Early childhood nutrition and obesity prevention
Childhood obesity is a global epidemic with complex roots. The increasing prevalence of childhood obesity may have drastic consequences, potentially shortening the life expectancy of children to lower than preceding generations. The importance of preventing childhood obesity is highlighted by the challenges with intervention strategies and preventing obesity-related cardiovascular and metabolic comorbidities, which have also increased in incidence over the last several decades. In this chapter, we hope to give the reader an overview of the epidemiology, screening strategies, and state-of-the-art evidence in order to implement effective childhood obesity prevention strategies focused on conception until the first several years of life. The primary care provider seeing young children has the opportunity to potentiate messages and encourage lifestyle behaviors that can reduce the young child's risk for childhood obesity and its often lifelong comorbidities.