review of the literature and a new classification of the early determinants of childhood obesity: from pregnancy to the first years of life
Tabacchi, G. | Giammanco, S. | La Guardia, M. | Giammanco, M.
From as early on as the development of the fetus, the risk of obesity can be evaluated. At the beginning of life, nutritional intake in man is controlled by innate biological systems and internal signals; and later on, the learning processes determine cognitive structures about food and nutrition, strongly influencing eating habits. It is important to identify all the factors that have an influence on childhood obesity and intervene with prevention programs. In this review, the databases “Pubmed" and “The Cochrane Library" were consulted to provide a review of recent literature (1982-2007) concerning childhood obesity. A particular importance is given to the influence exerted by the parents. This review also proposes a new classification of the factors involved from the beginning of pregnancy up to childhood and through adolescence. The nutritional or nonnutritional nature of the factors is also considered. Therefore, this review can be a useful instrument for public health professionals to detect the most critical periods for the onset of childhood obesity, identify the target to which the intervention of primary prevention should be addressed, and determine the moment when such programs should be realized.Show more [+] Less [-]