Almost fourteen percent of American children over age six and twelve percent of adolescents are obese, more than double the rate of thirty years ago. Although there are countless diet and weight-loss books on the market, few of them explain in jargon-free terms the basic factors, the body processes that can lead to childhood obesity, and the research currently underway to combat this growing health risk. In Understanding Childhood Obesity, Dr. J. Clinton Smith has created a comprehensive guide covering nearly every field of obesity research. He explores causes and methods of control, the body's physical and chemical make up, prevention strategies, new treatments and behavior modifications, and future research possibilities. Smith closely examines the genetic and environmental factors that can lead to childhood obesity. For parents, he answers the all-important question of whether an obese child needs help, and he outlines traditional diet and exercise treatments as well as aggressive medical and surgical techniques. He also introduces readers to the continuous care and problem solving model that has proved valuable in pediatric treatment clinics. Featured are: * An explanation of how obesity is identified by using a child's height and weight. * A frank discussion of the health consequences of obesity. * A review of how the body breaks down food for energy and how and why the body stores energy. * An examination of the powerful environmental factors affecting childhood weight gain. * A thorough gathering of the treatments and research, and a view of exciting new discoveries in genetics and body chemistry. J. Clinton Smith is an associate professor of pediatrics and an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. He has taught at Louisiana State University, practiced privately in pediatrics, and has served as Medical Director to the Tennessee State Department of Health and Environment and as Executive Director of the Division of Medicaid to the Office of the Governor, State of Mississippi.