Development or validation of tools to measure dietary and physical activity behaviors, along with psychosocial instruments, dominated this domain.
Several publications focused on the development of electronic systems for self-reported dietary intake.
In recognition of the need for greater and more sustained population-level impact, recent efforts began to identify attributes of the built environment in relation to diet and physical activity as well as to debate the merit of policy interventions, such as menu labeling mandates or soda taxation, to incentivize healthy behaviors and disincentivize unhealthy ones .
The purpose of this review is to provide a critical analysis of the state of the science in population-based childhood obesity research.
Studies on correlates of obesity represented almost half of the publications abstracted.
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A quarter of the publications fell under the prevention intervention domain.The goal is to summarize papers published since the beginning of 2011 to provide a snapshot of current research and identify innovations, emerging areas, and gaps in the area of childhood obesity. Rather, we hope to provide readers an overview of what is being done and what can be expected in the near future, from our perspective.This review should inform researchers, policymakers, as well as the public regarding the direction of childhood obesity research as a field.The focus of research on childhood obesity has shifted during the past three decades.Research began with mostly medical studies documenting the natural history and physiological sequelae of obesity, followed by individual- and family-based interventions, and, more recently, environmental correlates of and policy approaches to childhood obesity.Among adult-sibling models, the contribution of time-constant factors remained relatively high (33–38 %), but time-changing factors explained less variation (5–15 %).  showed that a common environment explained 74–87 % of variation in body height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) among twins at early ages, but the variance explained was markedly reduced to less than 20 % by age 19 years.These studies point to the importance of targeting family and social environments in early childhood.Four twin and sibling studies attempted to disentangle the role of genetics and environment on weight status.Brown and Roberts  found that, among adolescents, time-constant factors (i.e., genetics, individual characteristics, home environments) and time-changing factors (i.e., social network influences) explained 43 % and 44 %, respectively, of weight correlations across statistical models.In addition, we offer an editorial discussion of childhood obesity research trends, gaps, and recommendations.illustrates findings from the overall thematic analysis of the publications included in this review, indicating the relative proportion of each domain and major themes within it.