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Learning objectives: 

After successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Know how to recognise overweight and obesity in children in terms of BMI (using the appropriate percentile adjusted for age and sex)
  2. Be able to describe for parents and patients the global prevalence of childhood obesity in terms of published epidemiological trends on this condition
  3. Be able to describe shortly to parents and patients how childhood obesity tracks over time
  4. Be able to describe shortly to parents and patients the impact of excessive weight on the health and well-being of children
  5. Be able to describe shortly to parents and patients the complex interplay of genetic, environmental (lifestyle and dietary), cultural, socio-economic and psychological factors in causing childhood obesity

Barbara Livingstone is Professor of Nutrition at the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), University of Ulster. Prof. Barbara Livingstone’s research Interests include food and nutrient intakes in free-living populations/development of evidence based dietary guidelines for healthy eating; validity of dietary survey and energy expenditure methodologies; studies of energy metabolism in pre-obese, obese and normal weight children with particular reference to appetite control and transmission of familial obesity; mechanisms of control of appetite, satiety and food intake; development of intervention strategies for the prevention of obesity in children and adolescents.

  • Introduction Prevalence
  • How is childhood obesity assessed?
  • Defining childhood obesity
  • Childhood Obesity on the increase worldwide
  • Growing Up
  • Does Obesity track over time?
  • Burden of childhood obesity – Mental Health burden of childhood obesity as well as burdens on Physical Health - Causes
  • Origins of obesity
  • Children ill-equipped to handle modern food environment - effects of environmental factors on energy balance
  • How complex is it? Management Obesity system map
  • Complex but it can be done
  • Summary
  • What have we learnt about childhood obesity
  • Further reading References