Interactions between Self-Perceived Weight Status and Lifestyle Behaviors and Their Associations with Childhood Obesity: Results from the Childhood Obesity Study in China Mega-Cities

Liwang Gao, Jiang Zhu, Liang Wang, Li Ming Wen, Zhuo Chen, Bingtong Zhao, Weidong Wang, Youfa Wang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the interactions between self-perceived weight status and lifestyle behaviors, and their associations with childhood obesity among school children. Methods: Cross-sectional study data from a nationwide sample of 3258 participants (aged 8–15 years old) during 2015–2017 were used. Self-perceived weight status and lifestyle factors (dietary intake and physical activity) were assessed using self-administered questionnaires. Multivariable mixed-effects models tested the effect of interactions between weight self-perception and behavioral factors on overweight and obesity (ow/ob). Results: Overall ow/ob prevalence based on BMI was 30.9% (38.5% for boys, 23.0% for girls). Based on self-perceived weight status, ow/ob prevalence was 37.7% (35.8% for boys, 39.7% for girls). 41.2% of boys and 25.9% of girls underestimated their actual weight status. The interaction between self-perceived weight status and meat consumption was associated with ow/ob in boys, while the interaction between self-assessed weight status and protein foods and sedentary lifestyle were associated with ow/ob in girls. The attributable proportions of these three factors were 39.8%, 48.2%, and 34.6%, respectively. Conclusions: The self-perceived weight status was different from their actual weight status in children. The interactions between self-perceived weight status and lifestyle behaviors were associated with ow/ob. Health promotion programs that empower children to have appropriate self-awareness of weight status, eating, and physical activity behaviors need to be developed and implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9921
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • behavioral factors
  • China
  • overweight and obesity
  • weight self-perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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