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Abstract

Childhood obesity in the United States has increased alarmingly and much is becoming known about multiple factors that contribute to this epidemic. These include environmental (e.g., prevalent junk foods), behavioral (e.g., inactivity), intrapsychic (e.g., depression), interpersonal (e.g., parenting style), as well as biological, socioeconomic, and cultural factors, to name just a few. A comprehensive multi-factor model of childhood obesity is presented based on extant research and its implications for assessment, intervention, and prevention are explored. Emphasis is placed on the importance of developing sound assessment approaches, on the potential value of treatment matching using interventions focused on assessment results on each child’s unique combination of causal factors, and more broadly on public health implications for prevention.

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