Obesity may be on the rise again, particularly among young children.

Despite previous reports that obesity in children and adolescents has remained stable or decreased in recent years, a new study published today (Feb. 26) in the journal Pediatrics found that not only has obesity not declined for any age group, but severe obesity also has increased significantly for children ages 2 to 5. 

Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar, chair of the Texas Tech University Department of Nutritional Sciences, has been an obesity researcher and physician for 35 years, during which time he has treated more than 15,000 patients for obesity. He is also a past president of The Obesity Society, the premier professional organization of obesity researchers and clinicians from North America. He is available to speak about the trends in obesity and the often misunderstood nature of the disease.



Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar, professor and chair, Department of Nutritional Sciences, (806) 834-6446 or [email protected]


Talking points

  • Obesity prevalence is very high for adults and children. Obesity is linked with many serious illnesses. Timely intervention to prevent or treat obesity is needed.
  • Treatment of obesity sounds deceptively simple: Eat less, move more. However, if it worked, we would not be discussing obesity. Currently, available treatments have only marginal success.
  • We need to change how we see obesity and conduct research to understand the disease.
  • Obesity is a serious and complex disease. It is not about a lack of self-discipline. Obesity is not caused by food. Instead, those who have the disease tend to store food in the form of fat. There are about 90 contributors to obesity reported.
  • Why do some individuals eat a lot of food while others don’t? Scientifically, we should find out what factors lead to excess food intake in only some individuals. Are there genes, hormones or other environmental factors such as certain infections that predispose individuals to do so? Additional research is needed to understand causes of obesity, which are often ignored. These specific causes could be targeted to treat obesity more effectively.


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