Rates of obesity in youth have tripled in the past 20 years. Today it is estimated that over twenty percent of American children and adolescents are overweight. This emerging epidemic has stimulated a great deal of new research into the formative influences and the interpersonal, social and psychological effects of obesity on children. In this thorough and incisive book, editors Leslie Heinberg and J. Kevin Thompson have employed an august group of researchers to describe these trends and to discuss their implications for the assessment, treatment, and prevention of obesity in youth.
The book opens by acquainting readers with key genetic influences and dietary patterns, and later chapters on treatment and prevention are written from medical and public health perspectives. But contributors focus primarily on psychological aspects of obesity such as teasing, body image, and co-morbidity with mental disorders as well as the psychosocial consequences for children, families and the larger society. This wide-ranging volume will be of great use for public and mental health professionals, as well as academics and researchers who seek a fuller understanding of the fight against childhood obesity.