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Childhood obesity and mindfulness


Abstract

Obesity, a largely intractable health condition with incalculable health, financial, emotional, physical, and social costs and ramifications remains an immense challenge to mitigate effectively, especially if this condition has evolved unabated since early childhood. Moreover, multiple intervention approaches designed to prevent or mitigate childhood obesity, and its predictable and well established negative health impacts, while studied intently and widely applied to aid efforts to foster the attainment of a healthy weight status across the lifespan, have generally failed to eliminate this growing global epidemic and its detrimental consequences for the individual, as well as society. Alternately, interventions that can limit the onset of obesity, or help to reduce this where present, including efforts to contain depression, anxiety, stress, and emotional and/or externally stimulated eating behaviors, would appear highly desirable and of high personal and social significance. Studied for many years in various spheres, mindfulness based strategies are being and have been discussed for some time in this regard. This mini review discusses some of these ideas and related observations regarding, and whether more emphasis on ensuring mindfulness based actions are possible and should not be ignored in efforts to effectively attenuate selected correlates of the global obesity burden. Extracted from current literature, it is concluded that this is a field of significant promise, but one requiring not only more longterm research, but possible novel ecologically oriented integrated mindful and collaborative thoughtful family, school, community, and policy intervention efforts, along with dedicated sustainable collaborative goals and supportive efforts.

Keywords

childhood obesity, family, intervention, mindfulness, schools, social ecological model, stress

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