Childhood obesity has essentially no consequences at the community level and therefore presents a dilemma. On the one hand, communities should be dealing with those health matters that place a real burden on their resources. On the other hand, childhood obesity places almost no immediate burden on resources. However, the burden of adult obesity is highly significant and is predicted by the prevalence of untreated childhood obesity. The medical complications for the vast majority of obese children occur beyond the childhood years. Emotional suffering, which is common, could take up resources, but mental health services are so inadequate across the country that the troubled child is infrequently seen. The community does have a great responsibility to address the problem of childhood obesity, and I propose to address its potential role across the three areas of prevention, treatment, and monitoring.
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|Published - 1 Jan 2005
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© 2006 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.