Provide an Overview of the Science
|Research Question: What are the non-modifiable (socioeconomic, genetic, epigenetic, home environment, food preferences) and modifiable factors (physical activity, eating behaviors) related to childhood (under age 12) obesity? How can this knowledge be applied to oral health professionals' efforts to prevent or manage dental caries in children?
Donald Chi, D.D.S., Ph.D., Frances Chu, M.L.I.S.,
M.S.N., and Monique Luu, B.A.
||Studies have identified various risk factors for childhood obesity. These epidemiologic data from the literature have implications for future research and interventions in dentistry aimed at preventing obesity and dental caries in children. The purpose of the scoping review was to develop a conceptual model to identify non-modifiable and modifiable risk factors for childhood obesity, and to illustrate how these findings are relevant to preventing obesity and dental caries in children.
||The authors searched
Medline and Embase and limited their search to English-language publications. A
total of 2,390 studies were identified. After, de-duplication, 2,354 studies
remained and were downloaded into a citation-management tool. Two authors
screened the titles and abstracts for relevance. Two-hundred-sixty-one studies
remained and were retrieved for a full-text review and 76 studies were removed
because of irrelevance, resulting in 185 studies that were included in the
||The authors classified
statistically significant risk factors for obesity as non-modifiable or
modifiable. Non-modifiable obesity risk factors include biological (e.g.,
genetic markers, developmental disability, early onset puberty); developmental
(e.g., disabilities, poor self-regulation); sociodemographic (e.g., minority
race/ethnicity, lower levels of caregiver education, unemployment, low
household income, caregiver incarceration, maternal age); and cultural
characteristics (e.g., degree of acculturation). Modifiable risk factors
include behavioral (e.g., poor diet, increased carbohydrate intake, inadequate
physical activity, sedentary lifestyle); psychosocial (e.g., parenting
practices, stress); and medical (e.g., caregiver obesity, maternal gestational
diabetes and hypertension, post-partum weight gain, poor sleep, medication
use). Understanding how these risk factors influence obesity in children has
important implications for future oral health research aimed at reducing
pediatric obesity and dental caries rates.
gleaned from the literature can be used to develop more rigorous interventions
and programs aimed at preventing obesity and dental caries in children and
improving oral health outcomes for children