Special Issue "Improving Childhood and Adolescent Health: Intervention Strategies for Reducing Early Obesity and Associated Risk for Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Inflammation, and Oxidative Stress"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Adolescents".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Robert M. Badeau
E-Mail Website
Chief Guest Editor
Department of Health Science, Indiana Institute of Technology, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805, USA
Interests: cardiometabolic disease pathology; nutrition; resistance training and exercise
Dr. Prince Dadson
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Clinical Medicine, Turku PET Centre, University of Turku, 20520 Turku, Finland
Interests: obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, tissue-specific metabolism, obesity intervention studies, biomarkers in metabolic disorders
Dr. Robert Femminella
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Health Sciences Program, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT 06604, USA
Interests: cardiovascular disease pathology, immunology, nutrition, mind-body medicine

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Worldwide, childhood and adolescent obesity is a major public health challenge. Between 1980 and 2013, the global prevalence of childhood and adolescent obesity increased by over 47%[1] .Early obesity predisposes these future adults to having increased risks for metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a much earlier age compared to non-obese controls. Additionally, this early obesity leads to significantly lower mental health outcomes compared to controls. Early intervention is critical. Educational interventions covering endpoints such as healthy nutritional choices, managing energy balance, and proper physical activity regimens can markedly reduce childhood and adolescent obesity. However, the impact of these nutritional- and physical-activity-oriented interventions—both cross-sectional and longitudinal—on reducing obesity in children and adolescents, with the associated improvement in clinical outcomes being blood pressure and plasma lipid, insulin, and glucose concentrations, prove inconsistent. Additionally, the effects of these obesity-lowering interventions on circulating markers for inflammation and oxidative stress remain uncertain. Technology-driven interventions such as virtual consultations and mobile applications hold promise to sustain weight loss and improve clinical parameters in children and adolescents. Research articles in the form of original articles or reviews from different disciplines addressing these topics are invited for this Special Issue.

1  Prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults. Available Online: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)62367-9/fulltext (accessed on 11 January 2021)

Dr. Robert M. Badeau
Dr. Prince Dadson
Dr. Robert Femminella
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • childhood obesity
  • adolescent obesity
  • nutrition
  • physical activity
  • inflammation
  • oxidative stress
  • cardiovascular disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • energy balance
  • health and wellbeing

