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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 151  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 108-109

Global perspectives on childhood obesity: Current status, consequences & prevention

Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi 110 001, India

Date of Submission23-Jul-2019
Date of Web Publication24-Feb-2020

Correspondence Address:
Anju Seth
Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi 110 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1276_19

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How to cite this article:
Seth A. Global perspectives on childhood obesity: Current status, consequences & prevention. Indian J Med Res 2020;151:108-9

How to cite this URL:
Seth A. Global perspectives on childhood obesity: Current status, consequences & prevention. Indian J Med Res [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Sep 20];151:108-9. Available from:

2nd edition, D. Bagchi, editor (Academic Press, Elsevier) 2019. Price: Not mentioned.

ISBN 978-0-12-812840-4

Childhood obesity is a condition that due to its sheer magnitude, meteoric rise in prevalence and far-reaching consequences beyond medical complications deserves a book exclusively devoted to it. This book is an exhaustive compendium of updated information about the various aspects of childhood obesity. As the aetiology, manifestations, prevention and management of obesity span various domains including medical, psychological, social, economic and governance, the contributors of this book represent diverse areas of expertise. Thus, the authors included paediatricians, endocrinologists, nurses, physiologists, epidemiologists, psychologists, public health specialists, pharmacists and nutritionists. The content is a collection of reviews of scientific studies, perspectives, expert opinions and recommendations.

The overall content is divided into seven sections. The first section on Epidemiology and Prevalence presents the prevalence of childhood obesity and the related type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome from the viewpoints of nutritionists, nurses, epidemiologists and paediatricians. It includes a chapter on the developmental trajectories of weight status during childhood and adolescence by analysing data from various longitudinal studies. It also includes a chapter on the ethnic and socio-economic disparities in childhood obesity, albeit only from the perspective of the USA. The next section on pathophysiology includes two chapters linking maternal and childhood obesity apart from addressing various sociocultural and familial contexts contributing to obesity. An overview of pathways leading to obesity is also presented.

Appropriately, a large section is devoted to the prevention of obesity, being the most critical step in containing the current epidemic of obesity. The section focuses on strategies at various levels namely, family, school and community apart from highlighting the role of policymakers and media in this effort. A smaller section covers the therapeutic options.

This book is a comprehensive, one-stop reference volume for clinicians, social scientists, nutritionists, public health specialists and policymakers, all of whom have a contribution to make towards halting the current epidemic of obesity. Besides, it would help academicians and researchers in these fields in identifying the current gaps in knowledge and developing new research protocols. The editors have taken care to include authors from diverse areas of the globe and across specialities. Presenting the perspective of experts from various domains influencing/affected by obesity makes this book a comprehensive review of all aspects of obesity, and thus a one-point reference tool.

Obesity is a global problem affecting both the developed and the developing countries. The perspective presented in this volume is primarily based on the situations and experiences from the developed nations. The social/environmental factors associated with obesity and, therefore, the prevention strategies, are different in the developing world. Thus, including the developing world's perspective would have been a value addition.

Clinicians would have benefitted from a chapter on clinical and laboratory evaluation of a child with obesity. An inclusion of pointers towards the non-nutritional aetiology of obesity would have helped clinicians recognise the few conditions where obesity is due to various pathological causes. The section on treatment does not include the current status of surgical management in adolescents with obesity, which, unfortunately, is required in some situations. As the authors included are from various streams, it led to repetition of contents at places. This could have been avoided, and the resultant product would have been a crisper and slimmer version.


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