Abstract

According to the data published by Haslam and James, about 10% of the world populations aged up to 18 areoverweight or obese [1]. In Europe, there are about 20% children with excessive body mass, 5% of whom sufferfrom obesity [2,3]. Childhood obesity is an ongoing epidemic in the United States [4,5]. The most recent data fromthe US indicate that 16.9% of children and adolescents are obese, defined as a body mass index (BMI) for age >95thpercentile [6,7] and there is evidence that the prevalence of obesity among children will reach 30% by 2030 [8].Childhood obesity is a risk factor for greater morbidity later in life, including diabetes, coronary artery disease andincreased mortality [4,5,9,10].