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Vascular risks and management of obesity in children and adolescents

Authors Courtney J Jolliffe, Ian Janssen

Published 15 June 2006 Volume 2006:2(2) Pages 171—187

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Courtney J Jolliffe1, Ian Janssen1,2

1School of Physical and Health Education, 2Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Abstract: Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in many countries. Pediatric obesity is associated with the development of cardiovascular (CV) risk factors including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and the metabolic syndrome. It is also associated with an increased risk of CV disease (CVD) in adulthood. Moreover, obesity and CVD risk factors in obese youth tend to track into adulthood, further increasing the risk of adult CVD. Consequently, the treatment and prevention of childhood overweight and obesity has become a public health priority. Proper nutrition and increased physical activity are the main focus of these efforts; however, few studies have shown positive results. Treatment options for obesity in youth also include pharmacotherapy and surgery. While pharmacotherapy appears promising, additional evidence is needed, especially with respect to the long-term impact, before it becomes a widespread treatment option in the pediatric population.

Keywords: childhood, obesity, overweight, cardiovascular risk factors, prevention, treatment

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