Childhood obesity is a well-recognized problem in the United States1-3  and in some other countries (eg, in Latin America). It can cause other medical problems in childhood and adolescence, tends to persist, and long-standing obesity brings health risks in adults. Thus, current childhood obesity promises to contribute lower adult quality of life and higher medical costs in the future. To guide both prevention and treatment, a thorough understanding of its patterns, causes, and treatment options is needed.

The article by Mei et al10  in this issue ofPediatrics electronic pages adds to our understanding of patterns of ponderosity in low-income children, based on a study of children receiving WIC services between 1983 and 1995. The investigators focus on overweight, defined as weight for height ≥85th percentile (the term “obesity” is not used). During the time studied, the percentage of overweight children increased...

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