Programming of Later Obesity Risk

Childhood obesity is now considered a global epidemic in view of the alarming increase in its prevalence and severity, not only in affluent but also in less privileged childhood populations worldwide [11-13]. Serious short -and long-term consequences of childhood obesity arise in terms of damage to quality of life, performance, health and life expectancy. In addition, the size of the obesity epidemic is estimated to create huge costs for society due to loss of productivity and ensuing costs for health care and social security. Faced with the size of the problem, widely available and effective medical management of children who are already obese is needed, but at present the results of available treatment concepts are far less than satisfactory, and costs are high [14]. A recent Cochrane review on interventions for treating obesity in children found that no conclusions on the effects of treatment strategies and their components can be drawn with confidence [15]. Thus, in the present situation the emphasis must be put on the development, evaluation and implementation of effective primary prevention of obesity. Several indications exist that modification of infant nutrition may offer opportunities for contributing to the prevention of later obesity risk [1].

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