Childhood Obesity : An Epidemic

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Introduction Childhood obesity is rising worldwide in an alarming rate. New Zealand Health Survey results in 2012/2013 showed that one out of nine children (2-14 years) was obese and it was 11 per cent of the total children population1. Obese children are more prone to have cardiovascular disease, psychological morbidity, asthma, Type 1 diabetes, and early mortality2 sooner or later in their life. Adverse effects of childhood obesity not only affect the current or later health status of children but also the country’s productivity and economy. Therefore it is very important to break the obesity viscous cycle in order to have a healthy nation. Various factors involve in the development of this multifaceted condition – “Obesity” such as individual’s genetics, environment and behaviour2. The major causes for childhood obesity in New Zealand include less physical activity, inadequate sleep3, unhealthy dietary patterns such as skipping breakfast4 and consumption of unhealthy snack food5. There are various preventive strategies for childhood obesity. The conventional treatments include promoting healthy dietary and behaviour practises and physical activities; however, these seem to be not having positive impacts in some situations. Moreover, some studies also have shown that different diet and physical activity intervention studies had failed to have a positive effect on BMI and obesity of children2. Likewise, some existing evidence reflects that traditional obesity prevention

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