The Physiology of Body Weight Regulations: Relevance to the Etiology of Obesity in Children

Rosenbaum M, Leibel RL
January 1, 1998

Pediatrics. 1998;101(Suppl 2):525-529

This article is part of a 1998 supplement to the journal Pediatrics “The Causes and Health Consequences of Obesity in Children and Adolescents.”

Abstract: The prevalence of obesity and children and adults in the United States has increased by more than 30% over the past decade. Recent studies of the physiology and molecular genetics of obesity in humans have provided evidence that body weight (fat) is regulated. Some of the gene encoding the molecular components of this regulatory system have isolated from rodents. The increasing prevalence of obesity in the United States apparently represents the interaction of these genes with an environment that encourages a sedentary lifestyle and consumption of calories. The rapid increase in prevalence of obesity emphasizes the role of environmental factors, because genetic changes could not occur at this rate. Thus, understanding the relevant genes and how their effects ar mediated by environment and development should lead to more effective prophylaxis and therapy of obesity. Although no clear environmental factors have been identified as a causative of obesity, the rapid increases i the prevalence of obesity and the seeming voluntary immutability of adult body fatness cane be taken as tacit evidence the pediatric environment can be altered in a way that affects adult body weight.

To access this article, click here.

All Articles in This Supplement