediger ML et al; Pediatrics 104:e33). The study also suggested already established general preventive measures such as keeping the children active, reducing the time spent in front of the television and avoiding the intake of junk food. This convention suggested encouragement for such conferences to chalk out long term goals to prevent childhood obesity.