During World War II there were a number of children who were separated from their mothers. It was noticed that these children became depressed after going through several stages of grief. First, the children cried strenuously for their mothers. Then the children became very agitated. Afterwards, they became despondent and still. Lastly, they became very withdrawn. This severe reaction to losing their mothers is known as anaclitic depression. This same type of reaction to separation has been observed in studies with monkeys. In these studies, the monkeys secreted higher amounts of cortisol (a stress hormone) during the earlier stages of grief. It was found that the more cortisol that was released into the blood, the more intense the monkey's depression became later on. In approximately one-half of all depressed humans there are high levels of cortisol in the blood.
A child is diagnosed with obesity by assessing where their body mass index (BMI) falls on a growth chart that corresponds with their age and height. Since BMI does not account for muscle mass or larger than average body frames, a doctor also considers other factors to determine if the child's weight is a concern. Some of the factors include: family history of obesity, the child’s eating habits and activity level, as well as their psychosocial history. If the child is determined to be obese, treatment will involve changes in diet and physical activity. For certain patients, medication or weight-loss surgery may be an option.