Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parents And Schools, Major Factors In China Obesity Boom

Date:
May 22, 2007
Source:
The George Institute
Summary:
A study of high schools in China has found community, school and household factors have a major impact on obesity in adolescents. The new research highlights the need for more effective, preventative strategies that tackle parenting attitudes and school environments to reduce the growing rate of obesity in Chinese adolescents.

A study of high schools in China has found community, school and household factors have a major impact on obesity in adolescents. The new research highlights the need for more effective, preventative strategies that tackle parenting attitudes and school environments to reduce the growing rate of obesity in Chinese adolescents.

Childhood obesity is widely recognised as a major contributor towards cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, sleep disorders, and psychological and social problems. The China National Nutrition and Health survey in 2002 revealed that the prevalence of overweight individuals has increased overall by 39% in the past ten years.

In Xi'an City, where the new study was conducted, 20% of the adolescents were found to be overweight, a rate similar to that observed in many western countries. In a recent report in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found the following factors were significantly associated with overweight and obesity in children included:

  • living in urban districts
  • limited use of sports facilities in schools
  • wealthier households
  • having an obese/overweight parent
  • having soft drink >4 times a week and not being fussy about foods

Co-author of the research, Dr Ming Li, Research Fellow, at The George Institute for International Health in Sydney, explained that these risk factors should guide the future development of evidence-based and cost-effective strategies to tackle this increasing public health problem in China. Dr Li said that "Predictors of excess weight and obesity are widely acknowledged as heredity, lifestyle and environmental factors. However, these factors need to be viewed more closely, as they are greatly influenced by parents in a family, teachers at school, which are embedded in a community, and social context."

"Strategies that target socio-economic and behavioural factors alone do not seem to be effective in the long-term and are simply not sufficient. A stronger focus on community, school and household environments is vital to reduce the growing obesity epidemic. This is particularly important for a society that is undergoing such a massive nutritional transition," she noted.

The published research recommends that obesity intervention programs should include:

  1. coordinated government policy-making for infrastructure development and food supply;
  2. involvement of schools in the development of curriculum and school policies; and
  3. family involvement, with a parenting approach that fosters a healthy lifestyle for children at the early stage of their life, to benefit them for the whole of their life.

Dr Li highlights the associated factors at the school level, such as the hours spent in class versus physical activity: "Chinese students spend around 8-9 hours a day at school. Obesity prevention strategies should really include the need to adjust school curricula to increase the opportunity for physical activity during the school day. Limited use of school sports facilities increased the risk of obesity by 70%."

"In addition, adolescents were more likely to be overweight or obese in urban and suburban areas, due to increased passive transport to school, easy access to fast food and also students in these areas are more likely to spend more time doing homework and have less physical activity." Dr Li added.

Parental control of "snacking" was reported to be strongly associated with adolescent obesity, especially in boys. "Parent's expression of nurturing emotion with clear communication and realistic behavioural expectations is imperative in a child's development and healthy behaviour. It provides motivation for the child, allows the parents to help establish healthy behaviours and reinforces self-regulation, thereby allowing the child to develop new and healthy activities," Dr Li noted.

Unlike findings from western countries, higher parental education was associated with overweight and obesity in adolescents. Eating and exercise behaviours can be shaped and cultivated by good family habits based on the parents' knowledge and practice.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The George Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The George Institute. "Parents And Schools, Major Factors In China Obesity Boom." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070521094812.htm>.
The George Institute. (2007, May 22). Parents And Schools, Major Factors In China Obesity Boom. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070521094812.htm
The George Institute. "Parents And Schools, Major Factors In China Obesity Boom." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070521094812.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins