Childhood obesity is a significant and growing problem throughout the world. In many countries child obesity rates have tripled or quadrupled in the last 10-to-20 years.

Some health experts are predicting that, for the first time in history, the current generation will be less healthy than the last due to the rising incidence of child and adolescent obesity. It is broadly assumed that childhood obesity rates have risen due to increased consumption of unhealthy (junk) food and decreased physical activity among children throughout the world. Therefore, the dominant prescription for addressing the child obesity epidemic is having kids eat healthier and exercise more.

The problem is that the research data doesn’t support this approach. There is almost no evidence that childhood obesity is caused by unhealthy eating and sedentary behavior, and almost all efforts to reduce the incidence of via this prescrition haven’t worked.

Global child and adolescent obesity rates continue to rise and research studies attempting to address the problem continue to fail. Getting kids to eat more healthily and exercise more hasn’t worked for the last 20 years and there is no scientific evidence these strategies will work in the future.

As contributor to the Better Kids Institute, I plan to write a series of articles about childhood obesity that I hope will provide real help to parents. I will be discussing the causes of child obesity and offer advice on what parents, schools and communities should be doing about. What’s needed is a more accurate understanding of the childhood obesity crisis and more viable solutions for parents and communities to address this global problem.

The advice I offer will not be based on myths like much of the information available on health and fitness. Instead, I will focus on sharing the truths about what is known through the scientific literature and that strategies that have proven to work.