Current Pediatric Reviews

Giuseppe Buonocore
Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine
University of Siena


Social Determinants of Childhood Obesity: Beyond Individual Choices

Author(s): Esther K. Chung, Martha C. Romney.


Childhood obesity is a major public health problem affecting children worldwide. Early strategies to address this problem have focused largely on diet and exercise, with an emphasis on changing the health behavior of individuals. Increasingly, experts recognize the impact of social factors such as neighborhood characteristics, child care and school settings, access to supermarkets, and social policies on childhood obesity. This article provides an overview of the social determinants of obesity from early childhood through adolescence. Clinicians and policy makers alike need to understand the social context in which children live in order to 1) understand the risk factors for childhood obesity and the potential barriers to acquiring good nutrition and engaging in physical activity, and 2) identify resources and potential solutions, including novel policies and community initiatives, to this growing problem.

Keywords: Childhood obesity, healthy foods, social determinants, physical activity, active transportation

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Article Details

Year: 2012
Page: [237 - 252]
Pages: 16
DOI: 10.2174/157339612802139370
Price: $58