The prevalence of childhood obesity is rising rapidly, as are the associated medical complications, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. This has significant medical and socioeconomic implications. The definition of obesity in adults is based on body mass index (BMI), which has been correlated with morbidity and mortality. Similarly, the definition of childhood obesity is currently based on BMI; however, there are currently no data to relate morbidity and mortality to BMI values in children. The known and potential causes of childhood obesity are many, but they can be categorized as genetic, endocrine, prenatal/early life, physical activity, diet, and socioeconomic. These factors influence the basic equation: energy input = energy output. Imbalances in this equation can result in obesity. Here we present a review of recent literature and highlight the etiologies, certain complications, and potential prevention and treatment strategies of childhood obesity.