Childhood overweight has become such a serious public health problem that some researchers have speculated that children born today could have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. A myriad of factors are associated with childhood overweight. For example, early exposures such as breastfeeding and the time in which solid foods are introduced have been shown to be important factors influencing future risk for overweight. In early childhood and into adolescence, the home environment, including food availability and health behaviors that are role modeled by influential adults, play a role in childhood overweight. As children become more autonomous, peer networks, media usage, and sedentary time become increasingly important determinants of childhood weight status.
At EPSO we have a number of ongoing projects addressing many of these potential areas for intervention as well as ongoing epidemiological investigations aimed at predicting health consequences later in life. Epidemiological information is used to plan and evaluate strategies to prevent health problems earlier, as well as later in life. Our main goal is to improve the health of the population beginning at an early age.