Risk factors for childhood obesity in elementary school-age Taiwanese children.

Jyu Lin Chen, Christine Kennedy, Chao Hsing Yeh, Susan Kools

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A cross-sectional study design was used to examine factors that contribute to high relative weight in children in Taiwan. A total sample of 331 Chinese children (ages 7 and 8) and their parents participated in the study. Parents completed questionnaires regarding demographic information, family functioning, parenting styles, physical activity, and dietary intake. Children completed physical fitness tests and questionnaires regarding physical activity, dietary intake, coping strategies, and self-esteem. The weight-for-length index was used to measure children's relative weight. The findings revealed that four variables contributed to higher weight-for-length index in boys compared with girls and explained 37.7% of the variance: high maternal body mass index, poor aerobic capacity, healthy family role functioning, and poor family affective responsiveness. Two variables were found to contribute to higher weight-for-length index in girls and explained 12.8% of the variance: high household income and high maternal body mass index. Taken together, the results indicate the importance of assessment of children's weight status, maternal weight status, and family functioning as part of routine child health care and the need for developmentally appropriate and gender-specific approaches to prevent childhood obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-103
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in cardiovascular nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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