The prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States is at an all-time high, putting an increasing amount of young Americans at risk for a host of cardiometabolic conditions. Approximately 13.7 million children and adolescents in the nation are obese, with Hispanic and non-Hispanic black children disproportionately affected. New research aims to identify potential risk factors which could be modified to promote early intervention and decrease the incidence of childhood obesity and its long-term complications.
The prevalence of obesity in the American population shows few signs of regression, which increasingly draws concern for younger demographics. Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder affecting younger age groups with approximately 21-24% overweight and 16-18% obese children and adolescents. The complexity and multifactorial nature of the disorder make treatment strategies difficult; long-term complications associated with childhood obesity emphasize the need for improved efforts in prevention and condition management. Obese children and adolescents are predisposed to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, liver and renal disease, as well as reproductive dysfunction and face an increased risk of adult-onset obesity and cardiovascular disease.