The role of dietary fiber in the development and treatment of childhood obesity.


Childhood obesity is viewed as a public health problem in the United States because of its assumed high prevalence and increasing secular trend. The best estimate of the genetic contribution to obesity ranges from 5% to 25%. Environmental factors play a major role in obesity development. Low income and a low level of education have been associated with obesity, particularly among white women. Caloric intake as a risk factor for obesity has not been clearly established. This lack of a clear-cut association may be attributable to the problem of accurately measuring caloric intake. Several studies have linked increased total fat intake, rather than caloric intake, with obesity. Some studies have linked television viewing to obesity in children. Obesity is rare among the populations of developing countries, where dietary fiber intake is high. Explanations for the role of dietary fiber in obesity include a reduced caloric density of the foods, a slower rate of food ingestion, and possible effects on satiety. Most studies on the role of fiber in the treatment of obesity have been somewhat limited by lack of comparison groups, inadequate sample sizes, and short durations of the observations. However, although limited, the available evidence suggests that fiber potentially could play a useful role in weight reduction. For children, fiber administration should be considered as an adjuvant therapy rather than a primary modality, because fiber might aid in promoting satiety during meals and curbing hunger between meals.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Cite this paper

@article{Kimm1995TheRO, title={The role of dietary fiber in the development and treatment of childhood obesity.}, author={Simon Y. Kimm}, journal={Pediatrics}, year={1995}, volume={96 5 Pt 2}, pages={1010-4} }