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Childhood overweight and obesity have an estimated prevalence of 10 % globally. High body mass index (BMI) is a known major predictor of body dissatisfaction, problem eating, low self-esteem, bullying and poor social and health outcomes for children. Childhood is also a time when lifelong habits are established, and as such is a time where prevention efforts have a high chance of success if implemented appropriately. Obesity prevention in children also has the potential to create weight, shape and food concerns in children and as such programs should focus on the principle first, do no harm. This paper canvasses existing literature and intervention program data to make the following recommendations for effective childhood obesity prevention: Programs should be educative for both children and their parents, programs should be inclusive of the whole family, there should be a focus on health and growth, not weight, and parents, schools and children should all be involved.

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Journal Article

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