The obese child

Obesity is now recognized as a critically important public health problem, estimated to be the second leading cause of successfully preventable death. Childhood obesity leads to approximately 30% of adult obesity, and an obese child who becomes an obese adult will have more severe adult obesity than adults whose obesity begins in adulthood. Moreover, the effect of adolescent obesity on adult morbidity and mortality appear to be independent of the effect of adolescent obesity on adult weight status. Various alterations in endocrine and metabolic function and concomitant diseases are observed in obese children and adolescents. Until lately we thought that most of these disorders appeared only in adults, but a substantial increase has been demonstrated even among children. The great interest that childhood obesity deserves is justified by the possibility of prevention of these conditions because their treatment is difficult, demanding, and often unsuccessful. There are many research efforts involved in the understanding of the pathophysiological and molecular mechanisms to body weight regulation. Many mediators of those processes have already been identified but the way they act and how to use them as targets for drug therapy remain to be investigated.
Category: Review
Volume: Vol. 48, No 1, january - march 2004
Authors: M. Dumić, A. Špehar, N. Janjanin
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