Comparison of overweight, weight perception, and weight-related practices among high school students in three large chinese cities and two large U.S. cities

Juan Zhang*, Dong Chul Seo, Lloyd Kolbe, Albert Lee, Susan Middlestadt, Wenhua Zhao, Songyuan Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The study compared differences in overweight prevalence, weight perception, and weight-related practices among high school students in five large Chinese and U.S. cities, and informed interventions for childhood obesity in China and the U.S. Methods: The data used was collected in 2003 from a representative sample of high school students in Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei, New York and Los Angeles. Results: The prevalence of overweight high school students in New York City and Los Angeles was about twice as high as in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taipei; however, the proportion of Chinese students perceiving themselves to be overweight was 15% higher than their U.S. counterparts. Independent of actual weight status, perceived overweight was significantly associated with weight control practices (p < .05). U.S. students showed higher levels of moderate and vigorous physical activity, but more hours of watching television than their Chinese counterparts. Conclusion: The continuing pandemic of overweight among youth fosters weight dissatisfaction, which may increase unhealthy weight control practices. Interventions should be designed to prevent overweight without precipitating unhealthy weight control practices by emphasizing an increase in physical activity and a reduction in time watching television.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-372
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume48
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr

Keywords

  • Adolescent health
  • Overweight
  • Physical activity
  • Weight control practices
  • Weight perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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