Box 1-1
Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee will review factors related to overweight and obesity in infants, toddlers, and preschool children (birth to 5 years), with a focus on nutrition, physical activity, and sedentary behavior; identify gaps in knowledge; and make recommendations on early childhood obesity prevention policies, taking into account the differences between children birth to 2 years old and 2 to 5 years old.

In conducting its task, this committee will:

  • Draw on primary and secondary sources to assess evidence on the:
    • — major factors affecting obesity risk in young children, including the relationship with caregivers, physical activity opportunities and barriers, access to healthy foods, social determinants, and other important factors;
    • — major factors in the first 5 years that affect attitudes, preferences, and behaviors important to overweight and obesity; and
    • — relationships between elevated weight status and excess weight gain in young children and their health and well-being during childhood and risk for obesity-related comorbidities, across the life course.
  • Identify settings, existing programs, and policy opportunities for childhood obesity prevention efforts in the first 5 years;
  • Consider the inclusion of illustrative case studies; and
  • Make recommendations on early childhood obesity prevention policies across a range of settings and types of programs, taking into account potential distinctions between policy recommendations for the first 2 years (birth to 2 years) and those developed for the next 3 years (2 to 5 years).

The primary audience of the report includes decision makers and stakeholders who have the opportunity to influence the environments in which young children develop and grow.

prevention policies. The focus of the study was on settings, existing programs, and policy opportunities for childhood obesity prevention in the first 5 years of life and on the development of recommendations across a range of settings and types of programs. The primary audience for the report is policy makers and stakeholders who have opportunities to influence the environments in which young children develop and grow.1 The committee’s statement of task is presented in Box 1-1.

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1In this report, the term “young children” refers to ages birth to 5 years.



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