Obesity represents the most common chronic illness of children and adolescents. Childhood obesity affects every age group from infancy to young adulthood and one quarter to one third of all pediatric patients. With the rapid onset of the “obesity epidemic,” pediatric health care professionals are struggling to meet the clinical and educational demands required to care for obese patients and their families. Driven by the obesity epidemic, comorbidities previously seen only in adults are being diagnosed in children and adolescents, often requiring treatment by the pediatric practitioner.
Covered only briefly or not at all in medical school or residency training, obesity and obesity-related diseases constitute a new area of study for most pediatric health care providers. The mission of this book is to increase understanding of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and effect of obesity in childhood and to address the obesity-related comorbidities in detail.
The initial chapters (Chapters 1,Chapters 2,Chapters 3,Chapters 4,Chapters 5) cover principles in obesity management, pathophysiology, and epidemiology, allowing the reader to develop an understanding of obesity in the context of gene-environment interaction, societal change, and the individual child and family. The following chapters (Chapters 6, Chapters 7, Chapters 8, Chapters 9, Chapters 10, Chapters 11, Chapters 12, Chapters 13, Chapters 14) focus on the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and treatment of the comorbidities of obesity. Topics include, among others, obesity-related genetic syndromes, type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, hypertension and dyslipidemia, hypothalamic obesity, obesity-related orthopedic complications, and mental health issues. Each chapter discusses epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and treatment, usually ending with a case presentation.Chapters 15 deals with specific emergencies related to obesity, and Chapter 16 offers strategies for treating the obese patient. The hope is that this book will add to the knowledge base of those who care for obese children and their families and provide help in managing this “new morbidity” in pediatrics.