Psychosocial contribution and prevention of childhood obesity

Yael Latzer, Daniel Stein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The current review focuses on an updated critical analysis of the most relevant socio-cultural issues in childhood overweight issues. It is rooted on a comprehensive systematic literature search of the PUBMED, PSYCHLIT, PSYCHINFO, and ERIC between 1991 and 2010. A dramatic rise in childhood overweight issues has been shown in many countries around the globe, both Western industrialized and Third World non-industrialized countries, in the past two to three decades. From the different environmental dimensions potentially associated with childhood overweight issues, this review highlights the role of gender, socio-economic status, cultural and familial background, social isolation, and a host of factors associated with the influence of modernization, particularly the influence of the media, changes in the food consumed, and reduction in physical activity. These findings highlight the need for promoting health-generated strategies to reduce the risk of child and adolescent obesity. The findings of prevention studies, although not definite, emphasize two important points. Firstly, prevention programs should be multidisciplinary, combining the knowledge of experts from different professions, taking into consideration the important role of the family, and relevant influential social organizations, primarily the school. Secondly, no change can be induced without planned large-scale programs carried out on a public policy level.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPathways to Obesity and Main Roads to Recovery
EditorsP. Vinai
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9781611227406
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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