Importance of nutrition education in treating and preventing obesity in minority populations in the United States


Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO, USA


Childhood obesity eventually leads to predisposition to excess weight gain and obesity later in adult life. Overweight children are at twice the risk of becoming overweight/obese adults as compared to their lean counterparts. While obesity is a multifaceted health disorder, primary causes, especially in children stem from consumption of excess calories, mainly processed foods high in sugars, fats, and sodium. Additionally, reduced consumption of fruits and vegetables coupled with lack of physical activity combined with long periods of time spent performing sedentary activities such as, watching television/electronic media (tv), all of which contribute to development of obesity and related chronic disorders.
While the need for nutrition education is critical in today’s obesogenic environment, few educational institutes offer nutrition education as part of the regular curriculum. Therefore, the aim of this review is to examine the importance of nutrition education and its role in reducing obesity and other health disparities, especially in minority youth population.


An extensive search for relevant articles was performed on PubMed and Medline search engines. Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, policies, brief reports, and clinical studies were used to compile this manuscript. To identify relevant studies to be included for this manuscript, search results were carefully reviewed and summarized. Key words used to find suitable studies were included but not limited to nutrition education, obesity, obesity in minority children, childhood obesity, and metabolic syndrome in children with obesity, and nutrition education in minority obese children.


According to the world health organization (WHO), school-aged children and youth aged 5-19 years with body weights greater than 85th percentile are considered overweight, while those with body weights at or above 97th percentile are deemed obese. By the same token, younger children between ages of 2-5 years over the 97th percentile are to be considered overweight and at or above 99th percentile to be considered obese. Clinical studies have indicated that childhood obesity will eventually lead to early predisposition to ...