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Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2006;39(5): 371-378.
Study on the Relationship between Childhood Obesity and Various Determinants, including Socioeconomic Factors, in an Urban Area.
Hee Tae Kang, Young Su Ju, Kyung Hee Park, Young Jun Kwon, Hyoung June Im, Do Myung Paek, Hyun Joo Lee
1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Korea. zorro@hallym.ac.kr
2Department of Family Medicine, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Korea.
3Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Korea.
4Graduate School of Commerce, Waseda university, Japan.
OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of childhood obesity, the association between the undesirable lifestyles and socioeconomic factors, the association between childhood obesity and various risk factors, including socioeconomic factors, and the agreement between the body mass index (BMI) classification and the body fat percentage. METHODS: The study subjects were all the 5th grade students from all the elementary schools in Gunpo City, Kyunggi Province, South Korea (4043 children at 22 schools). The subjects were measured for their height, weight and percent body fat etc. and they were also surveyed by questionnaire from March 18th to April 25th, 2005. To determine whether the children were within normal limits or not, standardized BMIs for each age group were used. The data was analyzed by logistic regression analysis using SAS 9.0 version. RESULTS: The prevalence of childhood obesity prevalence was 25.1%. Boys had a higher prevalence of obesity (27.5%) than did the girls (22.5%). Children had tendencies of having undesirable lifestyles and getting obese if they had a lower socioeconomic status. The risk factors for childhood obesity were low paternal education (OR: 1.17, 95% CI: 0.97-1.42) and non-parental caregivers (OR : 1.34, 95% CI: 0.98-1.82). Other risk factors for childhood obesity were a high birth-weight, longer TV/computer-using time, a lower fruit-eating frequency, short sleeping hours and parental obesity. The agreement rate between the BMI classification and the body fat percentage was 93.1%. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed the children had a higher prevalence of obesity: further, not only individual lifestyles, but also socioeconomic factors could influence childhood obesity. Childhood obesity was especially more problematic for children with a low socioeconomic status.
Key words: Child; Obesity; Socioeconomic factors
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