Childhood obesity is a major public health problem in the USA, with youth at all stages of development at increasing risk (Health, 2008). Between 1976 and 2004, increases in overweight prevalence ranged from 5.0 % to 12.4 % for 2-to-5-year olds, 6.5 % to 17 % for 6-to-11-year olds, and 5.0 % to 17.6 % for 12-to-19-year olds (Ogden, Carroll, and, Flegal, 2008; Ogden et al., 2006; Ogden and Carroll, 2010). These statistics are particularly alarming as overweight youth disproportionately suffer from chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, thus resulting in reduced quality of life at an early age (Anderson and Butcher, 2006). Overweight children are also at high risk for becoming overweight adults with the attendant comorbid conditions, including osteoarthritis and certain forms of cancer (Freedman, Dietz, Srinivasan, and Berenson, 1999; Dietz, 1998; Khaodhiar, McCowen, and Blackburn, 1999). As a consequence, a sense of urgency exists to disentangle the complex, multifactorial interactions between individual and environmental factors that lead to child weight imbalance and obesity (Johnson-Taylor and Everhart, 2006; Papas et al., 2007; Sallis and Glanz, 2006; Wang and Beydoun, 2007).
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