The Childhood Obesity epidemic: A Role for Pediatric Dentists?

Sekundær artikel Dato: 15.03.2012

Since the 1970s, the incidence of obesity has more than doubled for children 2 to 5 years of age and adolescents 12 to 19 years of age, and has more than tripled for children 6 to 11 years of age. The increasing numbers of overweight and obese children and youth has led federal policymakers to rank it as a critical health threat. The purpose of this review article is to raise awareness within the pediatric dental community about the childhood obesity epidemic. This article reviews the underlying causes of childhood obesity and discusses the links between both nutrition and obesity to caries. Because pediatric health professionals have daily contact with children and their caregivers, the role of pediatric dentists in preventing and managing obesity is proposed and discussed. In addition, methods are presented that pediatric dentists can use to elevate awareness and address childhood overweight and obesity issues from practice-based, community-based, and advocacy/policy-based perspectives. The authors share an array of ideas that can be incorporated by the pediatric dental team in their practice and beyond.

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