Obesity in children and the surrounding environment

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Obesity in children and the surrounding environment

Obesity is a typical pathology of so-called welfare societies. The World Health Organization defines obesity through the body mass index, a biometric datum that compares weight and height: subjects with a BMI greater than 30 kg / m² are considered obese, while individuals with a BMI between 25 and 30 kg / m² are considered overweight.

Correct diet, physical exercise and psychological approach are the basis for the preventive and curative therapy of obesity; weight loss drugs may be prescribed to aid in treatment, which work by reducing appetite or inhibiting the absorption of fat.

As established by the international guidelines drawn up in 1991, if the BMI is greater than 40 kg / m² or is between 35 and 40 kg / m² with the simultaneous presence of risk factors, bariatric surgery is used, for example by introducing a balloon intragastric.

Obesity is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with its prevalence increasing in adults and children, and is considered to be one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century. The article Natural environment and childhood obesity: A systematic review, published on the International Association for the Study of Obesity, gives us an idea of ‚Äč‚Äčthis correlation.

Below is an abstract: "The associations between built and food environments and childhood obesity have been studied extensively. However, the association between the natural environment and childhood obesity has received too little scholarly attention.

This study reviewed the literature published before 1 January 2019, which described associations between a full range of natural environmental factors (eg, rainfall, temperature, sunlight, natural disasters, flood and drought) and weight-related behaviors and childhood obesity.

Five cross-sectional studies and one longitudinal study were identified. Measures of natural environmental factors varied across six included studies, falling into five broad categories: weather conditions, altitude, natural disaster risk, air quality and day length.

It was found that temperature was a significant weather indicator in most included studies and was associated with a reduction of daily physical activity. Children living in high-altitude areas were more likely to be sh orter and heavier than their counterparts in low-altitude areas.

Findings of this study will contribute to helping multiple stakeholders, including policy makers and urban planners, and formulate health policies and interventions to mitigate the detrimental impact of the natural environment on childhood obesity.

More longitudinal studies should be designed to confirm these effects and explore the potential health effects of more natural environmental factors. "