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Addressing overweight and obesity in babies and infants

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It might come as a surprise to some readers to learn that obesity is the most common childhood nutritional disorder in the world, making it an important area for all health professionals working with children. 1, 2

The prevalence of childhood obesity in the UK increased considerably over a short number of years during the early 1990s.3, 4 The reasons for this rapid increase in childhood obesity are most likely multi-factorial, involving an interaction between a modern 'obesogenic' environment and family lifestyle choices.

Managing childhood obesity is challenging, due to the need to engage not only with the child or young person but with his/her parents and the whole family. Those working with obese children and adolescents need to have an appreciation of the complex behavioural issues as well as the causes and consequences of obesity in childhood.

Health and psychosocial consequences of obesity in childhood are reported as being seen in early childhood, adolescence and adult life. This article explores infant weight management.

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