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Childhood Obesity PreventionInternational Research, Controversies and Interventions$
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Jennifer A. O'Dea and Michael Eriksen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572915

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572915.001.0001

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The role of health professionals

The role of health professionals

(p.258) Chapter 23 The role of health professionals
Childhood Obesity Prevention

Kelley DeVane Hart

Bonnie A. Spear

Oxford University Press

The past decade has witnessed a phenomenal increase in the awareness and concerns over childhood obesity prevention and intervention. Many view the health care provider as ‘jumping onboard’ too little and too late, especially in the area of prevention. Numerous population-level studies have demonstrated the link between early life events and the occurrence of many common chronic diseases. For example, malnutrition in early gestation or rapid weight gain in a low birth weight infant increases the odds of childhood obesity. This chapter discusses the Life Course Perspective which focuses on health being a developmental process occurring throughout the lifespan and life stage (developmental periods). There are critical periods that appear to have greater impact than others. The early part of the life span is when health programming is more intense and prevention has the greatest potential impact. The chapter also discusses how health professionals can be aware of early risk factors that increase the risk for childhood obesity and provide early intervention. Because health care professionals see patients over numerous visits, they possess the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to advise patients about appropriate weight.

Keywords:   prevention, low birth weight, life span, health programming, children, diagnosis, measurement, interpretation, public health professionals, physician

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