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Childhood Obesity Measurements

Obesity is a pathology characterized by an increase in body fat . It constitutes a world-wide public health problem. In the last 20 years, the number of obese children has increased. In Spain, in the period between 1984 (Estudio Paidos) and 2000 (Estudio enKid), the prevalence of obesity in school-age children has increased from 5 to 15% and to 24,7% for overweight children between the ages of 2-17 years of age, according to the latest survey by the National Health Survey (INE, 2005) with significant differences among the autonomous communities.

Obesity is a chronic, complex and multifaceted illness determined by the interaction of genetic, biologic, socioeconomic, conduct and environmental factors, acting through physiological mediators of energy intake and expenditure. Some 600 genes, markers and chromosomal regions related or linked to obesity phenotypes and which participate in its development have been identified. Obesity caused by mongenic illnesses is not frequent (around 5%) ; it develops early and follows a serious clinical course that should be evaluated early in pediatric tertiary care facilities. It is linked to changes in nutrition and a lack of physical exercise.

Obesity can be a secondary cause of some infrequent illnesses such as hypothyroidism, hypercortisolism, growth hormone deficiency and hypothalamic damage, among others. Obesity can also be a condition resulting from some drugs, such as steroids, antipsychotic drugs and some anti-epileptic drugs.


Healthy nutrition for the prevention of obesity

Control and nutrition of the mother during pregnancy and lactation. Nutritional control during pregnancy needs special counseling with an evaluation of nutritional risks through a review of medical history before pregnancy.

Gene or region studied

  • 18q21.32
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