A literature review of evidence for primary prevention of overweight and obesity in healthy weight children and adolescents: A report produced by a working group of the Danish Council on Health and Disease Prevention

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Primary prevention targets development of overweight in individuals with healthy weight and is a great challenge. This paper summarizes the main findings of a working group of the Danish Council on Health and Disease Prevention that reviewed the literature on primary prevention of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents. The results were presented in a Danish report, in which a 2019 Cochrane review on childhood obesity prevention was complemented by searches in PubMed to include all relevant subsequent studies published from January 2018 until March 2020. In this paper, the review was updated until June 2023. Numerous childhood overweight prevention interventions have been developed during the past decades, primarily targeting diet and/or physical activity. Several of these interventions showed positive effects on diet and physical activity level but did not show effects on risk of developing overweight. The evidence foundation is inconsistent as four out of five interventions did not show positive effects. Previously observed intervention effects may not reflect excessive weight gain prevention among children with healthy weight but rather bodyweight reduction among those with overweight or obesity. We do not have sufficient knowledge about how to prevent children with healthy weight from developing overweight, and creative solutions are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13641
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of World Obesity Federation.

    Research areas

  • children, intervention, obesity, primary prevention

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