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Australian School Stakeholders’ Perceived Strategies for Preventing Adolescent Obesity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9387; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18179387 - 06 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Adolescent obesity is a complex multifactorial disease with a combination of environmental, behavioral, psychosocial, biological, cultural and genetic determinants. It remains a global public health issue that presents a major challenge to chronic disease prevention and health into adulthood. Schools have a rich [...] Read more.
Adolescent obesity is a complex multifactorial disease with a combination of environmental, behavioral, psychosocial, biological, cultural and genetic determinants. It remains a global public health issue that presents a major challenge to chronic disease prevention and health into adulthood. Schools have a rich opportunity to improve youth health and tackle obesity, yet they face barriers in fulfilling this function. This study investigated school stakeholders’ beliefs and perceptions of the barriers and enablers currently experienced by schools, as well as their recommendations towards preventing adolescent obesity. A sequential explanatory mixed-methods study design was utilised with surveys administered for the quantitative phase and individual interviews for the qualitative phase. Descriptive statistics and inductive thematic analyses were utilised for the survey and interview data, respectively. Triangulation of findings from the quantitative and qualitative phases aided in the better understanding and integration of the overall results. In total, 60 school stakeholders (52 subject teachers, 3 senior teachers and 5 heads of department) from both independent and public high schools in Queensland, Australia responded to the survey, while 14 respondents participated in the interviews. The main perceived causes of obesity were poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. Highlighted barriers were busy timetables, shortage of trained staff and funding, lack of robustness in the introduction and implementation of school interventions and insufficient motivation of learners to participate in obesity prevention programs. Enabling factors included parental support, easy access to fitness equipment during recess, supportive government policies, provision of healthier school tuck shop menu options and elimination of sugary drinks from vending machines. A model for the prevention of adolescent obesity was developed based on participants’ perceptions. Tripartite collaboration between the school, government and parents was perceived as fundamental to preventing adolescent obesity. Strategies targeting nutrition, physical activity and overall health, including parental education on health, formal health talks in schools by health professionals and better-targeted advertisement encouraging healthy lifestyle choices, were identified as essential for improved adolescent health outcomes. Full article
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Article
Moderate-To-Vigorous Intensity Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour across Childhood and Adolescence, and Their Combined Relationship with Obesity Risk: A Multi-Trajectory Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7421; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147421 - 12 Jul 2021
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Abstract
The combined role of objectively assessed moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) is unclear in obesity prevention. This study aimed to identify latent groups for MVPA and SB trajectories from childhood to adolescence and examine their relationship with obesity risk [...] Read more.
The combined role of objectively assessed moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) is unclear in obesity prevention. This study aimed to identify latent groups for MVPA and SB trajectories from childhood to adolescence and examine their relationship with obesity risk at adolescence. From the Gateshead Millennium Study, accelerometer-based trajectories of time spent in MVPA and SB at ages 7, 9, 12, and 15 were derived as assigned as the predictor variable. Fat mass index (FMI), using bioelectrical impedance at age 15, was the outcome variable. From 672 children recruited, we identified three distinct multiple trajectory groups for time spent in MVPA and SB. The group with majority membership (54% of the cohort) had high MVPA and low SB at childhood, but MVPA declined and SB increased by age 15. One third of the cohort (31%) belonged to the trajectory with low MVPA and high time spent sedentary throughout. The third trajectory group (15% of the cohort) that had relatively high MVPA and relatively low SB throughout had lower FMI (−1.7, 95% CI (−3.4 to −1.0) kg/m2, p = 0.034) at age 15 compared to the inactive throughout group. High MVPA and low SB trajectories when combined are protective against obesity. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Dietary Intake and Nutritional Status on Anthropometric Development and Systemic Inflammation: An Observational Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5635; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18115635 - 25 May 2021
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Abstract
(1) Background: Daily caloric intake should aim to reduce the risk of obesity or poor anthropometric development. Our study objective was to analyze the association between food consumption, inflammatory status and anthropometric development; (2) Methods: We performed a prospective observational analytical research during [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Daily caloric intake should aim to reduce the risk of obesity or poor anthropometric development. Our study objective was to analyze the association between food consumption, inflammatory status and anthropometric development; (2) Methods: We performed a prospective observational analytical research during September 2020 and April 2021 on a group of 160 healthy subjects, aged between 6 and 12 years old, by analyzing food ingestion, the basal metabolic rate, anthropometric development and the inflammatory status; (3) Results: IL-6 was significantly correlated to the sum of skinfolds, along with both serum proteins and triglycerides. The skin folds were significantly correlated with the caloric intake and with total fat intake, next to saturated and trans fats. Unlike the skin folds, the body weight was significantly correlated with the caloric intake along with some vitamins, such as Vitamin A and Vitamin B12. Inactive mass increased with excessive folic acid, Vitamin E, Vitamin K and saturated fat intake; (4) Conclusions: The inflammatory status was influenced by the ingestion of micronutrients, total serum lipids and proteins. The anthropometric development was associated with the ingestion of carbohydrates, energy balance and energy intake. We can conclude that daily menu and nutrition imbalances can influence both the risk of obesity and the inflammatory status. Full article
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Review

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Review
The Effects of Dietary Education Interventions on Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8439; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18168439 - 10 Aug 2021
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Abstract
As the incidence and prevalence of diabetes increases, intervention through dietary education is becoming more important for diabetes control. This systematic review examines the evidence for the efficacy of dietary education interventions on diabetes control. The study subjects were patients with type 2 [...] Read more.
As the incidence and prevalence of diabetes increases, intervention through dietary education is becoming more important for diabetes control. This systematic review examines the evidence for the efficacy of dietary education interventions on diabetes control. The study subjects were patients with type 2 diabetes, and the main outcome variable was glycosylated hemoglobin level (HbA1c). The target studies were randomized controlled trials. Thirty-six studies were included in the analysis, of which 33 were included in the meta-analysis. The effect size between dietary education and general interventions was −0.42 (n = 5639, MD = −0.42; 95% CI −0.53 to −0.31) and was significantly different (Z = 7.73, p < 0.001). When subgroup analyses were performed following the application periods, intervention methods, and intervention contents, the mean differences in 4–6-month application, individual education, and diet-exercise-psychosocial intervention were −0.51, (n = 2742, 95% CI −0.71 to −0.32), −0.63 (n = 627, 95% CI −1.00 to −0.26), and −0.51 (n = 3244, 95% CI −0.71 to −0.32), respectively. Dietary education interventions provided for at least 3 months were highly effective in controlling HbA1c levels. Regarding the education method, individualized education was more effective, and contact or non-contact education may be applied for this. Combining diet, exercise, and psychosocial intervention is more effective than diet education alone. Full article
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