Background and objectives: The number of obese children worldwide is rising very rapidly in the past 4 decades so that childhood obesity is now considered as one of the serious public health challenges. The objective of this study is to provide an overview of the literature focused on the burden of childhood obesity and the ways to overcome it.
Materials and methods: Peer-reviewed studies published between 1991 and 2018 were considered for the review. Studies meeting eligibility criteria were published in English, targeted children aged 3–18 years. Seventy-six studies were considered for inclusion. Eighteen studies were excluded due to poor methodological quality. Sixty-four studies were included in the review. Data were extracted independently.
Results: This review identified the evidence-based intervention of childhood obesity prevention. The results indicate six key issues of emphasis in the literature: population-based preventive approach as the best option; preschool and primary school population as the major target group; behavioral changes are crucial; development of the structures to support policies and interventions at the level of government to prevent childhood obesity; population-wide policies and interventions and community-based interventions to combat childhood obesity prevention. Multisectoral collaboration and strong community participations are essential in building evidence-based well-constructed programs, policies and strategies for the prevention of childhood obesity.
Conclusion: Childhood obesity is associated with significant reduction in quality of life as well as related to bullying and social isolation. World Health Organization (WHO) recommended a population-based approach for childhood obesity prevention. The key components include structures to support policies and interventions, population-wide policies and initiatives and community-based interventions. Population-based preventive approach is one of the cost-effective ways and very much crucial to control the rising tide of childhood obesity.
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