Defining and measuring childhood obesity

Wright, C. M. (2015) Defining and measuring childhood obesity. In: Stewart, L. and Thompson, J. (eds.) Early Years Nutrition and Healthy Weight. Wiley, pp. 30-39. ISBN 9781118792445 (doi:10.1002/9781119023258.ch3)

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Obesity results from an energy imbalance, when more energy is consumed as food than is used by both activity and metabolic processes of the body. Adipose tissue has an important and valued role in human metabolism and this is particularly the case in children. Young children rely more heavily on fat stores than adults. The purpose of body mass index (BMI) is to assess a child's weight whilst allowing for the huge variation in height seen across childhood. BMI only measures total mass and much of the variation in BMI seen in healthy children is explained by variations in bony frame and muscle, as well as fat. Ideally, one would directly measure adiposity during childhood, but in practice this is fraught with difficulty. For obesity, the problem is that a contemporary growth reference will not describe the healthy pattern of growth as it will also include many unhealthy obese children.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wright, Professor Charlotte
Authors: Wright, C. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing

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