Role of Dietary Factors, Food Habits, and Lifestyle in Childhood Obesity Development: A Position Paper From the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Committee on Nutrition

Elvira Verduci, Jiri Bronsky, ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition, Nicholas Embleton, Konstantinos Gerasimidis, Flavia Indrio, Jutta Köglmeier, Barbara de Koning, Alexandre Lapillonne, Sissel Jennifer Moltu, Lorenzo Norsa, Magnus Domellöf

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: Childhood obesity has high societal and economic impact but current treatment approaches are sub-optimal. In the last decade, important studies have been conducted aiming to identify strategies to prevent obesity during critical periods of life. Updated recommendations for childhood obesity prevention are needed. We present data from systematic reviews and meta- analysis, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and large observational studies, published from 2011 onwards that consider the possible role of the following factors in obesity development: breast-feeding; macronutrient composition and method of complementary feeding; parenting style; dietary patterns; sugar-sweetened beverage consumption; eating behaviour (eg, skipping breakfast, family dinners. etc); meal frequency and composition (fast foods, snacking), portion size; dietary modulators of gut microbiota (including pre-, pro-, and synbiotics); physical activity and sedentary behaviour. We used the Medline database and the Cochrane Library to search for relevant publications. Important research gaps were also identified. This position paper provides recommendations on dietary factors, food habits, and lifestyle to prevent childhood obesity development, based on the available literature and expert opinion. Clinical research and high-quality trials are urgently needed to resolve numerous areas of uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-783
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Volume72
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

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