Cover image for Understanding childhood obesity
Understanding childhood obesity
Smith, J. Clinton, 1939-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 160 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RJ399.C6 S63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Almost fourteen percent of American children over age six and twelve percent of adolescents are obese, more than double the rate of thirty years ago. Although there are countless diet and weight-loss books on the market, few of them explain in jargon-free terms the basic factors, the body processes that can lead to childhood obesity, and the research currently underway to combat this growing health risk.

In Understanding Childhood Obesity , Dr. J. Clinton Smith has created a comprehensive guide covering nearly every field of obesity research. He explores causes and methods of control, the body's physical and chemical make up, prevention strategies, new treatments and behavior modifications, and future research possibilities.

Smith closely examines the genetic and environmental factors that can lead to childhood obesity. For parents, he answers the all-important question of whether an obese child needs help, and he outlines traditional diet and exercise treatments as well as aggressive medical and surgical techniques. He also introduces readers to the "continuous care and problem solving model" that has proved valuable in pediatric treatment clinics.

Featured are:

An explanation of how obesity is identified by using a child's height and weight. A frank discussion of the health consequences of obesity. A review of how the body breaks down food for energy and how and why the body stores energy. An examination of the powerful environmental factors affecting childhood weight gain. A thorough gathering of the treatments and research, and a view of exciting new discoveries in genetics and body chemistry.

J. Clinton Smith is an associate professor of pediatrics and an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. He has taught at Louisiana State University, practiced privately in pediatrics, and has served as Medical Director to the Tennessee State Department of Health and Environment and as Executive Director of the Division of Medicaid to the Office of the Governor, State of Mississippi.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

More than one in seven American children between the ages of six and 17 are now considered obese. While the debate continues over how much influence to assign to heredity and how much to cultural and environmental factors, the fact remains undisputed that most adult obesity is rooted in childhood. The authors of both these books heartily agree with the old adage that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Smith, a pediatrician and assistant professor of preventive medicine, explains in depth how the body uses food as fuel and stores the excess as fat, what we know of how genetic factors and body chemistry influence weight gain, which behavior modification strategies work with children, and the short- and long-term health consequences of obesity. Prevention, treatment techniques, and current research on the role of leptin and neurotransmitters are included. Smith's book is a solid text for understanding a complex problem. Recommended for academic/health collections. Klein, a nutritionist and consumer advocate, has written a highly accessible handbook for parents to help their children develop and maintain nutritious eating habits. The emphasis is less on weight loss and more on living an active, healthy, balanced lifestyle. Klein advocates exercise and nutritious nibbling during the day and deemphasizes weight on the scale as an indicator of success or failure. One concept, Better Bad Choices (healthier versions of favorite foods), satisfies cravings while giving children the opportunity to learn how to make nutritious choices. In addition to discussions of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and sugars, an extensive appendix includes the caloric values of fast foods from major chains, better bad choices for candy and other sweets, the nutritional value of meats and seafood, and about 100 low-fat recipes using ordinary ingredients. A hands-on, hands-down winner; recommended for popular health collections.ÄAnne C. Tomlin, Auburn Memorial Hosp. Lib., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. ix
Understanding Childhood Obesityp. 1
1 Why is Obesity an Important Health Problem in America?p. 3
2 Who is Obese, and How Do We Know?p. 17
3 How Our Bodies Obtain Energyp. 33
4 Obesity: a Disorder of Energyp. 50
5 Some Factors That May Determine Obesityp. 64
6 What Can Be Done to Prevent Childhood Obesity?p. 81
7 If Prevention Doesn't Workp. 99
8 The Great Beyond: New Frontiers in the Treatment of Obesityp. 122
Notesp. 131
Glossaryp. 135
Referencesp. 140
Indexp. 149