As a major public health concern, childhood obesity is a multifaceted and multilevel metabolic disorder influenced by genetic and behavioral aspects. While genetic risk factors contribute to and interact with the onset and development of excess body weight, available evidence indicates that several modifiable obesogenic behaviors play a crucial role in the etiology of childhood obesity. Although a variety of systematic reviews and meta-analyses have reported the effectiveness of several interventions in community-based, school-based, and home-based programs regarding childhood obesity, the prevalence of children with excess body weight remains high. Additionally, researchers and pediatric clinicians are often encountering several challenges and the characteristics of an optimal weight management strategy remain controversial. Strategies involving a combination of physical activity, nutritional, and educational interventions are likely to yield better outcomes compared to single-component strategies but various prohibitory limitations have been reported in practice. This review seeks to (i) provide a brief overview of the current preventative and therapeutic approaches towards childhood obesity, (ii) discuss the complexity and limitations of research in the childhood obesity area, and (iii) suggest an Etiology-Based Personalized Intervention Strategy Targeting Childhood Obesity (EPISTCO). This purposeful approach includes prioritized nutritional, educational, behavioral, and physical activity intervention strategies directly based on the etiology of obesity and interpretation of individual characteristics.
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